Even if you have a speedy SSD, a status bar in Explorer slowly fills itself for no apparent reason while you watch and wait for your files to show.
The slow-loading Downloads folder problem occurs because, by default, Windows is trying to create thumbnails for photos and videos in the folder, even if none of the files are pictures. With a quick settings change, you can make the Downloads folder open quickly in Windows 7, 8 or 10. Here's how.
- Open File Explorer. You can get there by hitting Windows Key + E or clicking on the explorer icon in your taskbar.
- Right click on the Downloads shortcut in the right window pane and select Properties.
- Navigate to the Customize tab.
- Select "General items" from the "Optimize this folder for:" list.
- Click Ok
Your Windows Downloads folder speed should now be much improved and should open as fast as any other folder. If you have similar problems accessing other folders you can use the same steps to improve performance, just set the folder optimisation to general and click ok.