Fix Slow loading Downloads folder in Windows 10

Do you face this issue where Downloads or any other library folder opens slow as compared to other folders? This is a common problem and is faced by users even if they are using the latest hardware like SSDs. If the Downloads folder takes a long time to open in Windows 10, then this post offers a targeted solution to fix the slow loading Download folder & make it open faster.

Slow loading Downloads folder in Windows

By slow-loading here we mean, when you try to open the folder it takes a few seconds to display its contents. This is normally accompanied by a green loading address bar saying Working on it – which is very annoying. This might seem strange to you as all other folders are opening just fine. This problem can occur on normal hard drives and SSDs both.

downloads folder takes a long time to open windows 10

The main reason behind this problem is that the folder may have been optimized for viewing photos or other media formats. So, it takes a little while to load all the files and their thumbnails. But in the case of the Downloads folder, it usually contains all kinds of files such as documents, zip files, audio/video files, etc. So, there is no need to optimize this folder for media files only. Doing so is only going to make Windows File Explorer slow in loading its contents and thumbnails which are non-existent for most files.

Downloads folder takes a long time to open

The fix to this issue is as follows:

Slow loading Downloads folder in Windows

  1. Right-click the folder for which you are facing this issue. In this case the Downloads folder.
  2. Now click on Properties.
  3. Go to the Customize tab.
  4. Click on the drop-down that says Optimize this folder for. And select General items from the drop-down. It must have been set to Pictures or Video by default.
  5. You can also select Also apply this template to all subfolders if the folder contains any subfolders.
  6. Apply the settings and restart Windows Explorer.

In this way, you can make the folder content display faster. Now opening the Downloads folder would not take much time and you will be able to see the effects immediately.

Remember that these steps apply to all kinds of folders on Windows. You can optimize any folder for whatever type of content it has.

If the folder is still taking time to display content, then probably your system has some other issue. You might want to check out our guide on Disk Error Checking and fixing 100% Disk Usage.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

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