Windows XP vs Windows 7 file size enumeration speed

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Windows 7 is very slow at certain file operations. This is one example where file size enumeration of several files takes a long time. In Windows XP, it does this automatically and nearly instantly in every folder it opens. In Windows 7, you have to click “Show more details…” and it takes quite a while. Please try it yourself, navigate to a folder with many files and select them all, see how long it takes.

I don’t know what Microsoft did to slow it down, but it might be their policy to…


  1. Arbitrary data point: On my spinning disk system performing the same operation (system32 directory) takes about 3-4 seconds (Win7 SP1 64-bit). And my set of files there is actually a bit larger.

  2. Well, for starters, the XP machine is enumerating far fewer files and of smaller size. Beyond that, there are a large number of factors at play here. For example, you may have other background activity happening on the Windows 7 system (or different file system filters installed, etc). Also the "Show more details" button is doing more work (calculating which properties make sense to show for this set, calculating the Date Created and Date Modified ranges, etc).

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