Have you noticed Explorer file loading speeds slowing to a crawl in Windows 11? One user has discovered a bizarre bug that can give the file manager a much-needed speed boost.
Since Microsoft began rolling out the revamped Explorer in Windows 11, complaints of sluggish performance have grown. What was once the snappy hub of the OS now struggles under the weight of new features like tabbed navigation.
Folder load times slow to a slog, especially with large directories. And according to recent feedback from Insider members, Microsoft doesn’t seem to be addressing the regression.
A Serendipitous Discovery
But Windows 11 user @VivyVCCS may have stumbled upon an accidental solution. The Austrian user took to Twitter to share how toggling in and out of full screen mode can significantly improve Explorer responsiveness.
“Did you know you can speed up explorer using bugs?” she tweeted lightheartedly. “It turns out that turning full screen mode on and off (F11) drastically improves load times! I wish this was the performance we’d get out of the box. (Yes the navigation bar breaks…though a navigation bar shouldn’t cause such a massive regression anyway).”
The trick is simple:
- Open an Explorer window
- Press F11 to enable full screen mode
- Immediately press F11 again to exit full screen
Explorer should now load folders much faster. I tested it myself and can confirm the night-and-day difference on my system.
The Million Dollar Question
So what causes this magic speedup? No one knows yet. My best guess is that it has something to do with how Explorer handles window redraws. Toggling full screen likely forces a reset of some kind.
But the why doesn’t really matter to me. What’s important is that we have an easy way to make Explorer usable again while Microsoft sorts out performance issues. I hope the company leaves this beneficial bug alone and focuses on proper optimizations instead.
More Explorer Annoyances and How to Fix Them
- Explorer crashing when right-clicking the taskbar? Try this registry tweak.
- Missing menu options and blank right click context menus? Check out this potential fix.
- Can’t resize the navigation pane? There’s a quick registry edit for that.
Tired of waiting on Microsoft to improve Explorer? These handy tweaks can restore lost functionality and increase usability in the meantime.
I hope this look at a useful Windows 11 bug helps breathe new life into your Explorer. Let me know in the comments if toggling full screen mode provides a speedup for you too!