On a computer, a folder is a virtual container for files. This container has its own address and the files inside it are identified in relation to it. It may be virtual but on the disk, it has an address, occupies space, and separates the files in it from other files and containers.
Folders are easy to create and there are few restrictions that are applied to them. There is no upper limit on how many files you can put in a folder.
Slow folder on Windows 10
Folders are accessed via File Explorer on Windows 10. File Explorer is a great app and you will find that it opens folders quickly. This holds true in most cases but you will notice that some folders take a long time to open, or for all the files in it to load.
This behavior is limited to certain folders but it normally happens when the folder has a lot of files in it. The files may be small, but their number tends to slow File Explorer down. Here’s how you can fix it.
- Open File Explorer.
- Navigate to the folder that is slow to open.
- Right-click it and select Properties from the context menu.
- On the Properties window, go to the Customize tab.
- Open the ‘Optimize this folder for’ dropdown.
- Select General Items.
- Enable the ‘Also apply this template to all subfolders’ option.
- Click Apply, and then click OK.
- The folder will now open much faster, or as fast as other folders.
Changing folder view
Once you set the folder to be optimized for general items, you will need to change the folder view or layout.
- Open the folder that you’ve just optimized.
- Go to the View tab.
- Select a layout from the Layout box.
- Use the Group By and Sort By dropdowns to set how the files are sorted within the folder.
If File Explorer itself is slow, try these fixes.
File Explorer will struggle to load all files in a folder if there are a lot of them. If there are only a few large files in the folder, it won’t make any difference but lots of small files tend to slow a folder down. File Explorer should normally be able to load them since it indexes files constantly but there are limits to how fast a folder can load. Having an SSD instead of an HDD will reduce how often this happens but an SSD isn’t a cure for all these problems.