SharePoint: Fix Slow Browsing in Windows Explorer

I came across a surprising fix to a problem I was having today, and thought I'd share it here on my site. While using Windows 7 and browsing through various folders in SharePoint with Windows Explorer, everything was loading at a sickeningly slow pace. Super, extremely, verrrrrrrrrrrrrry slow.

Oddly enough, you can make it run fast by changing some settings in Internet Explorer. You need to make sure you make these changes in IE regardless of whichever other browser you may use, as it is heavily integrated with Windows Explorer.

Open IE, go to 'Tools', and then choose 'Internet Options'. Go to the 'Connections' tab, and then click the 'LAN settings' button (it's right near the bottom). Uncheck the box next to 'Automatically detect settings'. Click 'OK' twice and you're all set.

If I had more of a networking background, I'd offer you an explanation as for why this works... but in the meantime, I hope that this helps out some of you out there who have been experiencing the same frustration as me!

(Consider this an open invitation to leave a comment if you know why this works. I offer my eternal gratitude in return.)

***April 12, 2012 Update: Check out the comments below - someone has been kind enough to explain it all. Fantastic.***

48 comments:

  1. Thanks a billion; this solution worked for me. You dont know how much I suffered due to this problem. Now its all fixed.

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  2. Many thanks!! It helped me as well.
    From the very beginning the sharrpoint was working fast in both IE and Windows Explorer (WE) / Total commander. But suddenly sharepoint became extremely slow from WE.
    Thanks for this solution!!

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  3. Thanks man, I was trying to move docs across sharepoint lists and this was killing me.

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  4. this helped me as well. Thank You very much!!

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  5. thanks a million from Lithuania :)

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  6. i cannot friggin beleive this simple fix worked. how rediculous and great at the same time.

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  7. YEY! Was wondering what the problem was, it started fast, then went all slow as hell.

    THANK YOU

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  8. OMG! I can't believe the solution was so simple! Thank you very much!

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  9. What is the “Automatically Detect Settings” option in IE?

    The “Automatically detect settings” option is there to help the user in configuring a web proxy automatically. It actually makes use of the WPAD protocol to discover a web proxy.

    1. If the PC is configured to do DHCP, then it will query the server. If the response includes a string with id 252, then it uses this to retrieve a configuration file.

    2. If this fails, then the PC will attempt to resolve the name wpad. It will start in its current domain, and work back through. Eg, if the PC is called bob.cs.anu.edu.au, it will attempt to resolve wpad.cs.anu.edu.au, followed by wpad.anu.edu.au, etc. If this resolves the name wpad, then IE will attempt to retrieve wpad.dat via http from the root of the server. You should probably redirect this to the configuration file.

    3. If this yields no success, then IE goes direct.

    Now here is your delay, when Step 1 and Step 2 are running, time-out – finally deciding to open your WebDav folders directly. Phew!

    Skip it… if you do not require the auto-discovery feature. Ask your network admin to push a GPO to turn-it-off or uncheck it by default!

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    Replies
    1. Brilliant! Thank you so much for posting this detailed comment. I was hoping that someone would come along and leave some insight.

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    2. I have basically the same issues, when opening a Word doc in Sharpoint it takes for ever
      for the doc to open. Even after unchecking "auto-discovery" feature. Word still take a while to open. Please help

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  10. THANK YOU! THIS WAS driving me insane. I could have sworn I had already changed those settings, but I use chrome and did not even think of it.
    I hate IE.
    Thanks again

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  11. This worked great. Thanks a lot!

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  12. just great,works like a charm. Thank you

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  13. Awesome, this has been annoying me for a long time!!!

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  14. 2 minutes of googling now saved me a lot of waiting.
    And got me a happy sysadm, when I told him the fix.
    Thank You!

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  15. Works! Thank You

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  16. Yeah, I'm not a fan of IE either... Glad to hear that this post helped you out!

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  17. Wow!
    Many, many thanks.

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  18. Oh my goodness... THANK YOU!!! Like the pp's this had been driving me batty for years. No more "save to desktop" if I wanted to work on a SharePoint Excel file outside the office over VPN!!!
    Thank you Stacy, for freeing me from my desk. :)

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  19. It Worked for me like a Charm...THANK YOU VERY MUCH for sharing

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  20. this is brilliant! can't tell you how much time i wasted on this!

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  21. This was a life saver not to mention a Time saver!

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  22. Thanks a lot, it worked for me too.

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  23. Thank you very much!! It works perfectly for me. You saved my day.

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  24. Krosoft kant figure that themselves? or they don't care shit?

    Anyway manythanks!

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  25. Thank you very much for the solution! This slowness issue was driving me crazy over the past few days!

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  26. Thanks so much for this easy fix. Like others the SharePoint server started off fine but then slowed to an unbelievable crawl. I have a feeling their must be something else at play here. Perhaps it is something to do with a log file or other file/registry that is getting filled up after you have been uploading many files. It would be good for someone to solve this obvious bug as it is quite difficult to get all our customers to have to change their IE Settings.

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  27. Worked for me as well - you're my hero, thank you thank you!

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  28. Thank you for this simple change. We are rolling out a group policy to all systems to prevent the checkbox from getting reset.

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  29. Worked like a champ. Thank you man!

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  30. S─░mpla and affective solution. Thank you!

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  31. Does it work for Windows Xp?

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    Replies
    1. I don't have a machine running XP to try it on, but it wouldn't hurt to try it out. You can always change the setting back if it isn't working for you.

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  32. Faizel MootherilTuesday, August 06, 2013

    Thanks a tonne Stacey! This easy fix worked and a thank you to "Per JarlemarkThursday" as well for explaining the working behind the delay.

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  33. You are awesome thanks!

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  34. Thanks - my IT department wanted to rebuild the PC but this has done the trick!

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    Replies
    1. Glad this post could help you! What a hassle that would have been... and it probably wouldn't have helped at all.

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  35. This saved me from reinstalling my PC! I was the only one in my office having this issue...

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  36. Million thanks!!! Amazingly fixed it!!! 3 seconds and everything runs smotth now!
    Tears of joy :)

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  37. Holy wow! Getting 15x the speed moving sharepoint files in windows explorer. Thanks!

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  38. Fantastic tip! Thank you so much.

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  39. Thank you so much.

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  40. Thank you! The 7 minutes to copy a template folder structure now takes 10 seconds.

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  41. At the first of windows install i have to use internet explorer but it worked so slow. After i got this article then implemented and got better speed

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