This is a fairly recent issue… When I click the folder icon to start file explorer it is VERY slow to open. I get the empty window waiting for it to populate and if I click in it it pops up the message “not responding, do you want to wait or close program”. If I go do something else for awhile and then return the file structure is all there and everything works as normal. Is there anything specific I can look for that might be causing this behavior? PC is running an SSD for the OS and has zero other problems or issues.
Have you rebooted recently? If not try it. Sometimes a simple reboot fixes those hangs.
There are a few suggestions here to consider https://appuals.com/file-explorer-not-loading-or-loading-slowly-after-windows-10-upgrade/doing all of it may not be needed.
Maybe also try a clean boot as shown here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/929135/how-to-perform-a-clean-boot-in-windows
End process of Windows Explorer from Task Manager. Then it will stop running. Now go to RUN and type “explorer” and enter. Now its Done.
I’ve had Explorer problems going back into the 19xx series. It got worse in v2004. The only way I can think of to describe it is memory corruption. Screen artifacts such as black boxes, empty folders which are not, and strange titles. I can close it without problems. This doesn’t correct it though. The only way I have found is to correct it is a hard reboot. This is a daily event. I get a bit of a warning when it is about to act up, a taskbar icon which gives the impression something is open, but minimized. However, there is no line across the bottom like actual minimized processes have.