I recently had an issue with the Downloads folder on my Windows 7 desktop computer: although there were only about 50 files, it would sometimes take the folder several minutes to load in Windows explorer. After some googling, I turned up the following solution: apparently at some point my OS had decided that the frequent presence of video files in the folder meant that it should treat it as a video folder. This, in turn, must have triggered some kind of indexing of the files as if they were all videos, which is doubtlessly a very CPU-intensive, time-consuming process. Anyway, the fix is to tell Explorer to optimize the folder for “general items” instead. Navigate to your downloads folder, then go to the folder one level higher — e.g., if your folder is at C:\User\Downloads, then type C:\User in the navigation bar. Then find Downloads in the folder list, right-click, and hit the Customization tab. You should see options similar to the image below. Just change the selection in ‘Optimize this folder for…’ to the appropriate content, i.e. general items, and from now on your folder should load and refresh normally.