Thursday, 29 March 2012

Tweak tip: Speed up access to SharePoint via Windows Explorer in Windows 7

If you like working with SharePoint content via Windows Explorer, but as you may have encountered there are a couple of MAJOR ANNOYANCES which make this process painful.
  1. Access to SharePoint content via Windows Explorer can be excruciatingly slow
  2. Windows prompts you for credentials over and over again, no matter how many times you click the ‘Save Password’ box


The solution below involves making changes to Internet Explorer settings and the registry.  If you are in a corporate environment and a meagre ‘user’, then there’s a good chance that you won’t be able to change these settings yourself.  In this situation, refer your friendly IT staff to this page and ask them to ‘make these changes via Group Policy’ (…they’ll know what this means!)

Speed-up access

Simply uncheck ‘Automatically detect settings’ in Internet Explorer.   
Tools > Internet Options > LAN settings

Automatically authenticate

To bypass the naggy authentication prompt which rears its ugly head when you access a SharePoint resource via Windows Explorer, you simply need to tell Windows which sites you trust it to send on your saved credentials to.
This step involves making a change to the registry.   As Microsoft always say, “serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs.” 

For the novice:

  • Click Start, type regedit in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.
  • Locate and then click the following registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WebClient\Parameters
  • On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click Multi-String Value.
  • Type AuthForwardServerList, and then press ENTER.
  • On the Edit menu, click Modify.
  • In the Value data box, type the URL of the SharePoint site(s) (eg: or – there’s not need to add the subsite or folder in the URL you add).
  • Exit Registry Editor.
  • Reboot your computer

For the guru:

  • Add  the host name(s) to the following registry key (create it as a Multi-String value if it does not exist).
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WebClient\Parameters\AuthForwardServerList
  • Restart the Web Client service  (net stop webclient  net start webclient)



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