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Fix Slow WebDAV Performance in Windows 7

I have an iPhone file storage app called Air Sharing that uses a WebDAV server to let you connect to it with a PC. For some reason, a few weeks after installing Windows 7, file transfers to or from this (or any other) WebDAV server became incredibly, mind-numbingly, literally-33.6K-dialup slow. And yet, from all my other computers in the house, even those still running Windows XP, file transfers over the LAN to my iPhone were as fast as you’d expect.

Today, finally, I got so sick and tired of it that I — gasp! — searched for a solution. To my embarrassment, I found the answer in just a minute or two, illustrating quite succinctly just how much time I had been wasting just “putting up with it.” Oddly, the culprit is none other than Internet Explorer 8. Quite simply, all you have to do is turn off IE’s automatic proxy settings detection. Here’s how to do that:

  1. In Internet Explorer, open the Tools menu, then click Internet Options.
  2. Select the Connections tab.
  3. Click the LAN Settings button.
  4. Uncheck the “Automatically detect settings” box.
  5. Click OK until you’re out of dialog hell.

Immediately after doing this, file transfers to my iPhone graduated from CompuServe Modem Simulator to Transwarp Conduit Simulator. It was that much of an improvement.

I found the answer on this Microsoft Technet discussion, incidentally. The solution was posted by “Daniel CD” about two-thirds of the way down the page. Props to that guy.

Gotta love Intarweb collaboration.

Edit 2/21/2012: Thanks to Gordon for posting a comment revealing that there is now an official Microsoft Knowledgebase article on this particular problem, which recommends the same course of action to resolve the issue.

59 thoughts on “Fix Slow WebDAV Performance in Windows 7

  1. Thank you for posting this solution!

    I spent an hour checking firewall policies before deciding to Google a problem I was having with Windows 7 and a different iPhone app that uses WebDAV. Google turned up this site and my problem was fixed seconds later. I should have searched sooner because I never would have thought to check IE8 settings.

  2. r u kidding me?? That simple AND IT WORKS!! Not even a reboot.

    You’re a genius. Well, that other guy is…. THANKS!

  3. At first is was slow as hell, then I started the webclient service and it was working fast, then I installed IE 9 and it was slow as hell again, then I disabled automatic detection of LAN settings in internet options and it’s fast again.

    I love you guys. If it’s still not working for anyone, check out http://www.bitkinex.com/download

    M$ sure isn’t making things easy for us…

  4. Thank a lot for this solutions. That was driving me crazy and taking tons of times between each click. now I can access my files same speed as any windows explorer accessing local drives. I was using windows explorer to access my SharePoint document library within client’s computer fast but not on my own computer.

    🙂 thank again.

    Mehmet

  5. You’re welcome, Mehmet. Incidentally, I appreciate the fact that you guys are actually navigating the labyrinth of user registration, confirmation and moderation just to thank me. 🙂

  6. Thank you for the post – I was always puzzled about why WebDAV to SharePoint was brutally slow, especially with the recent wave of buzz in the blogosphere about how SharePoint is being increasingly used as a “social” tool in large enterprise.

    Taking 2 minutes to open up a 100-row spreadsheet … let alone the sluggish windows-explorer browser navigation? I was starting to question the merits of webdav.

    Now we need to share this with Chihamo who posted in the IIS forums. Curious who his Sharepoint wunderkind was… see: http://forums.iis.net/t/1179873.aspx

  7. man … this is brilliant ! I’ve been struggling with this for ages.
    OwnCloud’s webdav now works like a charm, thanks !
    D.

  8. Beautiful! I too was using the windows explorer view to navigate SharePoint and it was a minute to view a folder, much less actually opening a document. Thanks so much!

  9. I walked into a coworkers office and could not believe how fast his Explorer view peformed. I was thinking that we had a network problem, i should have searched for this last week and i would have saved several hours of frustration. Thank you, thank you.

    This worked for me with IE 9

  10. So I’m behind firewalls and the “Automatically detect settings” box is already unchecked. Still, every dav action takes 5 seconds. Eeeegads!
    Is there another issue?

  11. Great! I was about to use a tird party Webdav client. Your tip made the browsing of my WebDAV server much better,

    Thanks a lot.

  12. Wow! I would never have figured this out! It’s great that this solution was the first hit in a google search, too. Worked instantly, even though I never use IE on my windows 7 computer.Thank you!

  13. Thanx!!
    This is brilliant – and it helped me so much: Syncing with SyncToy is pretty fast 🙂

  14. I have been suffering with this issue for a long time. Even used a MAC instead to get something over to Web Sharing on my iPhone. Your tip is greatly appreciated! Thank you!!!

  15. Wow, finally a solution for this nagging problem! Thanks a lot for sharing! Funny thing is, it seems under certain circumstances you may experience the same problem on the server version…

  16. That simple? YEP! Worked a treat, thanks! What a stupid bug in Win7! Also exists with IE10. Pile of junk.

  17. I have the same issue, unfortunately, my PC uses a proxy. I have the auto detect proxy settings box clear and I have the address that I am going to listed to bypass the proxy and it is increasingly slow. I can access the address with a browser at a much faster speed.

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