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.