by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 12, 2018)
When David double-clicks some of the Word files on his computer, they open in about 3 seconds, but others take about 10 seconds to open. He has compared the faster- and slower-opening versions but can't detect any difference. He wonders what he can do to get the 10-second files to open faster.
When David mentions that he cannot detect any difference between the faster- and slower-opening versions, I'm assuming that means the documents are roughly the same. For instance, they are about the same number of pages, both have about the same number of graphics, both have the same number of tables, etc.
If this is the case, then the most probable cause of the difference in loading speed is where the documents are stored. Not all storage devices are as speedy as one another, and this can play into how quickly your documents load. For example, if you compare load speeds for a document on your local system vs. one stored on a network drive, the local file will invariably load quicker. Further, files on an SSD drive will load faster than those on a mechanical drive, which load quicker than ones on an external hard drive, which load faster than those on a USB flash drive, which load faster than those on a network drive.
If the files are actually on the same drive media, then there is one final thing that is often overlooked when comparing files—there could be external links in one document that are not in the other. Those links will often be refreshed when a file is opened, which can slow down the loading speed.
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