Fix “Initializing the root folders to display” Message

When opening files from Word, Excel, etc. you are presented with and have to wait for a dialog that says “Initializing the Root Folders to Display.” After it finishes, browsing through items becomes painfully slow.

There is a problem with one of your mapped network drives. At least one of them is either disconnected or awaiting credentials. If you reconnect or disconnect it altogether, this problem will go away.

About Benjamin Perove

Ben has been associated with a broad spectrum of technologies starting from an early age, and he's contributed to the success of many businesses and enterprises professionally since 2001. Most of his time is spent building cool stuff. When he's not working, he enjoys reading, playing acoustic guitar, and being with friends. He currently resides in Medellin, Colombia.

  • Elaine

    for those that are having problems with many mapped drives- when you map the drive check the box “automatically connect at login”. It should help since you only need to login once.

  • Tom

    Thanks, it seemed to work. Have been bother by this for months when it occured to me I could google the problem. This was the topmost hit.

  • Samuel Mungujakisa

    Annoying glitch by M$$ft. What with indexing and all, they were good ideas, just very badly implemented. Network drives should be searched only when a user clicks on it, not when one clicks on the drop-down menu.
    The solution worked for me btw… thanks.

  • Solomon

    Awesome. That thing was driving me nuts the last couple of months. Now it’s gone away, thanks to you!

  • Adriana Campos


    Muito obrigada, resolveu de cara o problema!
    Ainda bem que nós do suporte temos vcs!
    Grande abraço!

  • Yey!!!


  • ERic

    Just disconnected a non-working network drive, that fixed the problem.

  • Booker

    Brilliant. Works well now that I have disconnected other drives. Thanks for the info.

  • John

    Excellent Tip. I had not thought of orphaned drive mappings. Thank you!

  • luis

    I just started to have this problem after i joined my laptop to a new and different domain. Anyway it was very very annoying. Thank you for your help.

  • PD

    Thanks man….this solved lot of my problem

  • Jill M Gorrie

    Thank you so much! Our help desk fixed the problem for about a day but never told me what they did and obviously didn’t fix it. I just disconnected all drive mappings not needed & problem has resolved.

  • Mark Clabaugh

    I am a developer and I clearly understand networking. I get the same error on a Windows XP machine, “Initializing the root folders to display” and the file open dialog hangs. After several seconds the folders appear.

    At one time I assummed a service might be killed, becasue I had once experieced this issue and restarted the Windows Search Service and it fixed this in a previous version of office.

    I have unmounted, remounted all my network drives. Using the run menu I have run \\servername\share – this opens Fast and OK.

    What I do have is built in memory card readers on this machine which I cannot un-mount and when the file dialog does come back it appears to complaint about one of these drives.

    Anyone have any ideas how to address this?

  • E Herrington

    Also something of note, if this is happening on a TS session, check to see if redirected drives from the local machine are causing the issue. That is what is was for me.

  • Deddy

    Thank a lot for your help.

  • David

    Thanks for the fix. This problem in my situation was down to mapped drives to a desktop that had been shutdown. After disconnecting the disconnected mapped drives, the problem was resolved.

  • Laura

    Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ralph

    I have a simple laptop with no network drives.
    Do you have any idea on what else might be causing the “initializing folder” message and associated problem. I would appreciate any help.


  • Jadwiga

    Thank you for this fix, it was driving me mad each time I was trying to save any office files. Must say that our technical people did not know how to help me which is rather sad. Thanks again will pass this on to other people with this problem.


  • Евгения

    Профессиональный фотограф в Самаре Евгения Уварова

  • Nahidul

    It did not work.The folder is in my local pc…

  • Nahidul

    It did not work. All the files are in my local computer…

  • Wright

    This was awesome. I normally hate researching my problems on-line but you have made me a believer. I have a major proposal to submit and this problem would have not allowed me time to make my deadline…you save our largest opportunity to grow our business. Thanks

  • Derek

    Thanks, this fixed my problem. I had mapped drives at the home office and they didn’t work now that I was away.

  • Lina0707

    This fixed my issue. Thank you so much

  • James

    Just removed a diconnected drive not needed.

    Issue resloved.


  • Iain

    Solved my problem – thank you!

  • jamie

    Worked Beautifully …

    Thanks ….

  • Daniel

    Issue fixed…TY
    Unbeleivable that the same issue has been going on since 2007 in diffrent OS and not resolved by Microsoft yet

  • Sale

    Nice and easy! Many Thanks!

  • Darren

    Problem resolved!! Thank You So Much!!

  • Maggie

    Thank you so much! It was driving me crazy.

  • Jeff Kyker

    Awesome! Worked perfectly.
    I had deleted some of them, based on another post, but after seeing yours, I deleted all links in the network neighborhood and it worked!

  • Darian Taylor

    I can’t believe this fixed it. I couldn’t save anything, because the root folders were never actually found (it just kept trying). I disconnected a network from the printer, and that did the trick. Thanks!

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