Why does QAP sometimes look frozen or takes time to show its popup menu?

Normally, the QAP popup menu shows instantly when you invoke it (by default, pressing the Middle Mouse Button or hitting Windows +W). But there are some situations external to QAP that sometimes prevent or delay the menu display. Here are the most common causes as well as available solutions. From the feedback received on the QAP Forum, the most common cause of delay is when you have menu items saved on an offline network drive. We will cover this in detail below. But first, let’s exclude some easier issues.

 

Hardware issues

It has been reported that, sometimes, on some mouse, the wheel does not react when pressed. This can be a limitation of the mouse model or just a malfunctioning. To confirm the issue, try replacing the mouse to see if the new mouse wheel can be pressed to open the QAP menu. If, in the end, the middle button is not available, you can select another mouse trigger in Options, Popup Hotkeys or use the keyboard trigger (by default Windows +W). More info here: How do I display the Quick Access Popup menu?

Check the exclusion list

In the Options, Popup Menu section, make sure you did not specify an unwanted exclusion in the Mouse Trigger Blacklist or that you did not select Whitelist without specifying the windows where the QAP menu could be activated. To reset the default setting, select the Blacklist radio button and make sure list is empty.

The menu does not open over some windows

This is probably because these windows belong to applications running as administrator. When an application is launched with an higher security privilege level (sometimes referred as ACL for Access Control List), its windows are not accessible to applications running with lower privilege. From QAP point of view, these windows are like black holes where the mouse middle click or keyboard trigger have no effect. More info here: Why is the middle mouse button not working over some windows?

Long refresh time

The QAP menu is built when you launch the app. It is refreshed each time you save your changes in the Customize or Options windows, and when you select the menu Tools, Refresh Live Folders and Shared menus.

In addition to that, some submenu are dynamic submenus and are refreshed each time you open the menu (if they appear in your menu). Refreshing these menu is very quick and should not cause any perceptible delay. These menu are: Recent Folders, Recent Files, Frequent Folders*, Frequent Files*, Drives*, Clipboard*, Current Windows, Reopen a Folder, Repeat Last Actions, Favorites in Customize window*, TC Directory hotlist and Directory Opus Favorites.

* These menus can cause a delay if they contain items on a network drive that is offline. See Network drives offline below.

In addition, the menu can be refreshed by a background task (see Can I schedule automatic menu refresh for Live folders and Shared menus?). If this options is enabled, the menu is temporarily unavailable while it is refreshed. If you have a very large menu with numerous submenus, shared menus and lengthy Live folders, the menu will not respond for a few seconds but only while it is refreshed (every 5 minutes by default).

Network drives offline

The main cause for delays long enough to let users think QAP is frozen is when an offline network drive contains favorites (folders or files) in the QAP menu. The effect is not always the same depending on the type of resource, the kind of unavailability (computer closed or just in sleep mode) and also, probably, the network configuration. This is why the symptoms described below can vary on your system.

Frequent Folders and Frequent Files menus

When you use folders or files on a network computer (using the UNC path like “\\server\path\…” or by mounting it with a drive letter like “N:\”), Windows remembers the folders and files you used in its system folder Recent Items. QAP reads this system folder and store the data in its database. If resources saved on a network drive are used frequently, they can reach the “top 10” and appear in the Frequent Folders or Frequent Files menus. When QAP refreshes these menus, for each item, it does two things: 1) check if the file exist and 2) it checks what icon should be displayed for this resource (for example, if a folder contains a custom icon). When the network drive hosting these files is offline, there is a delay before the QAP receives an answer from Windows and before the menu can be displayed. According to our tests (on Windows 10, for an UNC path), this delay is around 20 seconds regardless of the number of items on this offline network drive.

Trying to mitigate this delay, QAP does various verifications. This is still not perfect and this will need some more work in the future versions. But, as of the current version (v10.5.6), there are a few things you can do to avoid this delay.

  • Stop retrieving icons for UNC drives: for QAP v10 only, in Options, Menu Icons, disable the checkbox Retrieve icons when refreshing Frequent folders and Frequent files menus (avoid if some files are often offline);
  • Remove the Frequent menus: by default, these menus are inserted in the In the Works submenu; select them in the Customize window and click the Remove button;
  • Disable the QAP database: in Options, Database, uncheck the Enable Quick Access Popup database checkbox; this automatically remove the Frequent menus.

Live folders on network drives

Also, you should avoid creating Live folders on network drives that could be offline. When refreshing its menu, QAP tries to read the content of the Live folder to build its menu. An offline drive will cause a delay.

With QAP v11, you could enable the new checkbox Refresh this Live Folder menu only with the command “Refresh Live Folders and Shared menus” (under the Live Folder Options) and avoid refreshing the menus when you know that a network drive is offline.

Network drives mapped to a drive letter

If a shared drive is mounted on your system using a drive letter (like N:\), this drive is included in the Drives menu found by default under the My QAP Essentials submenu. When refreshing this menu, QAP tries to retrieve the drive’s name and free space, causing a delay if the drive is offline. If you often have network drives offline, you should remove this QAP feature from the My QAP Essentials submenu.

Follow-ups

In the next QAP releases, with the help of QAP users (special thanks to LaurentG for his tests), we will add more safety code and new options, trying to prevent, in not eliminate, these delays without having to deprive you of functionalities like the Frequent or Drives menus.

To be kept informed of these developments, subscribe to this QAP Forum thread and do not hesitate to jump in the discussion.

Please use the new QAP Support Forum to ask questions or post comments.