At 3.10.5, I notice that there is a Browser checkbox for Fast Scan this Directory. However, when I check it, nothing seems to change in the way the Browser operates:

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The 3.10 documentation does not state its purpose, nor did an internet search turn up anything.

So, what is the function of the Fast Scan option?

  • I took it to be a "refresh" of a particular directory instead of all of them. I often mix QGIS and ArcGIS in my work and have to refresh their browsers to see changes the other made.
    – John
    May 1, 2020 at 17:39
  • @johns Your idea sounded reasonable, so I tested it. I checked on the Fast Scan button. Then I loaded a shapefile into the Layers panel. I then did an "Export > Save features as >" to a new shapefile. Unfortunately the new shapefile did not appear in the Browser. If I restarted QGIS, the new shapefile would then appear in the Browser. So, I'm still puzzled about Fast Scan.
    – Stu Smith
    May 1, 2020 at 17:55

1 Answer 1


There is a note in the changelog (2012-11-29):

browser: add Fast Scan option for directories,
when activated its items will only be checked for extension, not content

  • ... and there are some reference to it when loading data via OGR or GDAL. To be honest, I couldn't witness any impact either
    – JGH
    May 1, 2020 at 19:01

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