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I have a MiKTeX installation on Windows 10 on a relatively powerful machine. A few weeks ago, TeXworks started to hang on startup. It now takes up to 25 (!) minutes when starting and consumes about one-and-a-half cores of my CPU while doing so:

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I have no idea what it is doing during this time.

When it is finally open, every attempt to run pdflatex is painfully slow. Everything happens like in slow motion, with the main window not reacting to mouse clicks or keyboard input (but it finishes eventually). Building an empty sample document takes about 5 minutes. I have not yet found out how long it takes to successfully close TeXworks - I gave up waiting after one hour.

The rest of my computer works fine. TeXworks has been working on this machine for several years without any issue. I updated to the latest MiKTeX version without effect. I also completely uninstalled MiKTeX, rebooted and reinstalled the most recent version. TeXworks is still unusable.

I cannot find any log files or even hints about what could be wrong. Google and SE searches returned nothing apart from 10-year old QT bugs which seem to be unrelated. How can I find out what is wrong with my MiKTeX installation and how do I get TeXworks working again?

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    You need a process monitor or something like this to investigate. But debugging an application is not really on-topic here. – Ulrike Fischer Apr 29 at 12:23
  • @UlrikeFischer: Thank you for the hint. I managed to get some access patterns with process monitor. Where would be a more appropriate place to ask this question? – Andreas Unterweger Apr 29 at 12:47
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After the hints of Ulrike Fischer, I found the last registry key that TeXworks was reading from before hanging (Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\TUG\TeXworks). It seems to be a collection of settings, which I just removed entirely by deleting the parent registry key. Now TeXworks starts and works fine again. I had to reconfigure my settings, but this is o.k.

  • Considering the rate at which the registry gets filled with obsolete stuff, you would think MS would provide a registry cleaner with the control panel. – John Kormylo Apr 29 at 15:46
  • @JohnKormylo Microsoft do have a registry cleaner/restore function but they don't want to change the name from "reset this pc" (win.ini is dead long live the great great grand children of win.ini and all the generations between) – user170109 Apr 29 at 17:35

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