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Make sure Steps 3D, G and H below are in place first..
Next, try Steps 2B, D, E and F one at a time. If no luck, move on to Step 2K. Report back.
Sorry for the trouble. After trying the steps recommended by Jim Simon, just for a test, install a previous version of Premiere Pro & check the issue.
Here are the steps: Install previous version of your Creative Cloud app
To Jim Simon:
1. Remove Security Software: My corporation runs "Cb Defense Sensor WSC Service," and that cannot be disabled.
2. "My Documents," Location: It is in the default directory.
3. Test Other Media: The delay occurs even with pictures within the timeline.
4. Create New Sequence: The delay even occurs while waiting for the "New Sequence" window to appear. New Sequence with only an image in the timeline experiences the same delay.
5. Reset Premiere Pro Plugins/Settings: Did this, no difference.
To Vidya Sagar:
1. Reverted back to version 12.1.0 (Build 186), no difference. While awaiting additional potential replies, I will revert yet again to an earlier version.
You may need to request an editing specific work station. I have seen third-party security software interfere with the proper operation of Adobe software. I still recommend you work towards a Windows Defender only system.