When you buy a brand new Windows 10 PC, it starts up smoothly and quickly, allowing you to get on and do what you need to do. However, over time it takes longer and longer to boot until eventually the frustration waiting for it to be ready to use drives you to do something about it. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do, as we’ll show you here. Here are our tips to stop Windows 10 booting slowly.
Disable startup programs
This is one of the biggest causes of slow boot times. The more programs that load at startup, the longer it will take your PC to boot. There are a couple of different ways you can prevent this, the hard way and the easy way. Here’s the hard way:
- Right-click on the Taskbar or the Start Menu
- Select Task Manager
- Click More Details to see a list of programs that run at startup
- Choose the Startup tab
- Locate the programs you want to stop loading at startup
- Right-click on the first program and choose Disable
- Repeat for each program you want to prevent running at startup
The easy way is to use CleanMyPC, which helps you stop programs running at startup in one click.
Launch CleanMyPC and click on the Autorun utility in the sidebar
- You’ll see a list of programs that currently run when your PC boots
- Click on one and toggle the switch next to it to the “off” position
- Repeat for each program you want to uninstall
Perform a Registry cleanup
Windows’ Registry database grows over time, as you use your PC and eventually becomes cumbersome and it takes a long time for the operating system to find the files it needs. The solution is to clean out the Registry, removing files you don’t need. This may help speed up the time it takes your PC to boot.
- Launch CleanMyPC and click on the Registry Maintenance utility in the left hand sidebar
- Wait for it to scan your computer
- When it’s done scanning, click Fix Registry to clean up the database and get rid of unnecessary file
- Click Refresh to scan the registry again
- If CleanMyPC tells you it needs to repair it again, click Fix Registry
- Repeat until it tells you it’s done
Check for malware
The first thing you should check is that it’s actually Windows 10 that’s causing your PC to boot slowly and not a virus or other malware. If your PC came with pre-installed anti-virus software, or if you have installed an anti-malware tool, use that to scan your PC. If not, use Windows Defender:
- Press Windows key+I
- Choose Update and Security
- Click on Windows Defender
- Select Open Windows Defender
- Choose Full Scan and then Scan now
When the scan is finished, follow the on-screen instructions to fix any problems it’s found.
Make sure Windows is up to date
A corrupt driver or buggy update can sometimes slow down the time it takes your PC to boot, and affect RAM usage. The solution is to update to the latest version of the operating system and update drivers. Use the instructions above to access Update and Security, then choose the option to either check for updates or install available updates.
Disable Fast Startup
It seems counter-intuitive that disabling a feature designed to make your PC startup faster should make it startup, well, faster. However, some users have reported problems with Fast Startup — which uses the Hibernation file to store state data when you shutdown — that make their computer startup more slowly, so it’s worth a try.
- Click in the Start menu
- Select: Choose what the Power buttons do
- Click: Change settings that are currently unavailable
- Type in an administrator username and password, if necessary
- Uncheck Turn on fast startup (recommended)
- Choose Save changes
Fast startup will now be disabled. If you don’t see the option the Fast Startup option, it’s because the Hibernation file is disabled and so Fast Startup won’t work anyway
If you want to disable the Hibernation, to prevent Fast Startup and stop Hibernation mode, you can do that quickly in CleanMyPC.
- Launch CleanMyPC and go to Hibernation
- Click the Turn off button
That's it. You will reclaim more disk space and will help your PC boot faster.
This is an option for when nothing else has worked. Reinstalling Windows takes time and while it may improve the overall performance of your PC, it’s not something to undertake lightly. And, while Windows does give you the option to keep your data and settings when you reinstall, you should always backup your computer before using the reset option.
- Press Windows key+I
- Select Update and Security
- Choose Recovery from the left hand column
- Under the top option, Reset this PC, press Get Started
- Choose Keep my files on the blue screen that appears, unless you want to completely wipe everything and start again, in which case press Remove Everything
Your PC will now reinstall Windows
Fit an SSD to upgrade your hard drive
This is another extreme option, and describing how to do it is beyond the scope of this article. SSDs have no moving parts and thus are faster and more reliable than mechanical hard drives. One of the main benefits of using an SSD is that it significantly reduces the amount of time it takes your computer to start up.
A PC that starts up slowly can be very frustrating, even if you don’t boot it from cold very often. However, the good news is that there is plenty you can do to try and speed up boot times. If you choose the Reset Windows mode, remember to backup your PC. But it’s well worth trying CleanMyPC to clean Windows Registry database and disable the Hibernation file before you do anything drastic.