Every day, millions of Windows computers are started up and poor business users are waiting to watch the succession of screens that Windows displays before loading the desktop. This boot process can take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on the computer used and system optimization.
For those who suffer from this wait and feel that their PC takes too long to start up and finally become usable, here we see all the ways to speed up the startup of Windows 10 .
In some cases it may be enough to change some settings, in others to make changes at the system level or at the BIOS level in still others by changing some internal component of the computer: the only option excluded is to buy a new computer, an answer too obvious and not always applicable (for example in the office we have to be satisfied with the computer made available).
How to speed up the Windows 10 startup phase
Most of the procedures described in the following guide are within the reach of any user, regardless of their experience with technology and with computers in general. If we want to update any component of the PC we can also proceed alone, although we recommend that you contact a professional IT technician.
Disable auto start programs
Very often some programs are placed in automatic execution in order to remain active in the background and slow down both Windows startup and its regular operation. To see the programs that start themselves, just look at the notification area next to the clock at the bottom right and expand it by clicking on the arrow. If there are more than 5, there is something too much.
We can quickly remove the self-starting programs that do not interest us by pressing the right mouse button on the taskbar, selecting the item Task management , clicking on More details (if present), taking us to the Startup tab and using the right button on the programs or processes to be deactivated (thanks to the Disable item ).
In another article we have shown you some programs to manage the automatic startup in Windows and the computer or, alternatively, we can try the Autoruns program to speed up Windows loading .
Activate Quick Start
One of the best features of the latest versions of Windows is fast startup, a sort of hybrid hibernation that allows you to save the state of the operating system and restart it quickly in any condition and with any type of hardware.
To start this mode, open the Start menu at the bottom left, type the word Lid , open the item Change the operations performed when closing the lid , press at the top on Change settings currently unavailable and make sure that the item Activate quick start is checked (choice recommended) , then restart the PC.
In another article we explored the topic of Windows 10 fast startup .
Free up disk space
If your computer’s main drive is nearly full, Windows becomes slower and this is an incontrovertible fact. It is therefore necessary to go through all the ways to free up disk space on the PC , using programs such as suitable to find the largest files and duplicate files.
You can also empty the system folders from backup files, service packs and other useless files as seen in the guide on how to save space on the C: drive in an extreme way .
As a last resort we can also increase the space available by buying one more drive
large (even 4TB) and moving the entire operating system, as seen in the guide Transfer Windows to another PC or disk, without reinstalling and losing data .
Reclaim the free space
When you move a file to the recycle bin and delete it, it is not deleted from the disk, but only made overwritable by other files. Windows therefore sees it as free space, although in reality it is not really empty, but it still contains data related to files deleted using the recycle bin and, therefore, still recoverable. By clearing the free disk of the disk you will get a new space saving. Keep in mind that this operation can only be done on hard drives and not on SSD drives.
Disable visual effects
This Windows setting change only makes a difference on older computers or with a poor graphics card. Disabling Windows visual effects is one of the basic operations in the guide to optimize Windows 10 and decrease the use of PC resources .
Optimize paging files
The paging file always plays an important role in Windows so its correct setting can be used to improve Windows performance and reduce startup times. The paging file is particularly important on computers with low RAM memory (less than 8 GB for example. We have seen, in another article, how to optimize the paging file in Windows .
Install more RAM
Unfortunately, many computers, even new ones, come with 4 or 8GB of RAM, perhaps sufficient at first but which quickly fill up after a few weeks of using the computer, especially if we open many programs at the same time. With a very low cost we can buy another bank of RAM memory to be inserted in the PC and reach at least 16GB, so as to never have problems with any program.
In other articles we have shown you how to increase RAM on your computer and add RAM on your laptop .
Install an SSD as the primary disk
Of all the ways to speed up Windows startup, using an SSD is the most effective. If you want to start your computer in a few seconds then you have to switch to an SSD, the fast drives with increasingly popular prices and affordable for everyone (even in the 1TB version).
We have talked about how to do this replacement in several articles including:
- Move Windows to SSD without reinstalling everything
- How to replace the hard drive to power up your PC in an hour
- Best SSD drives to buy to make your PC go as fast as a tablet
- SSD drive or HDD hard drive? what differences and advantages?
Maintain the primary disk
The primary disk, both in the case of an SSD and in the case of a mechanical disk, must be kept fast and clean from any fragment or any data with deleted; luckily this is automatic on Windows 10 so there isn’t much to worry about.
However, you can install a disk defragmentation program to have more optimization options with mechanical disks.
If you use an SSD (solid state drive) instead of a traditional hard disk, you must never defragment but we will have to perform the TRIM, a procedure for restoring the cells already used; for this purpose we can also read our guide to programs to optimize the SSD .
Uninstall unused programs
In addition to the advice seen above, we can also uninstall unused and unnecessary programs , which add registry entries and can, in some cases, slow down the startup process. To do this first you can use an uninstaller program like Revo Uninstaller .
Clean Windows of junk files
While using the computer, files or fragments of data accumulate that are comparable to the limescale that forms in dishwashers. These must, from time to time (not too often), be eliminated using a program like Ccleaner , which is fast, reliable and safe.
Change the BIOS / UEFI settings
When you turn on a computer, it first loads the BIOS or UEFI and in turn loads the operating system. In the BIOS / UEFI we can change the boot order by putting the disk where Windows is installed first. You can save system boot time by activating the quick boot option in the BIOS, which skips all hardware checks that are initially made during the boot process.
See here on how to reduce your PC’s BIOS and startup time .
Disable or limit the boot timeout
To limit the startup timeout on PCs with multiple operating systems, open the Start menu and type System , so that it will be possible to open the System item and take us to Advanced Settings , Advanced tab and click on Settings under Startup and Recovery . If the ” view operating systems list ” option is enabled, there are probably several systems on the computer besides Windows 10 or there is a recovery partition. If you don’t want to save time, you can disable this initial choice or limit the time to 2 seconds.
Keep your PC updated, along with drivers and programs
Each Windows update is a fix made by Microsoft for the system, most often related to security, but sometimes also to fix some bugs. Fortunately, everything is automatic on Windows 10, so it will be enough to check the item from time to time if updates are regularly performed, as seen in the guide on How to update Windows 10: Guide to Windows Update .
Disable unnecessary hardware
When you start a computer, all drivers are loaded to operate the internal and external components connected to the PC. If a piece of hardware is never used, it can be disabled to speed up Windows startup. To do this, go to Device Manager (from the Control Panel), expand the various categories, right-click on a driver and disable it. Deactivation makes that device unusable, but if necessary you can always reactivate it with the same procedure. If you’re not sure what a driver is and what it does, it’s best not to touch it anyway.
All the tips described above will allow you to speed up Windows 10 startup in the vast majority of scenarios, so that you can immediately start working without wasting time. We remind you, however, that Windows 10 updates itself periodically and, to install updates, it may take a long time to start; to overcome this problem and update only when we are not there, we can read our guide on how to schedule Windows updates at specific times and how to disable the automatic restart of Windows after an update .