Windows Slow Startup

Now that you’ve switched on the power button on your PC, you can go and brew fresh coffee for the whole office because that’s how long your system takes to go from ‘on’ to ‘active’. If your PC is being bogged down by a huge number of preinstalled and unwanted applications and programs which automatically start up when the system is switched on, it may take forever to get your system ready to work. There is little you can do to cut down the booting time, without upgrading hardware, but you can still tweak and fine tune the settings for startup items and services to boost your startup speed. Let us look at a few ways one can cut down Windows OS startup time using built-in utilities.

Disabling Unwanted Startup Items

One of the most annoying things about computing is software that keeps running its components all the time, whether or not the application is working. More programs insert components in the startup process. So, as soon as you power on, these programs start running without your permission. These unwanted processes tap into the CPU time and sap memory and other resources. This can significantly slow down or even crash your system. Here is what you need to do to ensure that only those programs run that you want and they run only when you want them.

Speedup Windows Bootup

Click ‘Start’ and select ‘Run’. Now type in ‘msconfig’ in the field provided.

Select the ‘Startup’ tab in the window which pops up next.

Once you click the Startup option, you will find a list of programs and applications which load automatically when the computer is turned on. Each entry has a check box to the left. Uncheck the boxes to the left of the programs you do not wish to load when powering your system on. This action will remove the unchecked item from the startup the next time you switch your computer on. However, it will not delete the item from the system. In the screen-shot below, you can see some unwanted items like Quicken Billminder whose checks have been removed. You can still run the process at startup if you want to by again checking the corresponding box.

Okay, a few programs might be essential to your system while starting up, however, eliminating items like RealPlayer, AOL or Microsoft Office from Startup will not cause any disruption. Removing such items will definitely boost your system’s startup speed.

Disabling Startup Services

Apart from disabling the programs and items that may be loading at startup, there are also a set of processes known as ‘Services’. You can decide which services you wish to run at startup and manage your system accordingly. Here are is what you do:

Again Run ‘msconfig’ and click on the ‘Services’ tab. This will display all the services which start running as you switch on your computer.

There are quite a few essential Windows related services running at startup, so it is better not to mess with these and focus more on the non-Microsoft services. To check this, you can check the box marked ‘Hide All Microsoft Services’ as you can see in the figure below.

You can uncheck the boxes to the left of the services you do not wish to run up at startup. Removing unwanted services from the startup also makes a significant difference to the startup time.

Changing the BIOS Setup

Another easy way of improving your Windows system’s startup time is to make a few simple adjustments to the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS). The BIOS is where the computer’s basic instructions, such as turning on and booting the OS, are stored. It may be a risky job making changes in BIOS. However, with a little practical knowledge it can be done.Keep these steps in mind when fixing you computer’s startup issues. These tips can go a long way in reducing your system startup time.  For more information, check out our PC BIOS article.


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