Suppose you want to perform an emergency task on your PC and need to get it up and running as fast as possible.
With today’s advanced technology and ultra-fast devices, that’s not too much to ask.
However, you have noticed that Windows takes ages to get past the Splash screen and show you the main interface.
It can be alarming if it’s a recent issue, and you need to take action.
Why Does My Computer Take So Long To Boot Up? (Causes, Fixes)
If your computer takes a while to boot up, it may be due to low specs and old configs.
In other cases, your CPU may be loaded due to too many programs running at the startup.
These programs can be Windows services, legitimate third-party apps, or malware.
You can disable these programs and see if it helps.
Other Windows and BIOS settings like Fast Startup and Fast Boot can help accelerate the bootup process.
Corrupted files can also cause your OS to boot slowly.
After fixing the corrupted files using the SFC scan, you can perform the following troubleshooting tips to make your PC boot faster.
1. Startup Programs
The most important cause of a slow boot time is too many programs running at startup.
Some applications are essential to run from the moment you turn on your PC.
Antivirus, cloud storage services, or hardware drivers are essential to run at startup.
Some aren’t essential, but we prefer to have them from the startup because we may forget to open them and lose important data or functionalities.
Some third-party apps that start as soon as you boot up the computer can be disabled safely and opened later.
A. Disable Startup Programs
The best fix for too many startup programs is to disable them.
First, you should access the list of these programs through Task Manager.
Click a space in the taskbar and select Task Manager.
Go to the Startup tab and check out these programs’ names, status, and startup impact.
Deciding which ones to disable depends on you and your system since disabling some of them may lead to system instabilities.
Some experts advise against disabling these programs in the startup because of the instability issue mentioned.
Instead, you could open the program and go to its settings and see if it has a separate feature allowing you to choose when to start the program.
If the launch-upon-boot option is enabled, turn it off.
This way, the software will adjust its settings to run the program more effectively, even if it doesn’t boot from the get-go.
If you’re unsure which program is essential, you can search about the program online and learn about its properties, especially if it hurts performance when running at bootup.
B. Run Event Viewer
Event Viewer is a helpful tool that allows you to see how long the computer takes to boot and what programs delay it.
Simply type Event Viewer in the taskbar’s search box and press Enter.
You can see all the events that occur when your computer is on.
Expand the menu next to Applications and Services Log to see the startup events and select Microsoft > Windows > Diagnostic Performance.
Double-click Operational and see all the events at startup.
If the list is too long, you can use the tool’s filter and only look for problematic events.
Click Filter this Log on the right panel and select Warning, Critical, and Error.
Carefully go through the list and see which programs prolong your boot time.
You can disable these programs or search the error code to find solutions to the issue.
2. Virus And Malware
Viruses can affect your computer’s bootup and overall speed by eating up resources.
Hackers may install cryptoware on your system, using your resources to mine crypto for them.
Today’s computers are safe enough against virus threats, and Windows Defender is the perfect native tool that keeps PCs protected.
However, you may still need extra measures.
In addition to installing a robust antimalware tool, you should always practice cyber hygiene to prevent these infections.
Don’t click on unsolicited or suspicious links, and only download things from trustable sources.
To address the issue at hand, run a full system scan, remove all the detected threats and see if it helps your computer boot up faster.
3. Disable/Enable Fast Startup
Windows has a built-in feature that allows it to boot faster by preventing it from shutting down completely.
When you turn off the computer, instead of shutting down, it goes into a state between sleep and hibernation, leaving it semi-alert.
It stores system drivers on the hard disk instead of closing them, occupying disk space.
Although it sounds like a useful feature, it may have opposite effects on your system, ironically reducing your bootup speed.
Many users have reported various issues related to bootup, shutdown, and system speed with the feature enabled.
Disabling fast startup is the only fix to this issue.
If it doesn’t solve the problem, you can re-enable it.
Here’s how to do it:
Go to Windows Settings by right-clicking the Start menu.
Select System and click Power & sleep on the left panel.
Select Additional power settings on the right panel and click Choose what the power buttons do.
In the new window, click the Change settings that are currently unavailable link and scroll down to find shutdown settings.
Uncheck Turn on fast startup (recommended).
Note. Fast startup is enabled by default in Windows 10.
That’s why you should disable it if you have startup issues.
However, if it’s not enabled by default, you can turn it on and see how it helps the startup speed.
4. Storage And Memory Issues
RAM and hard disk are two essential components that store your data temporarily and permanently, but they affect your system’s performance and speed.
The operating system is saved on the hard disk but loads on RAM when you turn on the PC to make things faster.
However, if you don’t have sufficient space, you may experience lower speeds.
You can fix the issue in different ways.
A. Upgrade Your RAM
Adding RAM sticks to your motherboard is a great way to boost your system performance.
That’s particularly the case if you run demanding programs, multitask, or have a low-spec system.
If you decide to increase your RAM, make sure your system supports it by checking the number of RAM slots and making sure it accepts higher memory capacity.
Plus, the new RAM sticks should also match the DDR version supported by the motherboard.
B. Increase Storage Space
Insufficient hard disk space can also affect performance and speed.
The higher the number of files on the hard disk, the higher the chances of incompatibility and software conflicts, reducing speed even at the startup.
No matter how large your hard disk is, it should always have some free space for additional operations.
You can free up space on your hard disk by deleting unwanted files or moving them to an external drive.
The most important part is your boot drive, which stores your operating system.
Delete programs in Drive C if it’s almost full.
Alternatively, you can add to your storage space by getting a higher-capacity, internal or external hard drive.
However, if you decide to do so, it’s better to invest in an SSD.
Solid-state drives use flash technology (unlike the moving parts in HDDs that reduce speed), making them faster and more efficient.
The ideal configuration is to store your operating system on the SSD to help it boot faster.
C. Tweak Virtual Memory Settings
Virtual memory is the operating system’s way of increasing volatile memory.
When your system has low memory, but the user opens and runs several apps simultaneously, the hard disk (which is permanent storage) allocates some of its free space to store temporary files.
In other words, the hard disk pretends to be RAM to help the CPU process data faster.
Although it’s a lifesaver, virtual memory settings can cause bootup issues since Windows changes these settings without you knowing.
Therefore, you should examine the virtual memory (labeled as Paging File) settings to see if Windows has changed them.
To access these settings, go to Windows Settings > System > About.
Under Related Settings on the right side of the window, click Advanced system settings.
In the new window, you should be in the Advanced tab.
Under Performance, click Settings and go to the Advanced tab in the next window.
Under Virtual Memory, click the Change button to see the allocated space, the minimum allowed, and the recommended space for virtual memory.
These values are different based on system settings and specs.
The actual paging file size shouldn’t be excessively larger than the recommended value.
If so, uncheck Automatically manage paging file size for all drives to customize it.
Tweak the Initial size and Maximum size values based on the recommended settings, press Ok, and see if it helps your computer boot up faster.
5. Outdated Drivers
Hardware drivers are crucial in the smooth operation of your system because they facilitate the communication between the operating system, hardware, and software.
You may never think of them as factors affecting the bootup speed of your computer, but they have a wide range of influences.
If you don’t keep your drivers updated, they may get corrupt and develop bugs.
Always ensure you have the latest driver versions installed on your system.
For slow bootup, the most important drivers are the graphics card, network, and audio because they play a significant role in booting up your system.
Since updating all the drivers can take time, you can start with these essential ones.
However, after your issue is solved, plan to update all of your drivers to ensure a smooth operation across the board.
Another essential driver that has helped users boot up faster is Intel’s Rapid Store Technology.
If you have this technology, you can find it in Device Manager under Disk Drivers.
If it’s not installed on your computer, you can go to Intel’s official website and download it.
6. Enable Fast Boot In BIOS
You can make your computer run faster by enabling a fast boot feature in BIOS.
It’s similar to the fast startup feature we talked about before.
They achieve this fast boot through different mechanisms.
While the Windows fast startup keeps the Windows kernel in the hibernation folder of the hard disk, the BIOS fast boot bypasses the five-second window in the startup screen and skips some POST tests.
If you’re sure your system is stable and can do without these tests, enable the fast boot feature in BIOS.
However, enabling this feature may also disable some other features.
For example, it may not allow you to boot from a USB drive, or you can’t get into BIOS since it boots ultra-fast.
As a result, overlockers or those who access their BIOS regularly may want to leave this feature off.
Sometimes, it may cause BSOD, so you can disable it if you run into such problems.
To enable fast boot settings in BIOS, restart your computer and enter BIOS by pressing F1, F2, F10, or Esc.
When you see the Windows logo, press F7 or select Advanced Mode.
In the new window, navigate to the Boot tab, and click Fast Boot.
Select Enable, hit F10 to save changes, and exit the BIOS settings.
7. Update BIOS
The primary PC component for booting the operating system is the BIOS since it initializes hardware components and their drivers.
After the OS loads, it takes over and performs the rest of the tasks.
If your computer doesn’t boot fast, you may need to update your BIOS.
However, since it’s firmware, updating BIOS is not as simple as updating software.
If you run into issues while updating software, you can simply roll back or uninstall the update to go back to normal.
However, you’ll damage your BIOS permanently if anything happens while updating.
If you’re not technically savvy, it’s better to leave this option out, especially if the slow startup issue doesn’t affect your performance.
Before updating your BIOS, you should know its current version.
Type msinfo in Cortana’s search box and open System Information.
You can see the BIOS version from the list of system information.
Now head to the manufacturer’s website and look for the latest version.
If you don’t have the latest version installed, download it from the website and install it according to the steps recommended by the manufacturer.
8. Disconnect Additional Hardware
Your computer needs some essential hardware to boot up.
Others are add-ons that don’t play a crucial role in your system’s operation.
Try to start your computer with a minimal set of connected hardware to ease the load on your system by giving it a few components to activate.
Leave the mouse and keyboard connected and detach all other connected devices, including USB devices, extra monitors (if you don’t need them), or flash drives.
You can even disable some built-in hardware if you don’t use them.
Those include the webcam, Bluetooth radio, or optical drives.
Go to Device manager, find the non-essential hardware component, right-click it, and select Disable Device.
9. Delete The WDI Directory Files
Windows Diagnostic Instructure contains the files generated when Windows boots up or shuts down.
Deleting the contents of this folder has proved to boost startup speed.
To do so, open File explorer and go to C:/Windows/System32/.
Scroll down to find the WDI folder and open it.
If you get a prompt that says You don’t have permission to access this folder, press Continue.
Press Ctrl + A to select all the files and delete them.
10. Run The Troubleshooter
Using the Windows built-in troubleshooter can sometimes help eliminate underlying causes that are difficult to detect.
While there’s not a specific Windows component known to cause the slow startup issue, many users have reported that botched Windows updates are a likely cause.
Go to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Additional troubleshooters.
Find Windows Updates under Get up and running and click on it.
Select Run the troubleshooter.
11. Other Solutions
If the above methods don’t help boot your Windows faster, you can try the following solutions.
However, they are simply workarounds or last-resort solutions, and you may want to skip them if your slow boot time isn’t annoying.
A. Put The PC Into Sleep Mode
Putting your computer in Sleep mode means it doesn’t need to boot from the hard drive.
Instead, it resumes from where you left off and saves the OS’s state on memory.
As a result, it will be in a low-power mode and doesn’t take long to boot.
Plus, you can keep the apps open and use them immediately after the PC boots.
B. Disable GUI Boot
The GUI boot is simply the graphical display you see upon startup.
While this Splash Screen helps you see what’s happening in your startup stages, you can speed up boot time by disabling it.
If you’re frustrated by the long boot time of your PC, give this a try.
Type msconfig in the search bar and open the System configuration app.
Click on the Boot tab and check No GUI boot.
Press Ok to save changes.
Next time you turn on your computer, you’ll see a black screen instead of the Splash screen, but don’t worry since Windows is booting up.
The only catch is that you may not immediately know if your computer crashes upon bootup.
C. Reset Your PC
Resetting your PC is a last-resort solution if nothing helps boost your startup speed.
A reset can install a fresh copy of Windows without losing your files and documents.
To perform a reset, go to Windows Settings and click Update & Security.
Go to Recovery > Get Started > Reset this PC.
Note. If you don’t feel comfortable resetting your PC, try installing the latest OS updates and see if it helps.