Every day millions of Windows machines are booted up and everyday millions of people sit idly by waiting for Windows to load onto the desktop. The amount of time wasted can probably be measured in weeks considering how slow most Windows PCs boot up! Thankfully, there are a lot of steps you can take to speed your computer’s boot time.
In this article, I’m going to mention different ways I have speed up my PC over the years and hopefully you’ll find that they work for you also. Some you can implement immediately whereas others would require buying new hardware or changing your operating system. I’m not going to mention buying a new computer as that’s an obvious solution. The point is to speed up boot times without having to drastically change your current setup.
Before we get to the list, I wanted to mention that I had written separate articles on quite a few of the tips for improving boot times, so it’s a good idea to check out each link as it will go into detail on how to implement that particular suggestion.
Method 1 : Uninstall Programs
In addition to disabling startup programs, you should also uninstall any programs that you no longer use or need. I’ve seen a lot of PCs with tons and tons of apps from years bygone that just sit on people’s computers like dust on a fan. There comes a time when you need to get rid of those programs because they add registry entries that will slow down the boot process.
Method 2: Run Cleanup Utlities
One problem you can run into with uninstalling a bunch of programs is that the registry entries they created don’t necessarily get removed. In those types of cases, I always recommend running a cleanup utility like CCleaner because they are very safe and do make a difference in boot times.
Method 3: Disable Unneeded Hardware
If you can reduce the number of drivers that Windows has to load on startup, then you will reduce the boot time also. If you go into device manager, you’ll see there are a couple of items you can disable if you no longer use them.
Some of the items I have disabled include floppy disk drives and controllers, bluetooth controllers and radios, modems and virtual Wifi adapters. Obviously, you only want to disable the stuff you know you’re not going to be using. I never use bluetooth on my desktop, so why waste resources right?
Method 4: Free Up Disk Space
The first thing I do on any computer running slow is clean up the disk space because I have found that to be the culprit more often than I would have ever imagined. There are a lot of features of Windows that use up quite a bit of disk space like the recycle bin, system restore, hibernation file, backed up service pack files, then WinSxS folder, temp directories, etc.
On top of that, you might have a lot of data sitting on your hard that you might be able to move to an external hard drive or delete like duplicate files. Check out my previous posts on clearing all the above-mentioned stuff off your hard drive.
Method 5: Defragment Hard Drive
Again, this particular tip will help those who are running older versions of Windows like Vista or XP because Windows 7 and Windows 8 automatically defragment hard drives.
Also, if you are using a SSD (solid state drive) instead of a traditional hard drive, you want to make sure NOT to defragment the drive.
Method 6: Disable Startup Programs
Startup programs are the other major factor in slow Windows boot times. If you are one of those people who have anything over 5 icons showing up in the notification area of the taskbar, then your boot time can probably be reduced. Using the MSCONFIG utility, which comes with pretty much every version of Windows, you can disable startup programs quickly and easily.
Most startup programs can be disabled because they are for third-party programs like Adobe, Dropbox, Google Update, etc. You can manually run all of these yourself when you need to use them thereby reducing the amount of times it takes Windows to load.
Method 7 : Optimize Paging File
The paging file always plays an important role in Windows and even though most people never mess with the paging file, it can be used to boost Windows performance and reduce boot times if configured properly.
It’s especially important to optimize the paging file if your computer doesn’t have a lot of RAM. Anything less than 4GB of RAM is reason enough to play around with the paging file.
Method 8 :Install More RAM
I’ve run into a lot of modern machines running Windows 8 with Core i3, i5 or i7 processors, but managing with only 2 or 4 GB of RAM! 4 GB is not bad and should be enough for most people, but there is no reason any modern computer should have less RAM than that installed.
If you’re running 64-bit Windows on a desktop, then you should try to shoot for 8 GB of RAM. Note that if you have a 32-bit OS, Windows can’t see more than 4 GB of RAM anyway, so that’s the max you should have installed.
That’s about it. Hope you enjoyed the list and some of the tips helped speed up your boot time. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment. Enjoy!