How to Disable Windows 10 Fast Startup

Learn how to disable the Fast Startup feature in Windows 10

What to Know

  • Search for and select Control Panel in the Windows Toolbar. Search Power OptionsChange what the power buttons do.
  • Uncheck Turn on fast startup (recommended)Save Changes.
  • Fast Startup is enabled by default and boots your PC faster from a shutdown when you have hibernation enabled. 

This article explains how to disable the Windows 10 Fast Startup option available when you power up your computer from a complete shutdown and includes information on why you may want to disable Fast Startup.

How to Disable Fast Startup in Window 10

Fast Startup is enabled by default, but you can easily disable it in a few clicks.

  1. Select the Search icon on the Windows toolbar.

    Windows Toolbar and Search icon.
  2. Type Control Panel and press Enter on your keyboard.

    Typing control panel in Windows 10 search.
  3. Type Power Options in the Control Panel search box.

    Power Options in Control Panel.
  4. Select Change what the power buttons do.

    Power Options in Windows 10.
  5. Select Change settings that are currently unavailable.

    Selecting Change settings in Power Options.
  6. Select Turn on fast startup (recommended) so that the checkmark disappears.

    Turn Off Fast Startup Windows 10.
  7. Select the Save Changes button.

  8. Exit the Power Options window. To check your startup speed, shut down your computer, and boot it up. Remember, Fast Startup works to launch Windows faster after a shutdown. It has no effect when you reboot your computer. 

    If you want to re-enable fast startup at any point, simply repeat the steps so a checkmark appears next to Turn on fast startup.

    Tip:

    Press Shift when you select Shut Down. This makes Windows force a hard shutdown when Fast Startup is enabled.

Difference Between Fast Startup and Hibernate

Microsoft implemented Fast Startup to help your computer start up faster after you shut down your computer. With Fast Startup, the computer does not actually shut down completely. It enters a specific type of hibernation state instead of a full shutdown.

Fast Startup is a bit different than the usual Wake-from-hibernation mode you have enabled earlier. Here, Windows saves the hibernation file (Hiberfil.sys) into memory with a saved image of the Windows kernel and loaded drivers. This specific hibernation file is smaller than the file which Windows saves when you choose to hibernate the system. 

Fast Startup is a lighter version of wake-from-hibernate. Microsoft sees it as a hybrid combination of a cold startup and a wake-from-hibernation startup.

Remember, hibernation saves everything that was part of the last state of your computer. It could be all open files, folders, and applications. Hibernate is an ideal choice if you want to launch the system to the exact state it was in when you left it. That’s why hibernate also takes a longer time than Fast Startup. 

When you enable Fast Startup and shutdown the computer, Windows closes all open files and applications and logs off all users. But Windows keeps the Kernel (the basic Windows process at the heart of the operating system) running along with all device drivers. This state is saved to a hibernation file and your PC shuts down. When you start the computer again, Windows does not have to launch the kernel and drivers one by one again. Instead, it takes the last saved information from the hibernation file and brings you to the login screen.

In short, Fast Startup saves just the part you see when you open your computer and launch Windows for the first time in the morning and arrive at the log-in screen. 

Why You Should Disable Fast Startup in Windows 10

You can’t deny the speed benefits of booting up quickly. The seconds you save are noticeable especially if your operating system is on an HDD instead of an SSD. The difference in speed is less obvious on the faster solid-state drives that are optimized for rapid boot-ups. But the feature isn’t without its drawbacks for some everyday Windows tasks when it is enabled. 

  • System updates: With Fast Startup, your computer doesn’t go through the usual shut down sequence. As a temporary folder stores the update files and installs them with a shutdown and then a restart, Windows may not be able to apply them as the PC doesn’t truly shutdown. The ideal option here is to reboot your computer by selecting Restart instead of Shut down. 
  • Access BIOS/UEFI settings: Some systems may not be able to access the BIOS/UEFI when Fast Startup is enabled. Do check if your PC allows you to access the BIOS screen with Fast Startup enabled. If not, a restart should allow you to go around this problem.
  • Multi-Booting environments: You cannot boot the system into an OS other than the one you exited with a shutdown when Fast Startup is enabled. Also, the hibernation file can get corrupted if you boot into the second OS and modify files on the part that has Windows. To prevent these mishaps, always disable Fast Startup if you have installed two operating systems on the same computer.  
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