How to Disable the Windows XP Splash Screen Using MSConfig

Screenshot of the System Configuration Utility in Windows XP with the NOGUIBOOT option enabled
System Configuration Utility Window.

The Windows XP logo that shows up during the boot process is called the "splash screen." While it can be nice to look at while Windows is booting up, it really serves no purpose and can actually slow your computer down slightly. Disabling this splash screen can help Windows boot up a little faster.

Disabling the Windows XP splash screen can be achieved by following a few simple steps outlined below using the System Configuration Utility (also called msconfig) that's built-in to Windows XP.

How to Disable the Windows XP Splash Screen

  1. Open the Run dialog box by clicking on Start and then Run....
  2. Type the following command in the search box, and then hit the Enter key.
    1. msconfig 
      This command will load the System Configuration Utility program.
    2. Note: If you don't see the Run option in the Start menu, you can open it with the Windows Key + R keyboard combination. See Tip 3 at the bottom of this page for another way you can open the System Configuration Utility.
    3. Important: Do not make any changes in the System Configuration Utility other than those that we've outlined here. Doing so could cause serious system issues given that this utility controls a number of startup activities other than those involved with disabling the splash screen.
  3. Click on the BOOT.INI tab located at the top of the System Configuration Utility window.
  4. Check the checkbox next to /NOGUIBOOT and click OK.
    1. This option is at the bottom of the System Configuration Utility window, in the Boot Options section.
    2. Note: Make sure you pay attention to which checkbox you're enabling - there are several choices in the Boot Options section. You should actually notice in the text area at the top of the System Configuration Utility window, that "/noguiboot" is added to the end of the bottom command.
    3. Note: What you're doing at this step is actually editing the boot.ini file. To see how to do this manually, see Tip 4​ below.
  5. You will then be prompted to either Restart, which will restart the PC immediately, or Exit Without Restart, which will close the window and allow you to restart the PC manually like at a later time.
  6. After the restart, the PC will boot into Windows XP without showing the splash screen. This will result in a slightly faster boot time.
    1. Note: Windows XP will continue to boot in this manner until the System Configuration Utility is configured to again boot normally. Tip 1 below explains how to reverse the steps from above to make the splash screen reappear.

Tips & More Information

  1. To re-enable the Windows XP splash screen during boot, follow the instructions above to enter the System Configuration Utility but this time choose the Normal Startup - load all device drivers and services radio button in the General tab, and click OK.
  2. After Windows XP starts back up following the System Configuration Utility change, you'll be prompted with a notification that says that you've changed the way Windows starts. You can exit that message - it's just a follow-up notification telling you that a change has been made.
  3. If you'd prefer to use a Command Prompt to open the System Configuration Utility, you can do so with the start msconfig command. If you don't know how to do that, see our guide on How to Open Command Prompt.
  4. An advanced method of disabling the Windows XP splash screen that accomplishes the exact same thing the above steps do, is to add the /noguiboot parameter to the boot.ini file manually. If you look at the screenshot at the top of this page, you can see that it's added to the end of the command even when you use the System Configuration Utility tool.
    1. To open the file, open the System applet from the Control Panel and then go into the Advanced tab to find the Startup and Recovery section. Use the Settings button there, and then the Edit button on the next screen, to open the boot.ini file.
    2. Tip: All of the above steps could be replaced by opening boot.ini with a text editor. The file is located on the root of the C drive.
    3. Type /noguiboot at the very end of the last line to disable the splash screen. For example, if the last line in your boot.ini file reads as "/noexecute=optin /fastdetect," put a space after "/fastdetect" and then type "/noguiboot." The end of the line might look something like this:
    4. /noexecute=optin /fastdetect /noguiboot
      Finally, just save the INI file and restart Windows XP to see that the splash screen no longer shows. To reverse this step, either remove what you just added to the INI file or follow Tip 1 above.