How to Improve Startup Time in Windows 10

Edit your startup programs list to begin working faster

What to Know

  • Go to the Task Manager, select each program that you don't want to start up automatically, then select Disable.
  • Run an anti-virus scan, disable hardware you don't use, upgrade your RAM, or switch to an SSD.

This article explains how to improve startup time in Windows 10 by disabling startup programs.

How to View Windows Startup Programs

Most PCs have too many programs that start up when the computer boots. If the startup time for your Windows PC has slowed to a crawl, you might be able to speed it up with a little house (program) cleaning.

Go to the Task Manager to see which programs start when you turn on your PC. Having a clear understanding of your start-up programs can help you determine which programs don't need to start.

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open Task Manager.

  2. In the Task Manager, select the Startup tab. The Startup tab is "command central" for the programs that start when you boot into Windows. If you've owned your computer for any length of time, this may be a long list.

    startup tab

    If you don't see the Startup tab, or any tabs, select More details in the lower-left corner of the Task Manager.

Viewing Startup Programs

The key to tinkering with startup programs is to know which programs you need and don't need at startup. In general, most items in this list can be turned off (disabled), but you may want to keep some running (enabled).

If you have a graphics card, for example, it's probably a good idea to leave any related software programs enabled. You also shouldn't disable any software that's linked directly to other hardware on your PC, just to be on the safe side.

If you use a service like Dropbox or Google Drive, you'll want to leave it alone as well.

It's fine to disable services like Dropbox or Google Drive if your cloud syncing goes through Microsoft OneDrive.

Before disabling programs, it's a good idea to look through the list to see what's there. The startup tab has four columns:

  • Name: Name of the program.
  • Publisher: Company that made the program.
  • Status: Specifies if the program is enabled or disabled.
  • Startup Impact: Measurement indicating how much a program affects the PC's startup time (None, Low, Medium, or High).

The Startup Impact column is the most important one when it comes to start up time. Look for any programs that have a High rating because these use the most computing resources while the PC is booting. Next on the list are programs rated Medium and then Low.

Disabling Start Up Programs

Once you have a list of programs that are impacting your startup time, it's time to disable some. If you're feeling a bit skittish, keep in mind that even if you disable a program from startup, you can always re-enable it.

  1. Select each program that you don't want to start up automatically.

    Selected program in Task Manager
  2. Select Disable in the lower-right corner of the Task Manager.

    disable startup task
  3. Once you're done disabling startup programs, close the Task Manager. Your startup times should now improve depending on how many programs you've disabled.

More Troubleshooting Tips

If your PC is still slow to boot after disabling a bunch of startup programs, you may have to dig deeper. It's always a good idea to run an anti-virus scan in case malware is infecting your system. You could also look at disabling hardware you don't use or upgrading your RAM.

After that, if you still want a faster boot time, install a solid-state drive (SSD). When it comes to speeding up your PC, nothing works better than switching to an SSD.

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