How to Speed Up Windows Boot Time | Simple Options

How to speed up Windows Boot Time

In this article, I’m going to mention 14 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.

Disable Visual Effects

On most modern PCs, this tip won’t really make much of a difference, but one older machines, it can make a pretty big difference. It can also make a difference if you have a decent computer, but a crappy graphics card.

Disabling visual effects in Windows will basically make your computer look more like Windows 2000 since it will get rid of the Aero theme and remove all transparency and animations. When it comes to boot times, disabling the visual effects will bring up the desktop slightly faster.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Upgrade to an SSD

I didn’t want to mention much hardware stuff, but this can be a fairly cheap option with huge benefits. You can grab a 64 or 128 GB SSD for probably less than $100 today and install only Windows on that drive. Obviously, moving your current installation or installing from scratch is a lot of work, so this is not something everyone can do, but it’s definitely worth a shot.

An SSD has significantly improved the boot time on my Windows 7 machine and it makes running programs in Windows a lot faster too. Even though it’s not an easy task, it’ll give you far better returns than most of the software tips I mention here.

Keep PC Updated

When Windows loads, it has to load a lot of drivers to make sure everything works properly like your USB ports, the graphics card, the sound card, the hard drive, the network card, the memory chips, etc, etc.

It’s important, then, to keep all of these drivers updated as the latest versions contain fixes, speed improvements, compatibility improvements, etc. Thankfully, there are lots of software tools out there that can automatically update drivers for you.

In addition, you should always install the latest Windows updates using the Windows Update tool in Control Panel.

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?
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