How to Fix a Windows Slow Start Up

Windows slow start up

Does your computer run great, except that you have to deal with Windows slow start up? If it takes forever to boot, the problem may be that it is trying to load too many programs at once. To solve this you need to clean up your “startup” file and remove them from the boot sequence.

We will not be removing the programs themselves, we will keep them from launching until you actually need them.

Auto Starts Cause Windows Slow Start Up

Some programs (and programmers) think they are important and will set themselves up to load when Windows starts. Unfortunately, that can be a lot of programs. You can find these programs by looking next to the clock on your desktop and, depending on your operating system, you should either see a series of icons, or an arrow. If you see the arrow click the arrow to reveal the icons. The icons you see are some of the programs currently running on the computer.

The only programs that everyone needs to run on start up are your protection programs, such as your antivirus. Everything else is optional. Look at what has started and decide what you don’t need to use immediately.

To keep a program from starting at boot up, open the program and look for a menu titled Options, this is frequently found as a subheading under Tools. Explore the Options menu until you find a check box that asks if you wish to run the program on start up or when Windows starts — and uncheck it. Save changes, close the program and move on to the next program. When you are done with all the programs, reboot your computer and you should already see some change.

Clean the Startup Folder

Next we will look at your Start up folder which contains shortcuts to programs that are supposed to start when Windows boots. To remove them from the sequence we will delete the shortcuts, this does not delete the program.

  1. Click on the Start Menu (or Windows icon) and look at All Programs.
  2. Locate and click on the folder named Startup.
  3. Any files located in this folder will automatically start when the computer does. If you do not need the programs at startup, then delete them. If you are concerned that you might need them, or that you would be deleting something vital, then copy the files to your desktop before deleting them from the folder.
  4. Reboot your computer to ensure it all works correctly. If the computer rebooted fine, and everything is operational, then delete the shortcuts you copied from step 3. If you feel you needed the program, then copy the shortcut back into the Startup folder.

Modify the Configuration

This is a slightly more advanced method that allows you to remove files from the startup without deleting them. You will be going into the System Configuration Utility.

  1. Click on the Start menu then click on “Run”. If you have a Windows icon, instead of a Start Menu, then click the icon and locate the search text box which serves the same purpose.
  2. Type “msconfig” into the text box and click OK or search and a new Window should open.
  3. To see a list of items that load automatically with Windows click the Start up tab.
  4. Next to the name of each program is a check box. Uncheck any boxes next to programs you don’t wish to load at start up. If you don’t know what the program is, then it is a good idea to leave it as is. You can always do some research and come back to remove it later.
  5. Click Apply to save your changes.
  6. Close the program and restart your computer.

When Windows reboots, you may have a pop-up message stating that Windows is starting in a selective or diagnostic mode. If so, click the checkbox asking it to not display this message in the future.

If none of these methods work and you still have a Windows slow start up there is one final drastic measure. You can modify your system registry. This is not recommended for amateurs as you can cause some major problems by deleting the wrong files and it can not be undone. This is the point you where should ask a professional for help. If you have done all the above and you still have Windows slow start up, then your problems could be more severe.

If you wish to proceed and attempt to modify your system registry then I suggest you do a search for “remove programs using system registry” and ensure that you are looking at the instructions for the correct edition of Windows.

A slow Windows start up is usually caused by too many programs in the boot sequence, which can be easily resolved. If you find that these methods don’t work, then it’s time to call in a professional.