If you first installed Windows 10 on a clean hard drive you probably notice that it launched much more quickly than Windows 8.1 ever did. However over time, as you’ve installed more programs, you may have noticed that the once sprightly boot-up time is now noticeably longer. The reason for this is that many programs add files to the Windows start-up process, which are run as Windows launches, slowing down the launch process.
Some of these files are genuinely useful, doing things like updating your anti-virus software or launching and synchronising Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive; others are simply checking for software updates or initialising drivers for seldom used hardware. The more of these start-up items there are, the slower Windows will launch.
Speed Up Windows Launch
Fortunately there’s a very simple way to check and if necessary disable these start-up items, restoring your Windows launch speed to its former pace.
To get started right-click on the Start button and select Task Manager from the power menu. This shows you a list of your currently running apps. To see more, click on the “More details” button at the bottom of the screen.
The More details view shows you not just running apps but all the other services and routines that Windows is currently running and there are a lot of them! However what we’re interested in is found on the Start-up tab, so click on that.
The Start-up tab shows you a list of the apps that run every time you launch Windows. On the left column is the name of the app, followed by the manufacturer’s name, then the status: enabled or disabled. The right column shows the impact on start-up speed.
Next you need to look through the list and decide which programs you really need to have starting up at launch, paying particular attention to any high impact apps. Things like iTunes Helper and cloud storage apps are prime examples.
To disable an app select it and click on the Disable button at the bottom of the window. If you’re wondering which apps it’s safe to disable, the answer is all of them; Windows will still run although it’s best to leave your security app as an enabled start-up item.
Note that disabling an app in the start-up menu doesn’t uninstall the app from your system and you can always start any app you need manually. All disabling an app in the start-up list does is to prevent it from starting on launch.
Once you’ve been through the list and disabled any apps that don’t need to start on launch, close the Task Manager and try restarting your PC. You should find that it now boots up more quickly.
Whenever you install a new app it’s a good idea to check the start-up list again to make sure that it hasn’t added itself to your launch process; if it has simply disable it to maintain your fast boot-up time.