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15 Ways to Fix Slow Boot Times in Windows 10/11

by Rahul Rai
Ways to Fix Slow Boot Times in Windows 10 or 11

Slow Windows boot time is a common problem that many of us have personally experienced. If your Windows 10 or 11 computer is also taking forever to boot, there’s no need to worry. In this article, we have compiled a list of all the possible fixes for a slow startup in Windows 10 and 11 PC.

1. Windows Update

Sometimes your PC or laptop may startup slowly because of bugs in the Windows 10/11 operating system (OS). Try updating your Windows and see if improves boot times on your PC.

To update your Windows PC, open Windows Settings (Windows Key + I), go to Windows Update, and then click the Check for updates button. If the updates are available, it will begin downloading and installing updates in the background.

Tips: If your Windows update is stuck, here are some ways to fix it.

Check for Windows Update

It is also likely that your computer started booting up slowly after updating Windows. Reasons may include bugs. If this is what happened, you can try uninstalling any previous update and see if it fixes the issue. To do that, follow the below steps:

1. Again go to the Windows Update page and click on the Update history.

Go to Windows Update

2. Under Related settings, hit the Uninstall updates option.

Go to Uninstall Updates page

3. Now, choose the recently installed update from the list and click on the Uninstall button located beside it. Confirm your action once more by clicking on the Uninstall button.

Uninstall Recently Installed Windows Updates

2. Enable Fast Startup

Fast Startup, also known as the hybrid boot, is a hybrid between a full shutdown and hibernation. The method it uses to reduce the startup time is by saving some of the system processes in the memory. During the next boot, instead of going through the entire boot process, Windows loads the saved system state from the hibernation file.

If your computer is compatible with hibernation, Fast Startup will be enabled by default. In case you have turned off this feature or is not showing up on your Windows 11 or 10 PC, here’s a detailed guide on it:

1. Open the Windows Search Box and look for the Choose a power plan setting. Once found, click on it.

Go to Power Plan Setting under Control Panel

2. Now on the left sidebar, click on the Choose what the power buttons do option.

Choose what the power buttons do

3. To edit Shutdown settings, click on Change settings that are currently unavailable.

Change settings that are currently unavailable

4. Lastly, enable the Turn on fast startup setting and hit the Save changes button.

Turn on fast startup on Windows PC

Note: Fast Startup doesn’t work on restart.

If you’re not seeing the Fast Startup option on your computer, it could be because hibernation is not enabled. To enable it, just open the Command Prompt (Admin) or Windows PowerShell (Admin) from the Windows Search Box and enter the following command:

powercfg /hibernate on

3. Disable Startup Apps

On your Windows computer, there are many apps or programs that run in the background. However, there are also some apps that automatically configure themselves to run at the start of your computer. This puts a lot of load on your system during startup and thus results in slower boot times on your laptop or PC.

Tip: Learn how to use Microsoft PC Manager to optimize Windows 10/11

Here’s how to disable startup apps:

1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc from your keyboard to open the Task Manager.

2. Next, click on the hamburger menu (3-bar) and then select Startup Apps.

3. Now right-click on the app and choose the Disable option.

Disable Startup Apps on Task Manager

Quick Note: Don’t blindly disable any app you see. If the app is essential, keep it enabled.

4. Update Graphic Drivers or Other Key Drivers

Sometimes you might be facing slow Windows startup due to the fact that your drivers are not up to date, particularly graphic drivers. Since the graphics card is a key component of your PC, it is important to keep it up to date for optimal performance.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Press Windows Key + X and select Device Manager.

2. Navigate to Display adapters and select your graphics card (AMD or Nvidia).

3. Next, right-click on it and hit the Update driver option.

Update Drivers via Device Manager

4. Now you got two choices, you can either let Windows search for updated drivers or manually browse your computer for drivers.

Search for updated drivers automatically or manually

Alternatively, you can also download and install the latest graphics driver straight from the vendor’s website or from your laptop manufacturer’s website.

Also, during our research, we found out that there were some users who were able to fix slow boot issues simply by updating their network drivers. So it’s best to keep your drivers up to date.

Tip: Here are some of the best network monitoring tools for Windows.

5. Disable Chrome Apps From Running in the Background

Most of us use Chrome on a daily basis and you might not know that Chrome apps run in the background even after closing the browser. In certain cases, it can also lead to slower boot speed on your Windows 10/11 computers.

To fix this issue, simply navigate to Chrome Settings > System and disable Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed.

Disable Chrome Apps From Running in the Background

Tip: Learn how to make your Google Chrome faster on your Windows.

6. Try Unplugging All USB Devices

Occasionally, even a USB device can cause interference during the computer’s startup process. So if you use a USB device like a Bluetooth dongle, wireless USB dongle for a keyboard & mouse, pen drive, or any other USB peripherals, eject all of them from your computer. After that, turn on your PC and see if this fixes the slow startup issue.

7. Run CHKDSK Scan

From here on, we will focus on some advanced technical methods like CHKDSK, SFC, and DISM. To begin with, we will first start with the CHKDSK command.

So what does CHKDSK do? With this command, you can scan and fix errors in the file systems of your drives. If there are a few corrupt or missing files on the drives, it will help you fix the issue and most probably also resolve the slow startup issue on your PC.

Here’s how to use CHKDSK (Check Disk) to repair or fix the hard drive/SSD:

1. Just type CMD in your Windows Search box and right-click on the Command Prompt.

2. After that, select Run as administrator.

Search Command Prompt

3. Now type the following command based on your need:

  • chkdsk [drive letter]: – It only identifies errors in the file system of your hard disk and does not fix any of them.
  • chkdsk [drive letter]: /f – It scans your drive and fixes any error it found in the system file.
  • chkdsk [drive letter]: /r – It tries to fix errors on both the software and hardware part of the drives. For example, if any sector of the drive is damaged, it will try to recover the data and relocate it to a good sector.

4. If it shows the “chkdsk cannot run” message, you can type “Y” and then press Enter key to schedule the scan after the computer restarts.

8. Run SFC Scan

If your Windows PC is booting up slowly because of an error in the Windows system file, you can use the SFC command. This command is specifically designed to locate and fix errors in the Windows file system. To do that, just open the Command Prompt (Admin) and enter the command “sfc /scannow” and then hit the Enter key.

That’s all. It will begin scanning your computer for errors and fix them if any are found.

Run SFC Scan

9. Run DISM Scan

If the SFC method is unable to fix the problem, then the last resort left is running a DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) scan. What it does is perform a thorough scan of system files, and upon completion, it connects to Windows Update online to download and replace damaged files. Therefore, if you’ve lost any crucial files that are required during boot time, this method might help you fix the problem.

To use DISM, simply open the Command Prompt as Admin and type “Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth” and then hit the Enter key. Within a few seconds, it will begin scanning your computer.

Run DISM Scan

Quick Note: It will only scan for corrupted files without making any changes.

Other than “CheckHealth” there are other two options you can use – “ScanHealth” and “RestoreHealth”

If you want a more advanced scan, again without making any changes to the Windows system files, you can use the DISM with the “ScanHealth” command. Whereas, if you want to recover any damaged files, you can add the “RestoreHealth” command. This will connect to Windows Update and download all the necessary files.

10. Adjust Virtual Memory

In case you don’t know when your Windows PC runs out of memory, it uses your hard disk as virtual memory to prevent the system from crashing. And it is known that Windows automatically changes the virtual memory allocation periodically, which may negatively impact your PC’s startup performance.

To address this problem, you can manually adjust the amount of virtual memory you want your computer to use when required. Here’s how:

1. Type performance in the Windows Search Box and click on “Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows”.

Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows

2. Now switch to the Advanced tab and hit the Change button (under virtual memory).

Go to Virtual Memory Setting

3. After that, uncheck the box that says “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives”.

4. Next, select the drive and choose the custom size option, and then set the initial and maximum size.

5. Once done, hit the Set button and click OK.

Customize Virtual Memory on Your Windows PC

6. After a pop-up message, hit the OK button and restart your computer to see the effects.

Restart your computer to see the effects

11. Run a Malware Scan

If your computer is infected with malware, it’s likely the reason why your computer is taking a long time to start. Fortunately, Windows comes with a built-in malware scanner and it is good enough to protect you from many harmful viruses out there.

Here’s how to use Windows Security on your PC:

1. Go to Windows Search and look for Windows Security app.

Search Windows Security app from Start

2. Open the app and navigate to Virus & threat protection section. On the right side, click on the Scan options.

Windows Security App

3. Now all you need to do is select the Full scan option and then hit the Scan now button to begin looking for malware on your PC.

Scan for Virus using Windows Security

We also advise you to remove any pirated software or games from the PC, as they are one of the biggest sources of malware and can easily degrade your computer’s performance, including boot speed.

12. Remove 3rd-Party Anti-virus Software

As mentioned earlier, Windows has built-in anti-virus software, so there’s no need for additional anti-virus software. Moreover, it also impacts both your PC’s performance and startup speed. So unless you’re specifically looking for a particular feature in an anti-virus app, refrain from installing any of them.

Additionally, to confirm whether it’s really your anti-malware software the cause for slow boot, consider uninstalling the anti-virus app and check if it improves the startup speed of your computer.

13. Upgrade Storage

We have seen how fast the computer boots up when switched from HDD to SSD and the difference is massive. So if you have an old computer or laptop that is running on a hard disk, try switching to SSD. You will see a noticeable difference in your boot times.

14. Reset Windows

If none of the above methods work, then the only option left for you is to reset your Windows computer or do a fresh installation of Windows. I still remember when I updated my Windows laptop from Windows 8 to 8.1, my HP laptop used to take forever to boot up. However, after a fresh installation of Windows, it worked like a charm.

Tip: To make your job easier, we have created an ultimate guide on how to reset your Windows.

15. Update Your BIOS

Another thing you can do is update your BIOS. The BIOS is responsible for initializing hardware components and providing the basic instructions for the computer to start up. So we believe updating the BIOS may resolve the issue.

However, this method carries some risks and if the update is not performed correctly or interrupted, it can make your computer totally inoperable. Therefore, take proper precautions before proceeding with this method.

Let’s Speed Things Up!

There are several factors why you might experience slow boot times on your Windows 10/11 computer. That’s why in this article we have tried to cover every possible solution that can help you boost your Windows startup speed. If the issue persists, chances are high that there must be some hardware-related issue with your PC that can’t be fixed with some software troubleshooting or basic troubleshooting techniques.

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