These Programs Slow Down Your Windows 10 Boot

Joe Keeley 26-01-2018

If you’ve noticed that your Windows 10 system takes longer to boot than it used to 6 Ways to Fix Slow Boot Times in Windows 10 If your Windows 10 boot time is slow, you aren't alone. We've compiled the most common solutions to help you fix slow startup on Windows 10. Read More , sluggish programs launching on start-up might be the culprit. We’re going to show you how to check what programs are automatically starting and how to disable them.


Some programs won’t ask permission to be included on your boot list, while others may have come included with your computer as bloatware How to Easily Remove Bloatware From Windows 10 Windows 10 comes with its own set of pre-installed apps. Let's look at the methods you can use to remove the bloatware on your PC and debloat Windows 10. Read More . Whatever the case, it’s time to take back control and get your boot blazing fast.

Have you found particular programs troublesome when it comes to startup? Let us know in the comments below.

Locate and Disable Startup Programs

You can see what programs are launching on start-up through the Windows Task Manager. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to launch it. If you see Expand details at the bottom of the window, click that.

Switch to the Start-up tab. To get more information, right-click one of the table headers (like Name) and tick both Disk I/O at start-up and CPU at start-up.

programs slow down windows 10 boot


Left-click the Start-up header to sort the programs from High to Low impact. These are the programs that put more strain on your disk and CPU, which can cause your computer to take longer to fully load. It’s time to identify what programs you want to disable from automatically loading on boot.

Hopefully, you know what all of the programs are. If not, right-click it and click Search online to find out more. Be cautious: just because you don’t recognize something doesn’t automatically mean it’s bad.

programs slow down windows 10 boot

To disable a program from loading on start-up, right-click it from the list and click Disable. You can reverse this at any time with another right-click and clicking Enable.


Disabling those with High or Medium start-up impact will be more beneficial for your boot speeds than those classed as Low, but everything helps. Take the time to review the whole list.

Hidden Startup Programs

While Task Manager is a great and simple way of viewing your start-up programs, it won’t necessarily show all of them. The best way to ensure everything is visible is using an official Microsoft utility called Autoruns for Windows.

programs slow down windows 10 boot

Download it, launch the application and switch to the Logon tab. You can click a program on the list to see more details about it in the lower pane, including name and file size.


To remove it from your startup, simply untick that row’s box. You may need to confirm the action by clicking Run as administrator.

We’ve previously guided you through how to use Autoruns How to Manage Windows Startup Programs with Autoruns Every power user has wrestled with their Windows startup at one point or another. We show you how to speed up your boot time, either manually or with Autoruns, a tool from Microsoft. Read More to manage Windows startup programs.

Common Startup Program Culprits

1. Gaming Clients

If you use a gaming client like Steam, Origin, or GOG Galaxy, you might find they’ve made the presumption you want these to boot with your system. There is a logic behind it: updates can be pushed through to the games in the background, meaning you don’t need to wait before playing them.

programs slow down windows 10 boot


The only problem is that they take no pity when it comes to the impact they have on your disk. If you’re a constant gamer then you might want to let them be there on startup, or perhaps just the one you use the most, but otherwise it’s safe to disable them.

2. Chat Applications


Having chat applications like Skype or Discord will immediately let your friends know you’re online and available for chatting. Trouble is, they also leave a heavy footprint on your startup times. Skype especially is known for being a particularly buggy program 7 Skype Bugs That Microsoft Could Have Avoided Have you been struggling with Skype? The latest update was full of bugs again. Microsoft released a fix. Still many issues remain. What's the beef you have with Skype? Read More . Consider disabling them.

3. Adobe Programs

Adobe Reader is bloated and unnecessary This Is Why You Don't Need Adobe Reader Adobe Reader is bloated, slow, and a liability. In short, it's unnecessary. Do you need a PDF Reader at all? We show you how to open PDF files without Adobe Reader. Read More , but you might find it’s included in your startup.

There’s definitely no need to do this. If you want to keep it, despite the better alternatives 4 Very Light Alternatives to Adobe Reader Are you still using Adobe Reader for PDF documents? It's time to move on to an alternative PDF reader that is lightweight, launches quickly, and yet keeps your documents save. Read More , at least disable it from startup.


You might also find Adobe ARM listed, which is used for auto-updating the Adobe programs. This is perhaps more useful, but still an unnecessary bloat.

4. Cloud Storage

Other common culprits include cloud storage programs like OneDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive. The reason they launch on startup is so that they can automatically sync your files. There’s no doubt that this is a great benefit if you’re a heavy user of them.

programs slow down windows 10 boot

However, if you’re not so invested in the cloud storage ecosystem and don’t require that sort of immediate syncing, it’s fine to disable them from startup. Remember, your files will sync through from other devices, but now only when you specifically open that cloud folder.

5. Apple Utilities

Apple is a big culprit when it comes to pointless start-up programs. If QuickTime is present, uninstall it entirely. Apple doesn’t support it and your internet browser does a better job at playing video natively than QuickTime ever did.

programs slow down windows 10 boot

iTunes Helper and Apple Push might also be there, especially if you’ve ever connected an iOS device to your computer. The former ensures that iTunes automatically launches when you plug in an iOS device. The latter is meant to help your system communicate with iCloud, but it’ll perform the same without it. Both of these can be disabled.

Things to Keep

Things that you shouldn’t disable include antivirus software and usually anything that supports hardware or peripherals, like your graphics card or mouse. Disabling these on startup could cause them to not function properly.

For assistance on what you should definitely not disable, along with other advice on what you can ditch, check out the Startup Programs Database.

Uninstall Programs

If you want to get rid of a program entirely from your system, not just the startup, that’s easy.

programs slow down windows 10 boot

Press Windows key + I to open Settings and click Apps. Use the Search this list field to quickly filter the list. Once you’ve located the program you want to remove, click it and click Uninstall.

If you have a lot of programs to remove, check out our guide on how to uninstall in bulk How To Install & Uninstall Windows Programs In Bulk A mass installer or uninstaller can save you heaps of time. Remember the last time you set up a new computer? We are going to teach you how to do these tasks in a flash. Read More .

Control Your Boot

Hopefully, this guide has helped you get your start-up programs under control, with only exactly what you want greeting you on boot. If you’re looking for even better speeds, check our guide on speeding up Windows 10 from boot to shut down How to Speed Up Windows 10 From Boot to Shut Down Registry tweaks and ominous cleaners rarely fix a slow computer. We have compiled a list of tried-and-true methods that will give your Windows 10 computer an instant performance boost. Read More .

Want to take that one step further? Be sure to read how to increase Windows 10 performance 14 Ways to Make Windows 10 Faster and Improve Performance It's not hard to make Windows 10 faster. Here are several methods to improve the speed and performance of Windows 10. Read More , which is packed full of great tips.

What programs did you find were causing startup problems? Do you have any other methods to clear them out?

Image Credit: PicsFive/Depositphotos

Related topics: Windows 10, Windows Task Manager.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Paul
    December 12, 2019 at 1:58 am

    I am a little confused. One of these articles tells you to turn off Fast Start Up and another tells you to turn it on. Which is it? Thanks

  2. Johnny Kizzee
    February 22, 2018 at 10:51 pm

    Super Great article but need to print it easily.

  3. mike
    February 18, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    Yes, I have a solution to this ever increasing need for users to strip out Windows junk-ware. Format disk, install Linux.
    1. Installation is easier and quicker.
    2. System boots faster.
    3. Updates take minutes rather than hours.
    4. You get to have exactly what you want, with little or no hassle.
    5.Linux doesn't spy on you.
    6. Linux providers don't slyly install apps you don't want.
    7. Did I mention Linux is free?
    8. Your system doesn't mysterious slow down over time.
    9. To date I have never had a mystery crash, or the Linux equivalent to the "Blue screen of death."

    You get the idea....

    Windows is soooo yesterday, even Microsoft is moving on to other products. I am surprised that PC makers don't dump this boat anchor and work together to install a Linux version that mirrors Windows for new users and stop paying the hidden Windows tax on their equipment. I don't know who came up with the idea of letting Microsoft off the hook for user help, but the person who accepted this should be shot and then fired.

    If pressed I would by a Mac before I would buy another machine with a Microsoft OS or go back to reading books and writing letters.

  4. Gilbert Jagot
    January 31, 2018 at 12:29 am

    After reading the article and getting to "What programs did you find were causing startup problems? Do you have any other methods to clear them out?" my system decided to do something which prevented me from doing anything for about 5 minutes. The mouse didn't move and the drive was constantly busy.

    So, my answers to those two questions would be:

    Time to reboot into Linux now.

    • Mike Walsh
      February 5, 2018 at 10:22 pm

      Yeah, there's a very quick way to permanently banish those crazy Windoze start-up problems.

      Uninstall it! PERMANENTLY. (...and banish it to the dustbin where it belongs!)

  5. Tim Turner
    January 30, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    I don't mind waiting for windows to boot and load up all my stuff so I don't have to, but I don't like how slow it copies files from one place to another. Awful.

    • dragonmouth
      February 3, 2018 at 3:06 pm

      It could be all the other stuff running that slows down your copies.

      • Tim Turner
        February 3, 2018 at 5:56 pm

        Didn't seem to ever be a problem with my old Laptop and Windows 8 with even more stuff running. Now using a 3 month old Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop, Intel Core i7, GeForce GTX 1060, 17.3" Full HD, 16GB DDR4, 1TB HHD + 256GB SSD, and it's slower. I have to think it's Windows 10 in some way. Boots up 10 times faster than the old one.... and even delays some items from starting up.

  6. XXX
    January 30, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    The most important thing: install OOSU10 or similar software

  7. bluesjr
    January 30, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    great article!

    I've been fighting the 100% disk usage for some months, so it's useful to learn more about startup, as well as alternative to some common software.

  8. ACB23
    January 28, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    "Adobe Reader is bloated and unnecessary" -- totally disagree. I've used Adobe reader for a long time and I must say that it stays the nr. 1 tool for reading PDFs. But I agree that Adobe reader UPDATER is unnecessary, especially when it loads on startup.

    • Dennis Christensen
      January 29, 2018 at 8:37 am

      Adobe Reader takes a huge load on your PC. Been using Sumatra PDF for years now without killing PC performance.

      • Ed Newbold
        January 30, 2018 at 3:10 pm

        Me too. Sumatra is a great little PDF reader!

        • Kescarte DeJudica
          January 30, 2018 at 9:14 pm

          Same. It can read epubs too.

      • ACB23
        February 4, 2018 at 7:35 am

        On my PC it loads normally. But if you have a low-end netbook then ok, use whatever you want. There are things that works only with adobe reader, for example I must sign PDFs with digital signature (company rules...) that is not compatible with other readers (i.e. I cannot open PDF). I tried and I know what happens.