5 Tips to Fix Slow Boot Times in Windows 10
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Microsoft has celebrated the first birthday of Windows 10 with the Anniversary Update (AU), available now for anyone running Windows 10. The update brings many new features 9 Windows 10 Anniversary Update Features You'll Love 9 Windows 10 Anniversary Update Features You'll Love Are you still on the fence about the Windows 10 Anniversary Update? We have summarized the most important new features. Be sure to try all of them if you've already upgraded! Read More , including new powers for Cortana and streamlining the experience across the board.

However, it’s not all perfect. There have been tons of issues caused by the Anniversary Update 16 Windows 10 Anniversary Update Issues & How to Fix Them 16 Windows 10 Anniversary Update Issues & How to Fix Them The Windows 10 Anniversary Update brings many improvements, but it has also introduced a host of new problems and annoyances. Here's how to troubleshoot and fix them. Read More , with new problems popping up all the time. While we’ve discussed fixes for many of them, one of the most prevalent problems seems to be that Windows takes forever to boot after the AU.

Let’s take a look at a variety of fixes that might clear up this issue for you. If you don’t have the AU yet, you can get it now How to Get the Windows 10 Anniversary Update Now How to Get the Windows 10 Anniversary Update Now Windows 10 is receiving a major upgrade this month. The Anniversary Update is rolling out slowly. We show you how to upgrade now, how to delay the upgrade, and which pitfalls to watch out for. Read More , but be sure to back up first in case something goes wrong.

Please note that while we are covering common solutions to this issue, this is not an exhaustive list of fixes. If you try all of these and still experience slow booting, you might have a bigger problem. In addition, you should review the general guide to speeding up Windows 10 How to Speed 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 for more generic tips.

1. Disable Fast Boot

Far and away, the most problematic setting when it comes to boot time in Windows 10 is the Fast Boot option This Little Tweak Will Make Windows 10 Boot Even Faster This Little Tweak Will Make Windows 10 Boot Even Faster Here's a simple setting you can enable on your PC that will speed up Windows 10's boot time. Read More . Enabled by default, this option is supposed to reduce startup time by pre-loading some boot information before your PC shuts off. While the name sounds promising, it’s been causing issues for a lot of people, and is the first thing you should disable when you have boot problems.

Open the Start Menu and type Power Options to get to the Power menu, then click Choose what the power buttons do in the left panel. You’ll need to provide administrator permission to change the settings on this page, so click the text at the top of the screen that reads Change settings that are currently unavailable.

Now, untick Turn on fast startup (recommended) and Save Changes to disable this setting. Note that restarting your computer Why Does Rebooting Your Computer Fix So Many Issues? Why Does Rebooting Your Computer Fix So Many Issues? "Have you tried rebooting?" It's technical advice that gets thrown around a lot, but there's a reason: it works. Not just for PCs, but a wide range of devices. We explain why. Read More isn’t affected by this feature.

If you don’t see the Fast Boot option, you don’t have hibernation enabled Sleep Mode vs. Hibernate Mode: Which Power-Saving Mode Should You Use? Sleep Mode vs. Hibernate Mode: Which Power-Saving Mode Should You Use? What exactly does Sleep mode do? How is it different from Hibernate mode, which is an extra option on Windows computers? Which should you choose, and are there downsides to using them? Read More and thus it won’t show up. To enable hibernation, open an administrator Command Prompt by right-clicking on the Start button and choosing Command Prompt (Admin). Type the following command to turn it on:

powercfg /hibernate on

2. Adjust Virtual Memory Settings

Virtual Memory is a feature Windows uses Is Your Virtual Memory Too Low? Here's How to Fix It! Is Your Virtual Memory Too Low? Here's How to Fix It! The curse of Windows is its slowing down over time. Often, low memory is to blame. Here is one more way to virtually unburden your RAM. Read More to dedicate a part of your hard drive as pretend RAM. Of course, the more RAM you have the more tasks your system can handle How Much RAM Do You Really Need? How Much RAM Do You Really Need? RAM is like short term memory. The more you multitask, the more you need. Find out how much your computer has, how to get the most out of it, or how to get more. Read More at once, so if Windows is close to maxing out RAM usage, it dips into the virtual memory storage.

Some users have reported the AU changing their Virtual Memory settings, causing boot issues. Let’s have a look at your Virtual Memory settings and see if they can be changed to fix the problem. Type Performance into the Start Menu and choose the Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows.

Under the Advanced tab, you’ll see the size of the paging file (another name for virtual memory); click Change to edit it. What’s important here is at the bottom of the screen — you’ll see a Recommended amount of memory and a Currently Allocated number. Users having issues have reported that their current allocation is way over the recommended number.

If yours is as well, uncheck Automatically manage paging file size for all drives to make changes, then choose Custom Size and set Initial Size and Maximum Size to the recommended value below. Reboot, and your boot time should improve.

For more on RAM, check out all you need to know about memory management Everything You Need to Know About RAM & Memory Management Everything You Need to Know About RAM & Memory Management RAM is your computer's short term memory. Hence, memory management has a significant impact on system performance. Here we explain how RAM works and whether you can do anything to increase its efficiency. Read More .

3. Turn Off the New Linux Terminal

The AU added a complete Linux BASH terminal to Windows 10 Windows 10 Receives a Full Linux Command Prompt Windows 10 Receives a Full Linux Command Prompt BASH shell, complete with a Linux sub-system, is coming to Windows 10 with the Anniversary Update this summer. That was one of the biggest announcements at the Build Developer Conference. Here's why this matters. Read More , a first for Windows. It’s exciting for developers, but it might also the culprit of your boot issues. This feature isn’t turned on by default, so if you don’t know what BASH is, you probably don’t need to try this step as you would know if you turned it on.

To turn off the Linux shell, type features into the Start Menu to open the Turn Windows features on or off menu. Scroll down to Windows Subsystem for Linux (Beta), uncheck it, and restart. If this fixes your issues, but you need the Linux terminal, you can download other tools to get the Linux command line on Windows Forget Cygwin: CASH Brings The Best Of Linux To Windows Forget Cygwin: CASH Brings The Best Of Linux To Windows Linux and Windows are very different operating systems, and nowhere is that more apparent than with the command line. Various tools are available to make Windows feel more like Linux, such as Cash. Read More .

4. Update Graphics Drivers

Windows 10 has been known to mess with drivers Take Back Control Over Driver Updates in Windows 10 Take Back Control Over Driver Updates in Windows 10 A bad Windows driver can ruin your day. In Windows 10, Windows Update automatically updates hardware drivers. If you suffer the consequences, let us show you how to roll back your driver and block future... Read More , and the AU isn’t an exception, unfortunately. Some users have reported that updating their graphics card drivers fixes boot issues, so let’s give it a look.

Open the Device Manager by right-clicking on the Start button and clicking Device Manager. Navigate to Display Devices to see which graphics card you’re using. You’ll then need to navigate to the vendor’s website (or your laptop manufacturer’s website, if you’re using integrated graphics on a laptop) to check for driver updates. If there’s an update, go ahead and install it.

Hopefully, this will fix your issue. It might be worth checking for other driver updates in the Device Manager as well, but we haven’t seen anyone discuss other drivers as a cause of slow booting.

5. If All Else Fails, Perform a Fresh Install

If you’ve tried all the above solutions and still can’t speed up your boot time, it might be best to cut your losses and re-install a fresh copy of Windows 10 with the Anniversary Update. We’ve guided you through making install media on a flash drive or DVD How to Create Windows 10 Installation Media How to Create Windows 10 Installation Media Regardless of how you arrived at Windows 10, there's a way to create your own installation media. Sooner or later you might need it. Let us show you how to be prepared. Read More ; you’ll just need to back up your data The Ultimate Windows 10 Data Backup Guide The Ultimate Windows 10 Data Backup Guide We've summarized every backup, restore, recovery, and repair option we could find on Windows 10. Use our simple tips and never despair over lost data again! Read More before doing the install, since it will wipe out everything.

If you’re using a Microsoft account with Windows 10 The Pros and Cons of Using a Microsoft Account with Windows The Pros and Cons of Using a Microsoft Account with Windows A single Microsoft Account allows you to log into a wide range of Microsoft services and apps. We show you the pros and cons of using a Microsoft Account with Windows. Read More , you can easily migrate your settings after reinstalling.

Get Running Faster

Hopefully, applying one or all of these fixes works for you. It’s a pain that so many people have run into issues with the Anniversary Update, but hopefully, once they’re corrected, they can go on to enjoy all the features in the new version.

Looking for more help fixing Windows 10? Check out how to fix the Master Boot Record How to Fix the Master Boot Record in Windows 10 How to Fix the Master Boot Record in Windows 10 The Master Boot Record can become corrupt, damaged, or simply disappear. Here are the fixes you can attempt to revive your system. Read More (MBR) in Windows 10 or how to manage your Windows 10 startup folder How to Use the Windows 10 Startup Folder: Everything You Need to Know How to Use the Windows 10 Startup Folder: Everything You Need to Know The Windows 10 startup folder lets you manage which programs run at startup. Here's how to find the startup folder and manage its programs. Read More .

If you were experiencing slow boot times, which of these fixes worked for you? If these didn’t work, let us know what else you tried in the comments!

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  1. Reverus
    March 23, 2018 at 11:11 pm

    I did 1 and 2; turned off fast boot and adjusted the virtual memory... things appeared to be faster ;) I have alot of RAM, and the 'current allocation' was a bit lower than the recommended, but I set the min to the recommended and set the max to a little more than the recommended... idk if that is a bad idea, but it had the total harddrive space listed as if that is some type of limit? idk Thought virtual memory was more about RAM than hard drive space.. but nevertheless everything is running a little better on boot, I'll reply to this if the virtual memory settings cause a meltdown O: lol

    • Ben Stegner
      March 24, 2018 at 12:07 am

      How much RAM do you have? Windows only relies on the paging file (virtual memory) if it runs low on actual RAM. A small amount for the paging file, like 2-4GB, is probably fine if you have 16GB of RAM or more. The chances of you dipping into virtual memory when you have a lot of RAM is lower.

  2. Dianneordi
    May 16, 2017 at 3:31 am

    I did all these, including Windows reset, and my start time is still way over 3 minutes. Any recommendations?

  3. Rockstarrocks
    April 10, 2017 at 7:40 am

    For me sometimes this trick helps in some issues related to fast startup:
    Disable fast startup>shutdown (not reboot)>power on>enable fast startup>again shutdown then power on.

  4. Chuck the computer Guy
    March 9, 2017 at 3:57 am

    I upgraded to an SSD, all speed problems gone.
    SSD's come with Acronis True Image, makes it easy to cone drive.
    Can't believe how fast it boots and runs.

  5. Jim
    January 1, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    Thanks, disable fast boot did the trick

  6. bob smith
    December 30, 2016 at 4:35 am

    i've been on pc's for so long i used to write my programs in 6 languages on keypunch cards. make no mistake about it. people need to stop being meek and polite about what a piece of garbage win 10 is. i've been waitng 45 min for startup and 45 min shutdowns every time. i have never been thru trash like this since the 1980's. this is totally the worst crap of all time. i fire up my tablet i had to buy just to actually get work done, and i'm on in seconds.... win 10 is doing more updates or telling me i have to restart for updates. you go to all the help threads and they are obsolete. this is a sabotage program designed to wreck microsoft from within. in the time i typed this its been almost an hour and its not logged on.

    • Ben Stegner
      January 2, 2017 at 6:44 pm

      It sounds like you need to reinstall Windows and start fresh, because no OS should take an hour to log on.

    • Dennis
      July 29, 2017 at 4:44 pm

      If your startup and shutdown time is 45 minutes then you really need to buy a new computer. My old old computer with windows 10 takes 50 seconds.

      • bob
        August 2, 2017 at 12:52 pm

        this "advice" is laughable. and i know people that actually go out and buy new computers. to solve problems with them. they simply do not understand what the problem actually is.

        • Dennis
          August 2, 2017 at 1:21 pm

          If the advice is laughable then what do YOU think the problem is? It cannot be windows 10 because NO computer no matter what operating system you have should take 45 minutes to start up.

        • bob
          August 2, 2017 at 2:02 pm

          i solved the problem by finally figuring out a few fundamental mistakes particular to my system and programs. everything after that went really fast. i was just missing these things again and again. it was another learning curve. i've only had 1 update since this. it was just a matter of getting the first big update to get thru to my system.

      • bob
        August 2, 2017 at 12:52 pm

        did reply vanish

  7. mwitmer
    December 27, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    I used options 1, 2 on one of my computers, and option 1, 2 and 3 on the other computer. All I can say is Thank YOU! My computer now starts like a normal computer should. Thank you for this!!

    • Ben Stegner
      December 27, 2016 at 7:16 pm

      You're so welcome, and I'm glad this helped you!

  8. mwitmer
    December 27, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    I used options 1. and 2 on one of my computers, and options 1, 2 and 3 on the other....all I can say is THANK YOU!! My computer now starts like a real computer should. Thanks so much

  9. Elly
    November 23, 2016 at 10:50 am

    After Anniversary Update, my startup time went to almost 4min. Was able to solve by resetting netplwiz to require password on logon (was previously allowing one of the accounts to logon without a password) - startup instantly dropped to barely a few seconds! (with Fast Boot on and a custom page file size). After that, reenabled no-password logon and the boot is still super-fast.

  10. Jonas
    November 23, 2016 at 8:53 am

    The one big problem with this article is that it does not provide any hint on how to check WHAT made windows boot slow. First question has to be "where was all the time spent booting?" and the how to perform that analysis. Bluntly turning on/off features is a very bad approach. Compare to "Repairman, my car does not accelerate very good now after service, can you fix it? - Sure - oh you had a new radio installed? - that must be the problem...."

    I am not saying that turning off any of these features will not help, but I would like to know how to tell that that feature actually caused the problem.

    • Rikrdo
      May 7, 2017 at 1:45 pm

      The time lost for boot initialization is the amount of services that are activated and have been installed by programs, the amount of programs installed, the number of programs that are running in the background, some updates insert hidden content that can not be removed or disabled.

      This is little compared to many functions that would require to repair.

  11. Jane
    September 27, 2016 at 8:41 am

    "How to make your Windows 10 computer the best & fastest it can be":

    Install Linux Mint Mate 18

    ...really, it's that simple. You'll be shocked at how FAST your computer will be.

  12. Feroze Saeed
    August 25, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    The only way to achieve faster boot time on windows is installing OS on the ssd.Once you do it , you'll get to the desktop from booting up in less than 5-6 seconds as I did same with my laptop.

  13. Anonymous
    August 24, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    The disable Fast Boot probably explains the extra process I noticed on the lights while shutting down