6 Ways to Fix Slow Boot Times in Windows 10

Ben Stegner Updated 05-11-2018

One of the most frustrating Windows issues is slow startup. When Windows takes forever to boot, you dread turning on or rebooting your computer. Certain Windows 10 versions are especially prone to this.


Thankfully, slow booting is a solvable issue. We’ll show you the most common fixes for a slow startup in Windows 10.

1. Disable Fast Boot

By far, the most problematic setting when it comes to boot time in Windows 10 is the Fast Startup option. This is enabled by default, and is supposed to reduce startup time by pre-loading some boot information before your PC shuts off.

While the name sounds promising, it’s caused issues for a lot of people. Thus, it’s the first step you should try when you have slow boot problems. (Note that restarting your computer isn’t affected by this feature.)

Open Settings and browse to System > Power & sleep. On the right side of this screen, click Additional power settings to open the Power Options menu on the Control Panel.

Here, click Choose what the power buttons do on the left sidebar. 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.

Windows 10 power options

If you don’t see the Fast Boot option, you don’t have hibernation enabled and thus it won’t show up. To enable hibernation, open an administrator Command Prompt or PowerShell window by right-clicking on the Start button and choosing Command Prompt (Admin) or Windows PowerShell (Admin).

Type the following command to enable it, then try to disable Fast Startup again:

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! Computer memory issues can slow down your computer over time. Here's how to set the virtual memory size and boost performance. 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 at once. So if Windows is close to maxing out true RAM, it dips into virtual memory.

Some users have reported that Windows 10 can change virtual memory settings, causing boot issues. You should thus have a look at your virtual memory settings and see if you can change them to fix the slow boot 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.


Windows advanced performance options

On the resulting window, what’s important is at the bottom. You’ll see a Recommended amount of memory and a Currently Allocated number. Some having this issue find 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.

Windows 10 managing page file


Reboot, and your boot time should improve.

3. Turn Off the Linux Terminal

A while back, Windows 10 got a full Linux bash terminal A Quick Guide to Linux Bash Shell in Windows 10 You can now run Linux on Windows. Learn more about Bash on Windows, from how and why you should install it, to hidden features you probably didn't know about. Read More . This is 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 Windows features into the Start Menu to open the Turn Windows features on or off menu. Scroll down to Windows Subsystem for Linux, uncheck it, and restart.

Turn Windows features on or off

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 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 is known to mess with drivers 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 , unfortunately. Updating your graphics card drivers can sometimes fixe boot issues, so let’s give it a look.

Open the Device Manager by right-clicking on the Start button and choosing Device Manager. Navigate to Display adapters to see which graphics card you’re using (typically Nvidia or AMD if you have a dedicated graphics card).

Device manager for display adapters

You can usually open the corresponding software on your PC to check for updates. If you don’t have it, you’ll 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. Install any new versions available.

AMD check for updates

We’ve covered updating your computer drivers How to Find & Replace Outdated Windows Drivers Your drivers might be outdated and need updating, but how are you to know? Here's what you need to know and how to go about it. Read More in more detail if you need help. Hopefully, an update 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. Remove Some Startup Programs

Perhaps your slow boot time isn’t caused by one of these issues. If you experience slowness between logging in and actually getting to use your computer, too many startup programs could be the culprit.

A lot of software sets itself to automatically run at startup. If you have dozens of apps loading as soon as you log in, this can really bog your system down right away. Follow our guide to removing heavy startup programs These Programs Slow Down Your Windows 10 Boot Is Windows 10 booting slower than it used to? Sluggish programs launching on startup might be the culprit. We'll show you how to trim down your boot list. Read More  and see if that makes a difference.

6. If All Else Fails, Perform a Reset

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 reinstall a fresh copy of Windows 10.

You have several options for resetting your PC 4 Ways to Factory Reset Your Windows Computer Want to know how to factory reset a PC? Here are the best methods to reset a Windows computer. Read More . The built-in Refresh option can reinstall Windows without removing any of your files. You’ll should still back up your computer data 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 this, though.

Head to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery and select Get started under Reset this PC to start.

Windows 10 recovery options

Slow Booting in Windows 10, Begone

Hopefully, applying one or all of these fixes works for you. Slow startup is a huge pain, but you thankfully have options to combat it. If nothing else works, hold out for the next major Windows 10 release, which should clear up the issue.

Of course, slow boot times are not the only booting problem that occurs on a Windows machine. If your Windows 10 PC is stuck in an infinite reboot loop How to Fix a Windows 10 Infinite Reboot Loop The Windows infinite reboot loop is a failure to correctly boot up the OS. Here's how to fix it on Windows 10, 7, and 8. Read More , we can help you fix that too. For other PC problems, check out our basic troubleshooting guide for Windows.

Related topics: Troubleshooting, Windows 10, Windows Update.

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  1. Cincolo
    April 15, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    You missed the most basic one-adjust boot time. Msconfig.exe, Boot tab. Change Timeout. Default is 30 seconds. I prefer it closer to 5 seconds.

  2. sudheer
    July 26, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    If you disable internet connection during startup, you will find the startup happening much faster. I tried this in my laptop (dell) which really tested my patience alot and in on my friend's laptop (lenova) and both cases it worked fine.

  3. Michael
    July 25, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    I installed a M.2 drive on my motherboard and made it my C drive. My pc now boots up in 30-45 seconds. I also replaced all my HDD with SSD'S.

  4. Afzal Qureshi
    July 21, 2019 at 6:52 am

    disable "sysmain" in services.msc

  5. ntcracker
    June 19, 2019 at 4:20 am

    Windows seems to be becoming a mix of various OSs, like NT+Win32 and now Linux kernel + NT + Win32, so just dump Windows and switch to something like BSD or GNU/Linux.

  6. Leigh
    June 17, 2019 at 11:41 am

    Oh my gosh! Finally. I'd been struggling with this problem for months. I'd even done a clean install of Windows trying to solve the problem of Windows taking up so much CPU on start up. Step one is finally what fixed it. How ironic that 'fast startup' is what was causing such a slow start up. Thank you!!!!

  7. Jebivetar
    October 27, 2018 at 10:45 am

    2. Adjust Virtual Memory Settings
    These step worked for me! I have 8gb RAM and newer could imagine that these could be a problem!

  8. Peter Shaw
    September 30, 2018 at 9:46 am

    All of these suggestions just tickle with issue. If you want Win 10 to boot really fast install an SSD. My laptop takes about 13 seconds including keying my password!!!

    • Jebivetar
      October 27, 2018 at 10:48 am

      It will not give some significate change if you change to SSD 10sec. most.
      Here we are talking about delicate problems when booting takes 5-10min. and hdd is ok! Wierd stuf...

    • Leigh
      June 17, 2019 at 11:43 am

      I have an SSD, which I put in entirely for fast startup. Maybe after some update my Windows starting taking up like 50% of the CPU on startup and taking 10 minutes to start working properly. Step up solved the issue. Now I'm back to my zippy SSD startup times.

  9. Warren Warshaw
    September 28, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    Disabling Fast Boot if there is not a lot of free hard drive space is not recommended. Enabling hibernation creates a very large hibernation file (C:\hiberfil.sys) which may take up all remaining hard drive space.

  10. Lanre Dipeolu
    September 27, 2018 at 3:46 am

    I have tried all possible best to reset my computer to no avail.
    It kept on coming back to windows re-boot session.
    I use HP Z820 workstation.
    Something is protecting my hard drive that it could not even update the Windows 10 pro.
    Please help me.