A comprehensive list of steps for speeding-up your computer’s boot time!
CAUTION: Implement steps with a CAUTION with care. Normal operation may be adversely impacted by modifications.
Step 1: Regularly Restart Computer (at least once a week)
Restarting cleans the computer of programs that may not have closed.
Step 2: Disk Cleanup
Remove unnecessary data and cleanup system folders and caches.
Step 3: Virus/Malware Scan
Virus and malware will slow down your computer. Regularly scan with anti-virus and anti-malware programs to ensure your computer is healthy!
Step 4: Uninstall Programs
Your computer may be running programs no longer needed. These programs may be loading when the computer boots.
Step 5: Disable Startup Items
CAUTION: Disabling some startup items may affect normal operations (E.g. Disabling iTunesHelper.exe will disable automatic syncing of a connected Apple device).
Step 6: Defragment (HDD only, NOT for Solid-state Drives)
Defragmenting a hard disk drive, which has rotating platters, reorganizes and optimizes the location of data on the disk. DO NOT USE on solid-state drives (unnecessary for performance and will degrade the life of the SSD).
Step 7: Disable Unused Hardware
Disabling unused hardware such as floppy drives will prevent Windows from loading drivers on boot.
Step 8: Set Power Options to “High Performance”
Setting power plan to “High Performance” may increase CPU performance.
Step 9: Change From Aero to Basic Desktop
Aero Desktop may slow down performance with its translucent glass design.
Step 10: Set a Solid Color Background
A solid color background will free up RAM for other processes.
Step 11: Check for Performance Issues
Step 12: Turn off Search Indexing
Step 13: Disable Services
Some program services start automatically on boot but are not needed. (E.g. Acrobat Update)
Step 14: Modify BIOS Boot Settings
The BIOS, by default, checks the CD/DVD drive for boot media before the hard disk. Changing this priority in the BIOS will shave off a few seconds on boot.
Step 15: Modify the Registry
Reduce the timeout for ending a process or application automatically
CAUTION: Reducing timeouts may prevent application auto-save from completing in time (E.g. Word).
CAUTION: Export back-up of registry before implementing changes.
Microsoft recommends at least 3 Gigabytes of RAM for optimal performance in Windows 7.
Step 17: Upgrade to Solid State Drive (Enable TRIM)
Solid state drives (SSD) have very fast read times and will significantly improve boot time!
1. Microsoft – Optimize Windows for better performance
2. PC Mag – 12 Tips to Speed up Windows 7
3. Tom’s Guide – 15 Ways to Speed Up Your Boot and Shutdown Times
4. PC World – Speed up your PC’s boot time by finding the worst startup offenders
5. Lifehacker – Top 10 Ways to Speed Up Your Computer’s Boot Time
6. Auslogics – Improve Windows Performance
7. Microsoft – What’s new in managing power settings
8. Seven Forums – How to Start or Disable Services in Windows 7