Ultimate Guide To: Speed-Up Boot Time!

by | Oct 2, 2014 | nerdery

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.

  • Start > Search “Disk Cleanup”

    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).

  • Start>Search “msconfig.exe”
  • Click the Startup tab. Deselect items as needed.

    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).

  • Start > Search “Disk Defragmenter”

    Step 7: Disable Unused Hardware
    Disabling unused hardware such as floppy drives will prevent Windows from loading drivers on boot.

  • Start > Search “Device Manager”
  • Right click on device. Select Disable from the menu.

    Step 8: Set Power Options to “High Performance”
    Setting power plan to “High Performance” may increase CPU performance.

  • Start > Search “Choose a power plan”
  • Select High performance

    Step 9: Change From Aero to Basic Desktop
    Aero Desktop may slow down performance with its translucent glass design.

  • Right click on the Desktop and select Personalize.
  • Scroll down and select a Basic Theme.

    Step 10: Set a Solid Color Background
    A solid color background will free up RAM for other processes.

  • Start > Search “Change desktop background”
  • Select Solid Colors from drop-down.

    Step 11: Check for Performance Issues

  • Start > Search “Troubleshooting”
  • Under System and Security, click Check for performance issues
    14 Step 12: Turn off Search Indexing
  • Start > Search “Indexing Options”
  • Click Modify
    16 Step 13: Disable Services
    Some program services start automatically on boot but are not needed. (E.g. Acrobat Update)
  • Start > Search “services”
  • Right click on service. Click Properties in menu.
  • Under the General tab, select Disabled in the drop-down.
    19Step 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.

  • Start > Search “regedit.exe”
  • Create back-up. Right click on Computer and select Export. Save to location.

  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control and change WaitToKillServiceTimeout to 2000 (or 2 seconds).
  • Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop and change WaitToKillAppTimeout to 2000 (or 2 seconds).
  • If AutoEndTasks does not exist, create it. Change value to 1.Step 16: Add Additional RAM
    Microsoft recommends at least 3 Gigabytes of RAM for optimal performance in Windows 7.
  • Check computer RAM
  • Start > Computer (right click) > Properties
  • Under System, “Installed memory (RAM):”
    24Step 17: Upgrade to Solid State Drive (Enable TRIM)
    Solid state drives (SSD) have very fast read times and will significantly improve boot time!
  • Ensure TRIM is being utilized with your SSD.
  • Start > Search “cmd” > Right click, select “Run as administrator”
  • At the prompt, type “fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify”
  • If disabledeletenotify is 1, TRIM is disabled.
  • Enable TRIM, type “fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 0” References

    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

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