How To Fix Windows 10/11 Slow Startup

Windows 10 Slow Boot

Waiting several minutes for your computer to boot can be so frustrating! And finding the root cause and fix it can be challenging.

After years of dealing with and fixing slow boot problems on several Windows 10 computers, I’ve decided to write this guide.

In this guide, I will cover all the cases I’ve encountered in real life that cause slow boot on Windows 10 computers. And I will give you a step-by-step Fix.

How to Fix Windows 10/11 Computer Slow Boot

Fix #01: Disable Fast Startup

Fast startup is available since Windows 8; It’s a feature that allows a computer to start in less time than required for a cold startup.

You can think of a fast startup as a hybrid combination of a cold startup and a wake-from-hibernation startup.

Fast startup is enabled by default in Windows 10 and Windows 11 installation and sometimes can cause a slow boot.

How To Disable Fast startup?

  • Click on the start menu and type in control panel, then select control panel from the list;
  • In the Control panel type in power, then click on Change what the power buttons do;
  • Uncheck Turn on fast startup (recommended) and click on Save changes;

Note: If you can’t see the Turn on fast startup (recommended) option, this means that the hibernation is disabled on your computer, and you need to enable it.

How To Enable Hibernation?

  1. Press the Windows Key on your Keyboard (Or click on the startup menu), then in cmd;
  2. Without pressing enter, right-click the Command Prompt icon, then select Run as administrator;
  3. Type in powercfg -h on and press Enter;

Fix #02: Unplug unnecessary USB devices

Having USB devices connected to your computer can cause slow startup;

So unplug any unnecessary USB device such as External USB disk, USB SD card reader,  USB audio devices…etc.

Fix #03: Disable Unnecessary Startup Programs & Non-Microsoft Services

A startup program is a program that starts automatically when the computer boot.

Some Programs are set as startup programs during the installation and can impact the boot time, especially the login time when you are waiting for your desktop to display.

You can speed up the login time by disabling the unnecessary startup programs;

How to Disable Startup Programs?

  • Right-click on an empty area in the taskbar and select Task Manager;
  • In the task manager, click on the Startup tab, then click on the Startup impact to sort startup programs the high impact first.
  • Select the programs that you don’t need or use often and disable them;

How to Disable Non Microsoft Services?

  1. Click on the start menu and type msconfig.
  2. On the system configuration window, click on the “services” panel, then on “Hide all Microsoft services”.
  • Uncheck all the services and click Ok.

If this solves your issue, then enable one service at a time and restart your computer, till you find the service that causes the startup delay.

Fix #04: Update Your Drivers

Outdated drivers can cause slow computer startup. When Windows 10/11 releases new updates, an old driver can misbehave with the new release code.

It’s a good practice to maintain your device drivers up to date.

How to Update Your Drivers?

  • Click on the Windows 10 start menu, and type “Powershell” then click to open Powershell;
  • In the PowerShell type this command: Get-ComputerInfo

This command will display a bunch of information about your computer: The brand, the model, the serial number …etc.

  • Copy the computer serial number
  • On the manufacturer website, go to the support section and search for “Drivers and Software downloads
  • Depending on the manufacturer website, you should see something like this :
  • If there is a product detection functionality then use it and let the website detect your computer model. If not use the computer serial number to display the appropriate drivers for your computer.
  • Search for newer drivers and install them on your computer;

NB: Start by updating the Graphics card and the Intel Rapid Storage Technology drivers. These are the two drivers that could impact the most the Windows 10 startup time.

Fix #05: Emptying User’s Profile Temporary Folder

When you log in to your session, Windows 10 loads your profile that contains all your preferences (Your desktop background, icons, …etc.)

Windows 10/11 uses a temporary folder located in your user’s profile to save logs and temporary files. But over time, this folder will grow and could contain Gigs of temporary files.

The size of this Temporary file could impact the logon time when Widows 10 tries to load your user’s profile.

How to Empty The User’s Profile Temporary Folder?

  • Open Windows Explorer, and type in the address bar: %userprofile%\Appdata\Local\Temp
  • Delete all the files inside the temporary folder;

Fix #06: Check The Disk Health

The hard disk is an important hardware piece in your computer. It contains the Windows 10 system files that allow your computer to work, and it’s the place where you store all your data (Documents, photos, videos …etc.)

The disk health can degrade over time and result from many bad sectors, poor read and write performance, loss of data, and slow boot.

How to Check The Disk Health?

  • Download and install Hard Disk Sentinal Tool.
  • Raun Hard Disk Sentinel and check the scan result shown on the overview page.
  • If the health score is low, your disk is in bad health, and you need to replace it.

Fix #07: Replace the SATA Disk Cable

If you see many disk errors and warnings in the Windows Event viewer repeatedly, and your disk health is good, this could be due to a bad SATA cable!

If you have a Desktop, check the SATA cable connecting the hard disk to the motherboard.

A not well plugged or damaged cable can hurt the data transfer rate between the disk and the memory.

  • Shut down your computer before you open it.
  • Unplug the SATA cable from both sides (Disk side and Motherboard side).
  • Plug the SATA cable again and power up your computer.

If this didn’t solve the issue, then buy a new SATA cable.

Fix #08: Fix The Superfetch

If your boot drive is an SSD disk, then you can skip this section;

The superfetch is a Windows service that improves mechanical’s hard disk performance by predicting data the system needs and loading it from disk to memory in advance. So the next time the system requests this data, it will read it from memory which access is faster than the disk.

But sometimes, the superfetch doesn’t work as expected and negatively impacts the system performance.

How to Fix The Superfetch?

  • Open Windows Services;
  • Search for Sysmain service and stop it;
  • In Windows Explorer go to the C:\Windows\Prefetch location;
  • Delete all the content inside the Prefetch folder;
  • Now start the Sysmain service again;
  • Restart your computer several times (6 times) to allow Superfetch to rebuild its database.

Fix #09: Scan For Virus and Malware

If you have a third-party antivirus solution installed on your computer, then do the following:

  1. Make sure you are running the latest version;
  2. Update the antivirus database;
  3. Run a full antivirus scan;
Exemple Of Updating AV Database on Kaspersky

If you are using Windows Defender as the default antivirus solution, then make sure that it’s up to date, and perform a full scan;

  • Open Windows Settings;
  • In the Windows Settings, type “Virus” in the search bar, then click on “Virus & threat protection“;
  • Make sure the protection is up to date, then click on the “scan options“;
  • Select “Full scan” and click on “Scan now” button.

Fix #10: Disable AMD CrossFire GPU ULPS

If your computer has an AMD graphic card, you may experience a slow boot. This can be due to the ULPS (Ultra Low Power State) feature.

If updating the AMD graphic card driver doesn’t solve the issue, you can disable the ULPS feature.

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