My Windows computer boots up slow

Computer with slow boot timeTip: This page only covers a slow computer boot and not if your computer is overall running slow.

A slow Microsoft Windows boot up can be caused by a wide variety of issues. Below are various suggestions and tips that can help improve the overall speed of your computers startup.

Tip: In addition to the steps below, if you use your computer frequently you may also consider either not turning off the computer or having your computer go into a hibernation mode when pressing the power button.

Disable startup programs

Programs that are loading up as the computer starts up to remain active in memory, are often one of the main causes of a slow boot in Windows. Disabling programs you don't often use from automatically starting up each time the computer boots can increase the boot time.

A program that makes managing your Windows startup programs is Mike Lin's Startup Control Panel. Using this program, you can disable any program in any of the locations programs use to start themselves automatically.

ScanDisk and Defrag

Running Microsoft ScanDisk and Defrag or similar disk utilities on the computer can help verify the hard drive has no errors, as well as make sure the data on the hard drive is organized in the most efficient method. We suggest running both of these utilities at least once every few months.

Hard drive space

If your computer does not have at least 250MB of free available hard drive space this can cause an overall slowdown with your computer as well as decrease the boot time. Make sure your computer hard drive has 250MB or more of available disk space.

Add memory

Adding additional memory (RAM) to the computer helps increase the overall speed of the computer and in some cases can also increase the load times of your computer. Today, we suggest all computers be running a minimum of 1GB of memory in their computer. If your computer is running less than this it may be time to upgrade.

Update drivers and Windows

Corrupt, incorrect, or out-of-date drivers can cause a number of different issues. Make sure your computer has the latest drivers as well as any available Microsoft Windows updates.

Registry cleaner

Although we don't often recommend registry cleaners in some rare situations running cleaners can help improve the overall performance of Windows including the Windows startup. If you've run through all of the above recommendations you may want to clean your system registry.

Format and reinstall

If after following all the above steps your computer still seems to be slow you may want to erase everything from the computer and re-install Windows. This will clean your computer and make it like new.

Additional information