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Computers have come a long way from the beige boxes of old, but despite the speed measured in gigahertz and gigabytes per second, they still require occasional waiting. If you’re tired of solving Rubik’s Cubes until your computer boots up, here are some ways to speed up the process.
Things To Make My Computer Run Faster
Windows has a feature called Quick Launch that does exactly what it sounds like, and is the obvious first stop in your search. Basically, it’s kind of an intermediate mode between sleep mode and shutdown. It won’t save your open apps like Hibernate, but the under-the-OS will sleep, helping you wake up faster in a clean state.
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But rebooting has no effect, so if you’re having trouble accessing Windows Update or BIOS, you may need to restart your computer to complete these tasks instead of shutting down. This may be enabled by default on many machines, but if you’ve disabled it or it’s not enabled on a desktop you’ve created yourself, you can easily toggle the switch.
Open Control Panel and select Power Options > Choose what the power buttons do. You should see a check box next to “Enable Fast Startup” in the options list. If it’s disabled, you’ll first need to click the “Change options that aren’t currently available” link at the top of the window and enable Fast Launch. Function. Be sure to click “Save Changes” when you’re done.
Some computers have a fast boot setting in the BIOS. Unlike Quick Start in Windows, the Quick Boot option (or whatever it’s called on your motherboard) bypasses some of the initial tests your computer performs when it starts up. You may want to disable this feature if you’re overclocking or otherwise need to access the BIOS regularly, but most people find it useful to enable it if it’s not already enabled.
Restart your computer, press Delete to enter BIOS setup (or another key if desired) and look for any fast boot options in the menu. Some people recommend changing the boot order priority (make sure your hard drive is at the top of the list, not your DVD drive or network boot), but I’ve never seen that move the needle much.
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Every motherboard is different, so check your UEFI/BIOS settings to see if there are other features you can enable or disable to speed up the boot process – your own motherboard or PC manual can point you in the right direction.
The more programs you have configured to run at startup, the longer it takes for your computer to enter an enabled state at startup. Some of your startup programs may be required to run all the time, but many may not.
Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager to see what’s running at startup. Click More at the bottom, and then click the Home tab. You’ll be asked a list of programs running on your computer, along with Windows’ estimate of how much it affects boot time.
You’ll also see “Last BIOS Time” in the upper right corner, which tells you how long it took for your BIOS to hand over control to Windows, if that number is more than a few seconds you might want to take another look. . In the BIOS settings as described above. In some cases you may just have a slow motherboard like mine.
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If you see a program on this list that you don’t want at startup, especially if it has a large impact on startup, go to that program’s settings and uncheck the option to start with Windows. (For example, Dropbox is worth running because you want it running all the time, but Epic Games Launcher probably doesn’t need to be running on your PC.)
If you don’t see an option in this program’s startup settings, you can disable it in this task manager window so that it doesn’t start at startup. You can also turn off apps you don’t want to open at startup by going to Settings > Apps > Startup.
In the address bar to access the startup folder. Any shortcuts added here will automatically run on boot, so if there’s something you don’t want running here, simply remove it from the folder.
Finally, if you see any programs you don’t need during this process, remove them entirely – and it never hurts to run a malware scan while you’re at it. Bad actors running in the background can slow down the download process.
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When Windows updates, it takes time to install those updates during shutdown and often during standby. If you’re tired of “setting up Windows” after an update when you want to play games, you should let Windows do its thing when you’re not using your PC. However, this means allowing your machine to run automatic updates.
Without interrupting this task, go to Settings > Update & security > Windows Update > Change active hours and press the Change button in Windows 10: Open Settings > Windows Update > Advanced settings, then click Active hours and change the drop-down to Manual If you are using Windows 11 .
Tell Windows when you use your device the most — say, 9 to 5 — and it will try to run automatic updates and restart the system when it’s idle. Learn more about how this works in our guide to managing updates in Windows 10.
More and more computers are moving away from yesterday’s spinning mechanical hard drives to much faster solid state drives, or SSDs. If you’re still using one of these old drives, it’s time to upgrade. Not only will programs start faster than your old hard drive, but your computer will boot up faster.
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Almost any computer with a spinning disk can be upgraded to a 500GB SSD, like the Samsung 870 EVO for $65. If you don’t want to start from scratch, our guide will help you copy your Windows installation to an SSD. For complete step-by-step instructions, see the repair manuals for your particular laptop or desktop computer, which may vary from machine to machine. For most computers, you don’t need a screwdriver (and sometimes a Torx bit).
Here’s the thing: Rebooting from the hard drive will always be slower than coming out of sleep mode. If you’re frustrated with how long it takes to start up your computer, try simply going to sleep. Sleep mode may use a little more power than completely off, but the difference is insignificant in terms of power consumption. If you have apps that wake up your computer at random times, sleep mode can be poor, but we’ve got a guide to fixing that.
However, the shutdown still occurs. If I put my laptop in my bag for a few days, for example, I might turn it off completely. However, the more you use sleep mode, the more likely you’ll have to worry about this bad startup time.
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Whitson Gordon is a writer, gamer and tech nerd who has been building PCs for 10 years. He eats potato chips with chopsticks to avoid getting grease on the mechanical keyboard. AirPods Pro 2 Review Ice Cream Cone Day iPhone 14 Pro Camera Best Mac VPN Gifts Under $50 Pico 4 VR Headset Apple Watch Ultra Review Best Keyboards
Matt Elliott is a New Hampshire-based technology writer, computer tester, and Mac user for over a decade.
Sarah is a freelance writer and blogger. Her main focus is Windows, but she covers everything from mobile technology to video games and DIY hardware projects. She likes to push buttons and see what happens, so keep her away from control panels.
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Once your shiny new Windows 10 PC starts to lose its luster, there are ways to bring it back to life. Here are some quick and easy ways to improve performance without replacing the hardware.
The new Start menu in Windows 10 is nice and clear, but this clarity costs (small) resources. To restore these resources, you can turn off the transparency of the Start menu, taskbar, and action center: Open the Settings menu, go to Personalization > Colors, and turn off the transparency of the Start, taskbar, and action center.
It’s one thing to make the Start menu, taskbar, and task center transparent, but Windows 10 doesn’t care.
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