Why is Windows 10 so slow to start up?

How to speed up Windows startup - startup in 3 seconds

Thorsten Eggeling

Windows boots quickly - but only immediately after a new installation. Find out which tools measure boot time, why Windows is getting slower and, most importantly, what you can do about it.

EnlargeWindows too lame? Our tricks clean up the startup process.
© Robert Kneschke - Fotolia.com

A freshly installed Windows is always a pleasant experience. The system is ready for use after a short waiting period, application software starts quickly and Windows also shuts down quickly. However, that changes after a while. Windows starts slower and it takes longer for the interface to respond to user input. A typical problem with multiple causes. After you have installed a number of programs, additional services run on the PC, Windows starts some programs automatically, and then there are update checks as well as virus scanners and other security software that slow down the system. In addition, there are settings that make the PC not run optimally anyway. However, these often only have a noticeable effect after the system is subjected to greater stress.

With a realistic assessment, Windows cannot become as fast as on the first day, because you will not want to do without some autostart programs and services. Antivirus software, for example, can slow Windows down significantly, but is necessary for protection. But not every program has to be available shortly after Windows starts. At the beginning there is therefore the analysis of how quickly Windows starts and which processes contribute most to delays.

Tip:Turn off unnecessary Windows services

1. How to find out how fast your Windows really is

There are several ways to find out which processes are slowing down Windows: Via the event viewer, with the Bootracer tool or even the complex Windows Performance Toolkit. In the following we will briefly introduce you to all three.

1.1 Evaluate boot times in the Windows event log

Windows itself keeps a record of how long it takes to start up and shut down. This information can be obtained from the Event Viewer. Press the key combination Win-R, enter after "Open" Eventvwr and click OK. In the left area of ​​the window go to "Application and Service Logs -> Microsoft -> Windows -> Diagnostics Performance -> Operational".

Interpret event IDs: In the middle of the window, you will mainly see log entries of events that occur when Windows starts up and shuts down. By default, these are sorted by date and time. Event ID 100 refers to startup operations, 200 refers to shutdown. If you click on one of the messages, you will see the required time in milliseconds in the lower area of ​​the window behind “Start time” or “Shutdown time”.

EnlargeThe event ID 100 in the event viewer shows the time that Windows needs to start. Start delays are assigned to IDs 101 to 199. The ID 200 concerns the "duration of the shutdown".

Errors that slow down Windows startup appear in the log with an event ID from 101 to 199. The different IDs provide information about the affected area. At 101 an application delayed the start, 102 relates to drivers, 103 to services, and at 106 a background optimization caused delays. IDs 107 and 108 represent delays in applying group policies to computers and users, and 109 is about hardware initialization. Clicking on a message shows a brief description of the problem under “General” and the name of the software that caused the delay.

If a problem occurs when shutting down Windows, the event viewer creates an entry with the ID 200. Information on the respective brake block is given an ID from 201 upwards.

If a program appears only once or very rarely in the log, it is not worth investigating the problem further. But if it comes up more often, you should investigate the matter and look for users with similar experience on the Internet, for example. The support forum of the software manufacturer concerned is also a good point of contact.

EnlargePerformance statistics: The script PC-WELT-Performance. vbs provides you with the values ​​from the event log without a laborious search, and it also calculates the average values.

Determine averages: The Event Viewer provides a first impression of the performance values, but not a long-term summary. To do this, use the PC-WELT-Performance script. Extract it and start the RunAsAdmin.cmd file. This calls up the VB script PC-WELT-Performance.vbs with administrative rights. Answer the user account control request with "Yes". The script displays the last start time in a window behind “Boot Time”. It also calculates the average of the last 20 maximum starts and shutdowns. Another value is "Main Path Boot Time", which contains the time from the appearance of the Windows start logo to the start of the desktop. “Boot Post Boot Time” is the time from when the desktop appears until most of the background processes have started. Both values ​​together result in the Windows start time.

If the Main Path Boot Time is unusually high (more than 20 to 30 seconds), the cause may be a driver or a defect on the hard drive. If a time of more than 30 to 40 seconds is displayed for “Boot Post Boot Time”, the problem is more likely to be found in programs that Windows starts automatically.

The script also creates the BootLog.csv file with the times of the last 20 starts. In Lastlog.csv, the last start time and date are added to each script run. The CSV files can be opened in a spreadsheet, for example. You can then compile statistics on Windows starts and track changes over a longer period of time. If there is a slowdown, look in the control panel under "Programs and Features" (Windows 7: "Programs and Features") to see what you have recently installed.

1.2 Determine and switch off Windows system brakes using the boot racer

EnlargeStart balance: Bootracer shows the times for the last and the previous boot processes. Autostart programs can also be switched off with the tool.

The event log provides basic parameters, but only in extreme cases also provides information on the programs that greatly delay Windows startup. The Bootracer tool shows clearly prepared data at Windows startup time. It can also determine which startup programs take how much time. Unnecessary time wasters can also be deactivated using the tool.

Before using the tool, you should first activate the Windows automatic logon (see box). Although this is not absolutely necessary, because Bootracer takes the login time into account, it does make the measurements easier after several restarts.

After installing and starting the tool, click on "Boot Time Test" and confirm the restart by clicking on "Yes". After the desktop can be seen again, Bootracer automatically shows a progress bar with the number of seconds that are still necessary for a complete start. After that you will see a window with the total start time. Move the mouse pointer over the window and click on “Know more?”. In the Bootracer window you can see how long it took to start Windows ("Windows Boot") and how long it took for the surface to be ready for use ("Desktop").

Click Enable Control, check Enable Startup Control, close the window, then click Boot Time Test and Yes again. Windows starts up to the desktop now without any autostart programs. These are started - one after the other - by Bootracer only afterwards. That alone can reduce the start time by a few seconds.

Start Bootracer. In the area below “Boot Result:” switch to the left tab, then click on “Which programs slow down start-up?” And “Startup Programs - Time to Start”. You will now see a list of autostart programs, sorted by start times. The slowest programs come first.

Go to "Control Startup Programs" in the context menu. Remove the tick in front of the programs that start particularly slowly or that you do not need.