Windows users, much more than Mac and Linux users, are used to the perennial problem of waiting, and waiting and waiting for their systems to start up. The problem arises from how loose Windows plays with files that get scattered around your system, collecting applications that you may not even know are loading automatically upon startup, and for more reasons.
In this post, I’ll detail three free utilities that can dramatically increase the speed of your Windows system startups.
An important first step in improving your Windows boot time is to actively manage the applications that you’re loading when you boot up. In all likelihood, you’re loading several applications that just don’t have to be automatically present whenever you start up your PC. Many software vendors have sneaky ways to deposit these applications in your startup routine.
Within the freeware application Glary Utilities, you’ll find a Startup Manager module that lets you optimize the applications you start at boot time in seconds. You can also schedule tasks within this module, and the whole thing is graphical, with easy checkboxes. One note: If you have no idea what something that loads at startup is, try to find out or leave it alone. It may be a system file that you need.
Along these lines, one of the best freeware utilities I’ve found recently is one I wrote up here: Startup Delayer. This application allows you to choose not to remove programs that will launch at boot time, but to delay them. If that sounds complicated, it’s actually very easy. You just drag lines representing software applications around a horizontal piece of white space until you arrive at how long you want to delay certain apps. Do you load a time-consuming instant messenger at startup, but never really use it right away when you first turn on your computer? That’s an ideal application to set a delay for.
After using Windows for years, I know that another problem contributing to slow Windows boot times is simply the amount of muckity-muck that accumulates in Windows systems over time–in the Registry, in the list of startup programs, and elsewhere. I’ve previously mentioned Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware here. It’s free, and readers agreed that it does an uncanny job of cleaning up systems. However, you can also find a similar free cleanup utility in Glary Utilities.
If you unleash all three of these free programs in tandem, you’ll likely speed up your Windows boot time by several minutes. Also, if you happen to be running a new Windows netbook, you probably have limited local resources, where these utilities can make a big difference.