Slow Laptop Startup: Reducing the Strain on the OS

by Rod Dunne on December 16, 2011

in Laptop, Performance

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Slow laptop startup times are a direct factor of the number of applications initialized at boot time as well as the performance of each of these programs. Here I’ll show you how to reduce the strain on the operating system as it is booting up from a full system restart.

When your operating system is booting up from a complete shutdown it will need to initialize the various services and applications needed to run correctly. Many of these will relate to operating system services which are crucial for initializing hardware and peripheral components.

However, many will relate to third-party applications (e.g. Skype, updates, etc.) which you may not immediately require. Therefore you can often consider disabling them from the initial startup process and choosing to manually launch them later on if you desire. This can be especially worth doing if your laptop keeps freezing as the system is starting up (as this may relate to specific programs having faults).

Tools for fixing issues

The main tool for resolving this problem is the Microsoft System Configuration utility [start/run/enter msconfig]. The application contains a tab, labeled “startup”, containing the list of all applications and services that Windows initializes at boot time.

Unfortunately, applications are listed using their executable filename rather than the user-friendly program name you would be familiar with. Therefore review each of these applications and only disable the ones you are familiar with (using the check-boxes on the tab). It is worth research execute will filenames online to establish what program they relate to if you are in any doubt.

You may restore/enable these programs again later if desired to roll back your changes. You should notice your slow laptop startup speeds will improve considerably especially when certain resource-heavy applications are disabled (e.g. databases, Web servers).

If you decide that you cannot disable these programs then you should make sure that you have the latest updated version of the program which should include bug fixes as well as performance improvements.

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