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How-tos

Computer take forever to start up? Change your settings in a couple clicks

Switching on your computer shouldn’t take more than a couple of seconds. If you press the power button and have enough time to make a cup of coffee before the desktop loads, there could be something seriously wrong. Tap or click here for six ways to speed up an old computer.

Viruses and malware can drastically slow down your bootup sequence, but often it has to do with the number of programs and apps you have installed. Certain programs run when you start your computer, sapping valuable resources.

That’s why you should go through those apps and try to identify which ones you actually need to wake up — and which ones can hit the snooze button. We put together a handy guide on distinguishing between the two. Boost your PC’s performance in no time.

Reduce your startup time on Windows

In most cases, you can blame long computer startup times on apps you don’t need and those essential to your PC’s wake-up process. You probably don’t need Adobe Cloud Services to launch in the background if you don’t use it every day, but you might want Microsoft Teams there if you use it to communicate with your coworkers all day long.

Here’s how to see which apps load during Windows startup:

  • Click on the Start menu.
  • Select Settings (cog icon) and click on Apps.
  • In the left menu, click on Startup. It should be the last option.
computer startup

The Startup panel displays all the apps that are installed on your machine. If Windows has measured the impact of that app on your PC, a rating is assigned to each. You’ll see No impact, Low impact, Medium impact, and High impact.

An app with a high impact can slow down your startup time. Go through the list and determine which apps you don’t need immediately after startup. Toggle each slider next to the app to turn it on or off.

Pro tip: For an easier view, filter apps by impact. This way you can quickly see which ones have a high impact and adjust accordingly.

Change startup apps for Apple Mac

Apple’s Mac computers suffer from the same symptoms, and it’s just as easy to fix. Macs in general do take a bit longer to complete the startup process, but it should never take more than 30 seconds. If your Mac is crawling, try this::

  • Click on the Apple menu and navigate to System Preferences.
  • Click on Users & Groups.
  • Select your user account, then click Login Items.

Here you’ll see a list of the applications that open automatically when you log in.

To prevent an app from running automatically, click on Remove a login item. Then select the name of the app that you want to block and click on the Remove button below the list.

You can use the checkbox to hide items that you still would like to launch. To add a new item, hit the plus symbol under the list and find it on your computer.

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