Windows 11

How to Fix the Slow Startup Error on Windows 11

A comprehensive guide on how to fix the slow startup problem on Windows 11


Is your Windows 11 taking an eternity to boot up? Does watching the spinning loading icon test your patience? If you are feeling this way, you are not alone as many users have reported experiencing sluggish startup times on Windows 11, turning what should be a quick launch into a frustrating wait.

But do not worry as this post will help you get back your valuable time and wave goodbye to slow startups. We will investigate the underlying reasons behind Windows 11’s sluggish launch problems, looking into everything from rogue background apps to secret system settings. After that, we’ll arm you with various practical fixes, ranging from easy modifications to sophisticated troubleshooting methods.

Reasons for Slow Startup

There are various causes for a slow startup on Windows 11. Some of the most common ones include the following.

  • Corrupt system files are a common cause of this problem. Windows needs these files to locate and load the necessary components to start the operating system, however, if they are corrupted, it could result in slow boot times. You can use built-in tools to resolve this problem or use a dedicated corrupt file repair software to fix this problem.
  • Another common cause for this problem is a virus/malware attack. Malware can alter the normal functioning of your device and cause numerous problems including the slow startup on your Windows device.
  • An outdated graphics card driver will often cause this problem. You should update your graphics card drivers to fix the issue.
  • A hardware failure can also lead to this error.
  • If you have insufficient RAM, you will also encounter this issue.

How to Fix Slow Startup on a Windows 11 Device

Before heading straight to our main solutions, we recommend trying these quick fixes.

  • The first thing you should do when you have this problem is to restart your device. This simple yet effective step can help resolve minor glitches that could be causing the problem.
  • If the step above does not work, verify to know if your device meets the basic requirements to run Windows 11. Generally, you need a processor of 64-bit at 1 gigahertz or faster with not less than 2 cores, you need a RAM of 4GB or higher, your storage should not be less than 64GB, and your graphics card should be DirectX 12 compatible or greater with a WDDM 2.X driver. The display should not be less than 9 inches with HD Resolution (720p), and finally, the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) should be version 2.0.

If you cannot resolve the error with the above steps, go ahead with the solutions below.

1. Optimize system performance

1.1 Disable visual effects

Visual effects on Windows 11 are enhancements added to make the interface more visually appealing and captivating, however, these enhancements can eat up a considerable amount of system resources, leading to slow system startup. Disabling these effects by following the instructions below will help you fix this issue.

  1. Press the Windows button on your keyboard, type view advanced in the search bar, then choose the related result.
    Slow startup Windows 11
  2. Navigate to the Advanced tab, then click on the Settings button.
    Slow startup Windows 11
  3. Check the box for the Adjust for best performance option.
  4. Next, check the box for the Show thumbnails instead of icons and Smooth edges of screen fonts options in the Custom section, then click Apply and OK to save changes.
    Slow startup Windows 11

1.2 Perform disk cleanup

The disk cleanup is a built-in device that helps to declutter your hard drive by removing unnecessary files which will significantly improve your startup speed. You can learn how to run and use the disk cleanup, by following the instructions in the linked post.

1.3 Defragment your hard drive

Your hard drive may become fragmented over time, with files scattered in different locations throughout the disk. The performance, particularly starting times, of your computer may be considerably slowed down by this fragmentation.

When your hard drive is defragmented, the read/write heads can access these scattered files considerably more quickly because it rearranges them into contiguous blocks. This enhances system performance overall and cuts down on how long it takes your PC to start up with Windows 11. You can do this by following the steps below.

  1. Press Windows + I to open the Settings app.
  2. In the System tab, navigate to Storage on the right side.
  3. Go down and choose the Advanced storage settings option.
  4. Next, click the Drive optimization option to open the Optimize Drives window.
  5. Once the window is opened, choose the drive you want to defrag and select Optimize to begin the process.

1.4 Enable Storage Sense

Storage Sense is an in-built tool that helps you manage storage space by automatically removing unwanted files and cache. This can significantly boost your startup speed, and you can turn on this feature by using the steps below.

  1. Press Windows + I to open the Settings app, then navigate to the System tab.
  2. Select Storage from the list of options, then turn on the toggle for Configure Storage Sense.
    Slow startup Windows 11
  3. Next, tick the check box for Cleanup of temporary files and enable the toggle for Automatic User content cleanup.
  4. Finally, restart your device and see if the startup time has improved.

2. Disable startup applications

On Windows 11, enabling unused startup apps can greatly speed up boot times. Numerous apps start up automatically in the background when your computer turns on, using up precious resources and delaying startup time. Disabling these apps makes more processing and memory available, which speeds up Windows startup. The steps below will show you how to do this.

  1. Hold Ctrl + Shift + Esc simultaneously to open the Task Manager.
  2. Once you are in Task Manager, navigate to the Startup tab.
    Slow startup Windows 11
  3. Locate the program you want to disable, right-click on it, then choose Disable. You can disable as many programs as you want.
  4. Once you do this, check to see if the startup time has improved.

3. Perform a clean boot

In Windows 11, a clean boot might assist in fixing slow-starting issues by removing startup apps and background services that aren’t needed. It is possible to locate and isolate any services or applications that are slowing down the boot process in this controlled environment.

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run dialogue, input msconfig in the text field, then hit Enter.
    Slow startup Windows 11
  2. Head to the Services tab at the top, check the box for Hide all Microsoft services, click Disable all, then click OK.
  3. Now navigate to the Startup tab, and click on the Open Task Manager link.
    Slow startup Windows 11
  4. In the Task Manager, disable your startup apps.
  5. After doing this, exit the Task Manager, reboot your device, and observe if the startup time has improved.

4. Update your Windows device

A Windows 11 update can assist in fixing sluggish starting times by fixing possible bugs and performance problems in the operating system. Bug fixes, optimizations, and driver updates are frequently included in these updates, which can improve startup times and get rid of software problems.

  1. Hold Windows + I simultaneously to open the Settings app.
  2. Under the System tab, select the Windows Update option, then click on the Check for updates button.
    Slow startup Windows 11
  3. Allow Windows to search and install any available updates. Once it is done, reboot your system and check if the problem has been fixed.

5. Perform a malware scan

Malware might be a cunning culprit causing Windows 11 to start slowly. Even during startup, these malicious apps can use system resources and launch hidden processes. By finding and removing these lurking dangers, a comprehensive malware scan can free up space on your system and greatly accelerate boot times. We recommend using reliable third-party anti-virus software as it provides a more in-depth scan than the in-built tools.

6. Update your graphics driver

On Windows 11, outdated graphics drivers can occasionally cause sluggish startup times. To maintain the best performance, graphics drivers require regular updates, much like any other program.

You can potentially speed up the startup time of your Windows 11 system by updating your graphics driver to the most recent version, which can resolve these compatibility issues and enhance the efficiency of communication between your operating system and your graphics card. Use the steps below to do this.

  1. Press Windows + X simultaneously and choose Device Manager.
  2. Next, look for Display adapters and expand it.
  3. Select the graphics card you are using, right-click on it, and choose Update driver.
    Slow startup Windows 11
  4. On the next prompt, choose Search automatically for drivers.
  5. If an update is available, Windows will automatically download and install it.

7. Upgrade Hardware

If the solutions listed so far have not worked for you, then it is time to replace your HDD with an SSD as they operate far faster than HDDs and, to be honest, are also not that expensive. Slow startup can be a symptom of inadequate hardware thus, switching to more reliable hardware will fix this problem.

8. Reset Windows(Last Resort)

If you have tried all the solutions in this article without getting a positive result, you should try resetting your Windows OS. Keep in mind that this should be your last resort in cases where there is extreme file corruption or image corruption that makes the OS start up slowly. Follow the steps below to reset Windows.

  1. Click Windows + S to bring up the Search bar, input Reset this PC in the text field, then click Open.
  2. Click the Reset PC button.
    Slow startup Windows 11
  3. In the Choose an option menu, pick Keep my files.
  4. Choose your preferred option to re-install Windows.
  5. Select the Change settings link.
    Slow startup Windows 11
  6. Turn on the toggle under the Restore preinstalled apps section, then click Confirm.
    Slow startup Windows 11
  7. Click Next in the next window.
  8. Finally, click the Reset button to begin reinstalling Windows 11.

Final Thoughts

By following the steps outlined above, you should be able to confidently resolve errors associated with slow startup on your Windows 11 device. If you have further questions, reach out to us via the comment section below.

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David Ogbor
David is a tech guru with extensive knowledge in technical articles. He is passionate about writing and presents technical articles in an easy-to-understand format for easy comprehension. He aims to present easy solutions for day-to-day problems encountered while using PC. In his spare time, he likes traveling, playing sports, and singing.