Improve Windows’ start-up speed (Updated Guide 2021)

A free program can greatly reduce the time it takes Windows to start up. We show you how to install and use this useful piece of software.

pc optimising

Launch a web browser and go to r2’s website. When the website appears, click the Products button and then scroll down to the Startup Delayer section.

Click the Download Now and, if the File Download Security Warning dialogue box appears, click Save and then choose a location for the downloaded file.

Firefox users should select Save File to save the download to Firefox’s default download folder. Once the download is finished, locate and double-click the file to start the installation process.

If Windows displays a security warning, click Run to continue and then click the I Agree button. Choose where the program should be installed and click Next followed by Install.

When you are prompted to, click Yes to create a Restore Point using System Restore and wait for a moment while the process completes.

The installation will continue automatically. When it is finished, ensure the Run Startup Delayer option is ticked and then click the Finish button to launch the program and start optimising the PC’s start-up behaviour.

The first time Startup Delayer is launched, you will be invited to read the Help file – just click Yes or No. I

f you choose No, it can be read later by clicking the Help button in the upper right-hand corner of the program window.

To ensure you are always working with the latest version of the program, it is a good idea to enable automatic updates, so click Yes when asked if you would like to enable this feature.

Startup Delayer can be configured quickly and easily by dragging the slider control that’s displayed.

Optimising start-up times is a matter of balancing.

Is is the speed that programs are launched and the usability of the PC computer during the process.

The further the slider is moved to the left (‘Start Fast’), the faster start-up programs will launch (resulting in a slow start-up), while moving it to the right (‘Start Smooth’) will stagger the launch of start-up programs to create a smoother experience.

Move the slider to choose the preferred balance and click the Save button.

The main Startup Delayer window will now appear. Click the Startup Applications tab to see a list of the programs currently configured to start automatically with Windows.

One of the easiest ways to speed up the Windows start-up process is to eliminate unneeded programs.

This can be achieved in Startup Delayer by dragging a program icon from the Normal Startup section of the screen to the lower portion, labelled ‘Disabled’.

This can be repeated for as many programs as required.

It is unlikely, though, that you will want to permanently disable start-up programs this way. A better alternative is to drag program icons to the upper portion of the screen, labelled ‘Delayed’ (or just right-click and choose Delay Selected).

In this way it is possible to choose the order in which start-up programs launch: just drag and drop items to set their launch order, putting the ones you need soonest at the top of the list.

Startup Delayer can rein in applications manually or automatically. The options are displayed at the bottom of the program window.

Choose the Automatic Delay radio button, for instance, and you’ll be able to choose the level of disk and processor activity at which start-up programs are allowed to be launched.

This helps the PC becoming bogged down with program launches. Alternatively, by selecting Manual Delay you can set a precise delay before Windows will launch a particular program.

Save the settings by clicking the Apply and Delay button in the lower right-hand corner of the program window.

Now check that Startup Delayer is correctly configured to start with Windows.

Click the Options button to the upper right of the program window, select the General tab and tick the box labelled ‘Enable at Startup’.

To keep Startup Delayer up to date, tick the box titled ‘Automatically check for new version’ to the lower right of the dialogue.

If you want, it’s possible to have Startup Delayer show details of each start-up program as it is launched.

Viewing this information is useful for analysing the start-up process, and may help you decide the order in which to launch programs.

Click the Launch Process tab in the Options dialogue box and ensure the box labelled ‘Show Notifier’ is ticked.

Then select the ‘Show always during Startup’ radio button. For extra details, also tick the ‘Show Launch Process Window on Startup’ box, and then click Save.

To keep an eye on the impact Startup Delayer has on your startup time, click the spanner icon in the toolbar and select the ‘View last launch log’ option.

The Launch Log tab shows details of programs’ actual start-up times, while the Performance Graph tab plots processor and hard disk use on a chart.