[Full Guide] How to Enable Windows Fast Startup

[Full Guide] How to Enable Windows Fast Startup

/ Sed Galope

Windows 10 is known for its user-friendly interface and powerful features, making it a top choice for personal and business use. One feature that makes Windows 10 stand out is its Fast Startup function. This feature is designed to reduce the time it takes for your computer to start running by using a hybrid boot process that combines elements of both shutdown and hibernation.

This guide will explore the Fast Startup in Windows feature and provide step-by-step instructions on enabling it on your computer.

Whether you’re looking to boost your productivity or save time, this guide will help you get the most out of your Windows 10 experience.

How Does Fast Startup Feature Work?

Fast Startup is a Windows feature that blends the functionalities of a cold shutdown and hibernation. With Fast Startup enabled, your computer will close all running applications and log out all users, just like a typical cold shutdown. This will bring Windows to a state that resembles a fresh boot, where the system session is active and no users have initiated any programs. After that, Windows will notify device drivers that support hibernation to prepare for it, save the current system state to a hibernation file, and power off the computer.

Upon restarting, Windows will not have to reload the kernel, drivers, and system state separately. Instead, it will refresh the RAM with the image from the hibernation file and take you to the login screen. This process can significantly reduce startup time.

Enabling the Fast Startup in Windows 10

To activate Fast Startup on your computer, you can perform the following steps:

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel.
control panel

2. Go to the Power Options window.

select power options in control panel

3. Select the Choose What the Power Button Does hyperlink on the left side of the window under the Control Panel Home.

choose what power button does

4. Check the checkbox for Turn on Fast Startup.

5. Hit save.

Once you have completed these steps, your Windows 10 computer can use Fast Startup when booting up.

Other Ways to Boost Your Windows 10 System

Edit Your Startup Programs

To accelerate the startup process of your Windows 10 system, you can modify the list of programs that run at startup. Usually, many programs launch automatically in the background when you start up Windows 10, some of which you may never use. Disabling unnecessary programs from the startup process can expedite your computer’s boot time.

To edit these programs, you can use the built-in Windows Task Manager by following these steps:

  1. Open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
ctrl shift esc

2. Click on the Startup tab in Task Manager to view the list of all programs starting when Windows 10 boots.

disable icloud in startup

3. Select the programs you want to disable from the startup process.

Before disabling any program, it’s recommended that you consult your IT department to verify which programs can be safely removed from the list.

Implement Simple Hardware Updates

Upgrading your hardware can often be the most effective way to enhance your software, especially if you are running Windows 10 on a computer not initially designed for it.

One recommended hardware upgrade is to install a solid-state drive (SSD) in your computer. An SSD is more dependable and provides faster read times than a traditional hard-disk drive.

Another beneficial hardware upgrade is to increase your computer’s RAM. Doing so can accelerate your Windows 10 startup speed and improve your computer’s general performance, resulting in a more enjoyable user experience.

An SSD and additional RAM can significantly enhance the startup speed and overall performance of your Windows 10 computer.

Change Settings on UEFI/Bios

Some computer systems include a Fast Boot feature in their BIOS. Unlike Windows’ Fast Startup, Fast Boot (or its equivalent on your motherboard) bypasses some initial tests your computer performs when it first starts up. If you require regular access to the BIOS or are overclocking, it may be preferable to disable fast startup. Still, most users can benefit from enabling it if it isn’t turned on.

  1. To access the BIOS settings, restart your computer and press Delete (or another key, if prompted) to enter the BIOS setup.
bios boot options

2. Look for any fast boot options in the menu. Some individuals suggest modifying your Boot Order Priority so that your hard disk is at the top rather than a DVD drive or network boot.

As each motherboard is unique, you should explore your UEFI/BIOS settings to determine any other features you can enable or disable to speed up the boot process. Your motherboard or PC manual may provide further guidance in this regard.

Cut Down on Startup Programs

Many programs set to launch at startup can increase your computer’s boot time; not all may be necessary. You can check which programs launch at startup by

  1. Opening the Task Manager using the Ctrl + Shift + Esc shortcut
ctrl shift esc

2. Go to the Startup tab. Windows provides an estimate of how much each program impacts your boot time.

If you find a program you don’t need to launch at startup, especially if it has a high impact on boot time, you can uncheck the option to launch it with Windows in that program’s settings. To access your computer’s BIOS settings,

  1. Press the Delete key during startup or another key if prompted. You can see the “Last BIOS Time” in the upper-right corner of the Task Manager, which shows how long your BIOS takes to hand off control to Windows.
  2. You might want to review your BIOS settings if this number lasts a few seconds.

Note that some programs must constantly run, while others may not. Therefore, it’s recommended to be careful while disabling them.

Let Windows Updates Run During Downtime

To avoid being interrupted by Windows updates during a gaming session, it’s best to let Windows install updates when you’re not using the computer. This will allow the updates to install during shutdown or startup, which can take some time. To enable this feature,

  1. Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update.
check updates

2. Change Active Hours in Windows 10. Specify the hours you typically use your computer, and Windows will try to install updates and reboot during idle times.

change active hours

Just Use Sleep Mode

If you’re looking for a faster way to get back to your work, you should consider putting your computer to sleep instead of shutting it down completely. Although booting up from a hard drive will always be slower than resuming from sleep, putting your computer to sleep will allow you to resume where you left off quickly. While sleep mode uses slightly more power than a full shutdown, the difference in electricity costs is negligible.

Although Fast Startup can provide a significant boost to your startup time, there are some issues you should be aware of before enabling it:

  • Fast Startup does not perform a regular shutdown, so applying new system updates may be impossible when you turn off your computer. However, a full cold shutdown and restart can still be performed unaffectedly.
  • Encrypted disk images may be slightly affected by Fast Startup. Some encryption programs, such as TrueCrypt, have been reported to remount encrypted drives when starting back up automatically. To avoid this, users should manually dismount their encrypted drives before shutting them down.
  • Some devices may not support Fast Startup, as they do not work well with hibernation. Users will need to experiment to see whether their devices respond well.
  • When a computer with Fast Startup enabled shuts down, Windows locks down the Windows hard disk. This can cause corruption if users access or change anything on the hard disk or partition while using another operating system. Therefore, it’s best not to use Fast Startup or Hibernation when dual booting.
  • Some versions of BIOS/UEFI may not be accessible when a computer is shut down with Fast Startup enabled, as it doesn’t enter a fully powered-down mode. Users can still access BIOS by restarting their computer since the restart cycle performs a full shutdown.


If you’re more worried about device storage than the potential impact of Fast Startup on your laptop’s performance, you can change the size of the hibernation file. By default, these files can take up several gigabytes, but you can recover this space by using a simple command prompt to restrict the space allocated to the file. To alter the size of your hibernation file, located at C:\hiberfile.sys by default,

  1. Open the Command Prompt (Admin) by pressing Windows+X.
  2. To reduce the size, use this command:

powercfg /h /type reduced

powercfg h type reduced
  1. To set it to full size, use this command:

powercfg /h /type full

powercfg h type full

Boost Your Pc’s Startup Speed: Enable Windows Fast Startup Now

After exploring the benefits and drawbacks of Fast Startup in Windows 10, it’s clear that enabling this feature can significantly reduce boot times and improve the user experience.

Whether to enable Fast Startup or not depends on individual user needs and preferences, and it’s always a good idea to weigh the pros and cons before making any changes to your system settings. With the knowledge and awareness gained from this guide, users can make informed decisions about optimizing their Windows 10 experience.

Sed Galope
Meet the author

Sedfrey is an experienced writer and editor. He's also a PC hardware and gaming enthusiast. In his spare time, he enjoys reading about the latest innovations in the PC market and finding fixes to hardware and software errors.