Introduction: How to Help Speed Up Your Computer's Start Up Time

A brief step by step guide to help your computer boot faster. Works on all Window XP, Vista, and Window 7 (x86,x64) machines.

Over the months and years of usage our computers begin to slow down. The change is gradual at first, but sooner or later we notice it has become incredibly slow, especially the start up time. This is due, in part, to two main causes: (1) thousands of junk files the computer makes and keeps, and (2) adding and deleting programs and applications. This guide will help you remove those unwanted system files, and fix the registry entries for programs that have been removed.

It is highly suggested you restart your computer upon completing these steps to apply the changes.

Step 1: Download and Install CCleaner

I.)  Click on, or use your browser to navigate to, the following link .

II .) Click on the link in the upper right corner labeled "Download Latest Version".      (Image 1)  Depending on your browser of choice, you will see an option to "Run" or "Save".

III.)  Click the "Run" option and allow the browser to download, save, and run your CCleaner installer. If "Save" is the only option, choose a proper location, and save the file to that location. Navigate to the saved file location, and Double click the CCleaner installer.

IV.)  Select that appropriate language, and the welcome window will appear.           (Image 2)

V.)  Install the application by selecting the appropriate boxes. In this version you click "Next  >", "I Agree", then "Install".      (Image 3)            You know the application has installed correctly when the window entitled "Completing the CCleaner" appears. Click "Finish".        (Image 4)

Side note:
For this guide I will be using version 3.03.1366.

Step 2: Analyze and Remove Unnecessary Junk Files

WARNING: Only change the options in this application if you are confident in your understanding of what such option will do. The default options selected are the safest for most users. No changes are necessary.

I.)  In the opening window of the application click the "Analyze" Button.     (Image1)
After allowing the application to take a full analysis of the junk files on your machine, the "ANALYSIS COMPLETE" dialog will appear with a brief summary of what was found.     (Image 2)

II.) In the lower right side of the window click "Run Cleaner". Upon completion, the "CLEANING COMPLETE" dialog will appear with roughly the same summary from before.

Step 3: Registry Cleanup

I.)  Click the "Registry" icon located on the left side of the application window.     (Image1)

II.)  Click the "Scan for Issues" button on the bottom center of the window.
After allowing the program to scan the computer a dialog similar to one in (Image 2) will appear. Each dialog is unique to the computer, and contains difficult to understand information retrieved from your system's registry.

III.)  Click the "Fix selected issues" button on the bottom right of the window.
A relatively smaller window will appear asking "Do you want to backup changes to the registry?".

IV.)  Click "Yes" and save the file in an appropriate location. It is also a good habit to rename the file with the day's date for organization.     (Image 3)

WARNING : Do not proceed to fix anything in the registry without saving a backup. If the registry become corrupt a successful backup of the registry will be required to restore the system to working condition.

V.)  Click "Fix All Selected Issues" in the window that appears.     (Image 4)

Step 4: Startup Program Editor

Caution : This step will yield the greatest difference in start up performance, but it is the only step that requires user discretion. This step will not cause damage to your system, but can cause other applications on your system to be effected. Everything done in this step is easily reversible.

I.)  Click on the "Tools" icon on the left side of the application window.

II.)  Click on the "Startup" tab on the left side of the window.     (Image 1)
You will see listed information about each of the programs that run at the startup of your system. 

III.)  Review the list of programs for ones you would like to have start automatically with your system, and those you wish not to. Notice the "Enable" column shows whether or not the program will start up with the system.     (Image 1)

Caution: There is no need to "Delete" anything from this list. Disabling it will cause it not to run at startup. You can also return and "Enable" any item in the list if results are undesirable. 

IV.)  Select the item you want to disable, and click "Disable". This will cause the "Yes" to change to "No".

V.)  Repeat step (IV) as many times as needed to remove any program not needed at startup.

VI.) Close the application and restart your computer to allow for the changes to take affect.

Side note : After disabling a program from this list, it is possible that the next time you run the program it will cause it to be re-enabled on startup. You may also need to go into the settings of the individual program that has been re-enabled, and disable it there. Feel free to use this step often to disable any undesired programs.