Q. Why Is It Taking So Long for My Windows 10 Machine to Boot Up? Getty Images

Q. Why Is It Taking So Long for My Windows 10 Machine to Boot Up?

Q.  My Win10 boot-up is too long: five minutes and 35 seconds. Is there a way to make it faster?

A. Yes! In fact, Win10 and Win8 make it downright easy to reduce or eliminate many software-based startup delays.

And even older versions of Windows — Win7 and Vista — can usually benefit from some easy, performance-focused maintenance.

In Win10/8, start with Task Manager; it contains a built-in tool that not only lists all software that normally launches at Windows boot, but also tracks and reports the relative time (“startup impact”) that each app adds to your PC’s total boot sequence.

At a glance, Task Manager’s Startup tab will show you which apps are causing the greatest slowdowns.

What’s more, the tool lets you instantly disable the startup-related actions of apps. Disabling an app’s ability to load at startup typically has no other effect — you can still launch and use it, later.

Win8’s and Win10’s built-in startup analyzer is wholly new, incorporating functions that previously required third-party tools. Moreover, Win8/10’s Task Manager includes functions that were originally put into separate Win7/Vista applets: Management Console (MMC), System Configuration tool (MSConfig), and Resource Monitor (ResMon).

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Editor's note: We feature an abridged Q&A from Fred Langa's LANGALIST, a column available exclusively to paid subscribers of the Windows Secrets newsletter,. What you see here is just a small sampling of what Langa's writing for the newsletter — go here for more information on how to subscribe.

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