Are These Programs Slowing Down Your Windows Startup?

Slow Startup Programs Featured Image

One of the most frequent complaints from users of a Windows machine is the slowness of startup. It can get frustrating waiting for your computer to finally get to the desktop, and that wasted time limits productivity.

When you turn on your computer, there is a myriad of programs that open immediately whether you know it or not. These programs start automatically to help the operating system load. If you had to open all of these programs manually, it would take way too long. When the computer tries to boot too many programs at one time, it creates a bottleneck and slows everything down.

Slow Startup Programs Waiting

Many programs that launch on startup may not be quickly recognizable to most computer users. But there are some commonly used apps you may use that are slowing your computer down, too. There are reasons for these apps to open on startup, but if they cause slow booting, open them manually when you are ready to use them.

Here are some common categories of apps that are often guilty of slowing down your computer.


Slow Startup Programs Adobe

Adobe applications – including Adobe Reader, Acrobat, and others from their Creative Cloud family – are designed to add themselves to your startup folder. The only reason it may be useful to allow these programs to run is so they can automatically update. This is because hackers commonly attack these applications. It is not necessary to allow these programs to launch automatically. They should be disabled.


Applications from Apple slow down your startup, too. A primary culprit in the past has been Quicktime, but it’s not generally found on computers anymore. You probably don’t have Quicktime on your computer, but if you do, you can delete it entirely. Other Apple programs that can bog down your startup include Apple P\ush and iTunes Helper. You can disable them on startup and open them as needed.

Chat applications

Slow Startup Programs Chat Applications

Chat applications launch automatically upon startup because this will let people on your contact list know that you are available to chat. If you use Skype, Discord, or other chat apps on your laptop, you can disable them at startup. It will speed up your boot time, and you can always open the application when you are ready to chat.

Cloud storage

Cloud storage apps are great for keeping all of your files backed up and available. When they launch automatically, all your files stay synced without you even thinking about it. The drawback to these programs is the drag they create on your computer when you boot it up. OneDrive, DropBox, Google Drive, pCloud, and Amazon Drive are examples of programs that may be interfering with your startup speed.

Gaming clients

Slow Startup Programs Gaming

GOG Galaxy, Origin, and Steam are examples of gaming clients that add themselves to the startup folder on your Windows computer. They do this so that they can update in the background and make it possible for you to play right away without waiting for updates. To speed up the time needed to boot your computer, disable these clients and open them manually once the machine has booted up.


iTunes and Spotify are music streaming apps that will automatically launch by default on your computer. There is no real benefit to letting that happen, so disable it and speed up your boot.

Manufacturer bloatware

Manufacturers of computers such as HP and Lenovo add programs to their computers known as bloatware. You can safely remove them from startup, and you may want to delete them entirely to keep your computer working smoothly.

How to disable these apps on startup

Disabling these programs is easy. Type Startup in the search window on the taskbar and open “Startup Apps.”

Slow Startup Programs Search For Startup Apps

Find the program you want to deactivate, and click on the toggle switch to stop it from running on startup. You especially want to consider disabling programs that show a high impact on boot time.

Slow Startup Programs Startup Apps Toggle

Many of these apps have a setting that you can change to keep the program from adding itself to the startup folder. Check these settings once in a while. Sometimes an update will reset the preferences and start launching at startup again.

Disabling the programs that automatically run on startup will make your computer run faster and more smoothly. So unless you absolutely need these programs running immediately, try disabling them and see if your boot time doesn’t improve.

Tracey Rosenberger Tracey Rosenberger

Tracey Rosenberger spent 26 years teaching elementary students, using technology to enhance learning. Now she's excited to share helpful technology with teachers and everyone else who sees tech as intimidating.


  1. You did not mention probably the #1 reason why computers are slow to boot and that is CONVENIENCE. Many users have all the apps they MIGHT use during the session start on bootup. When they want to use an app, it will already be up and running.

    Many programs and applications written for Windows, are designed to automatically add themselves to Start Up. Some of them are nice and ask for permission during install but most just add themselves without the user’s knowledge. The best procedure is to immediately after the installation process is finished check the Startup Apps and disable the app one has just installed.

    1. 1 reason why computers are slow to boot and that is CONVENIENCE”

      You’re wrong. The #1 reason is that most people are too cheap to buy a proper computer with bleeding edge specifications. Too cheap to upgrade to a newer build. Too cheap to buy a new pair of shoes or jeans. You can’t fix that “mindset” can you?

      Everything else about the article is spot on.

      1. Not everybody has the the free cash to spend on a $4,000-$5,000 bleeding edge computer.

        Besides, if you have 50 or 60 apps (and I don’t mean Windows components) open at start up, even a bleeding edge PC will be brought to its knees.

  2. This only applies to Windows 10; many of us are still using other versions and will not go to 10 until we absolutely have to!

    1. It applies to all Windows versions. I remember having to clean out unwanted apps from my Win 95 and Win 98 Start Up files.

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