How Long Should My Computer Take to Boot Up Windows 7?
By Matt Koble
From the moment you turn on your computer until it's ready to use, this time varies based on many factors. Your computer's hardware, maintenance and startup programs all play a role in boot speed. Keeping the boot process quick proves important when you're working on your computer. A slower boot time leaves you less time to work, and, while a single instance may not break your schedule, repeated slow booting might take a toll on productivity.
There's no specific time in seconds or minutes that all Windows 7 computers should boot in. Since your computer's components differ so drastically from the next person's, normal boot times vary. For example, an expensive gaming computer with high-end components will probably boot faster than a budget desktop that cost a couple hundred dollars. With a traditional hard drive, you should expect your computer to boot in between about 30 and 90 seconds. Again, it's crucial to stress there's no set number, and your computer may take less or more time depending on your configuration.
The biggest factor in boot time is the type of hard drive you use. Computers with traditional hard drives take so long to start because the computer has to spin the drive's platters and search them for the data needed to get the operating system up and running. The alternative is a solid state drive, which uses flash memory instead of moving platters. With no moving parts, SSDs are much quicker in regard to boot time and overall performance. With Windows 7 and an SSD, you can expect to see your computer boot in half the time when compared to an HDD.
If you're using a traditional hard drive instead of an SSD, there are still steps you can take to possibly improve boot time. Keep your disk tidy by using the Windows Disk Defragmenter utility. Disk fragmentation occurs naturally over time as your computer opens, writes, writes over, moves and saves data. Defragmenting puts all the pieces back together and organizes your data, reducing the time it takes the drive to find files. Regular defragmentation can help improve boot time over systems that don't use this tool. Solid state drives don't suffer from fragmentation, and defragmenting them is actually bad for that type of drive.
Some programs have an option during installation to launch the program when your computer starts. When you apply this option, Windows automatically runs the program on startup. Removing unneeded programs from this list means your computer has to do less work right when it starts. This helps shorten the time between when you see your desktop appear on your screen and can actually use your computer. Click the "Start" button and type "System Configuration" (without quotes) into the search bar. Select the corresponding result under Programs and click the "Startup" tab. Remove the check mark next to a program you want to remove from startup and click "Apply." Never disable a startup program unless you're absolutely sure what the program is. Some of the entries listed are crucial to your computer's full functionality.
Matt Koble has been writing professionally since 2008. He has been published on websites such as DoItYourself. Koble mostly writes about technology, electronics and computer topics.