Speed up the start time of Windows

Windows launching slowly? Discover a new free program that tracks down the causes

Lots of problems can make using a PC frustrating but a slow startup time must rank near the top of the list. On a new PC, Windows may launch quickly, but a few months on you’re left drumming your fingers for what seems like an eternity. Typically, this is because one or more programs launch themselves along with the operating system. The more that do this, the slower startup becomes.

Soluto is a program that calculates how long Windows takes to start. It then determines which programs are to blame, providing the ability to prevent or delay their launch. It’s quick to install, easy to use and free, and in this Workshop we explain how to use it.

Please bear in mind that Soluto is at beta (test) stage, so we wouldn’t recommend that novices attempt to use it.

1.- Launch a browser and head to www.soluto.com. When the website appears, click the green Download button. If the File Download Security Warning dialogue box appears, dick Save and then choose a location for the downloaded file. Firefox users should select Save File to save the download to Firefox's default download folder. Once the download is complete, double-click the solutoinstaller.exe file to start the installation.

2.- If a User Account Control message appears, click Yes to allow the installation to continue and then click 'I Agree - Install'. Additional installation files may need to be downloaded, so ensure the PC is connected to the internet during the installation process. Once Soluto has been installed, there will be a slight delay while the software launches. When this 'Installation done' message is displayed, click the Reboot Now button to restart Windows.

3.- It is likely Windows will take slightly longer than normal to launch the first time it is started with Soluto installed. This is because the program is analysing the Windows startup process. While this analysis proceeds. Soluto appears as a curled page in the lower left-hand corner of the Desktop. To ensure accurate results, do not use the PC until Soluto has finished what it is doing.

4.- Ensure your computer is connected to the internet and click either the 'Learn more' link in the page curt or the Soluto icon in the Notification Area. Soluto now compares the start-up programs detected on your PC with those in its database. The summary at the top of the program window indicates how long Windows takes to start ('boot') and how many programs launch at startup.

5.- Below this, the green bar represents programs that can be safety removed from Windows startup without risk of causing any harm to the PC or preventing anything from working. Hover the mouse cursor over the green bar and it will expand to display all the programs that fall into the 'No-brainer' category. Many programs can be easily identified by the shown file names.

6.- Hover the mouse pointer over an individual entry for a couple of seconds and the description box will expand to reveal additional options. To help reduce startup times, the program's launch can be prevented or delayed. Clicking Pause will prevent the program from running until you choose to launch it manually, while selecting Delay allows the program to launch only after Windows has fully loaded and the PC isn't doing much else. A small pie chart gives an indication of the actions other Soluto users took.