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How to make your laptop boot faster

If your laptop takes its sweet time starting up, then here are some things you can do to put a little pep back in its startup step.

Get an SSD

You can breathe new life and faster boot times into an old laptop by replacing its spinning hard drive with a solid-state drive.

Without needing to physically spin a disk to locate the data you’ve requested, solid-state drives are substantially faster than traditional hard disk drives. After installing an SSD, the first time you’ll notice its speed improvement is when you boot up your laptop.

Although this move requires you to open your laptop and perform a bit of surgery, it’s a basic procedure. In a nutshell, you will need to gather a few tools, clone your hard drive to the new drive, open your laptop, remove its old hard drive and then add in an SSD in its place. Here’s how to upgrade your MacBook Pro with an SSD.

Note: be sure to check with your laptop vendor or in laptop forums to make sure the SSD you choose is compatible with your laptop model. You may sacrifice some storage capacity when you move to an SSD but prices have drop precipitously in recent years so you may be able to afford a larger SSD than you may think.

Reduce startup items

Sometimes the applications you install go ahead and include themselves among the applications that your laptop loads when it starts up. And the longer the list of applications your laptop has to load during startup, the longer it takes to start up. Thankfully, both Windows and OS X both let you choose which applications make this list.

If you are unwilling to purchase or install an SSD, then you’ll like this maneuver because its free and easy. And if your laptop already has an SSD, then you can further shorten its boot time.

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On OS X El Capitan, open System Preferences and select Users Groups. Click on your username in the left panel and then click the Login Items tab in the right panel. To remove a program from this list, click on it and the click the “-” button.

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On Windows 10, search for Task Manager and open it. Click the Startup tab and you’ll see a list of programs that start automatically when Windows 10 boots. Look for programs you don’t need at startup, particularly if they are listed as having a High Startup impact in the right column. To stop a program from automatically running when you start Windows 10, right-click it and click Disable.

Windows: Fast startup

For Windows 10 laptop, there’s a setting called Fast Startup designed to get you up and running more quickly. Fast Startup cuts down on startup time by creating a state between shutdown and hibernation where your system state is saved as a hibernation file, which is then loaded when you start up your laptop again. It saves Windows the step of reloading the kernel, drivers, and your settings. Unlike hibernation mode, your open folders and applications are not saved with Fast startup.

Fast startup is enabled by default on Windows 10, but it’s worth checking to make sure that’s the case.

  • Go to Control Panel Hardware Sound Power Options.
  • Click Choose what the power buttons do from the left panel.
  • Click Change settings that are currently unavailable at the top of the window and scroll down to the bottom and make sure the box is checked for Turn on fast startup (recommended).

For more, read what is Window 10′s fast startup?

OS X: Automatic login

This last tip is for Mac owners who have more than one user account set up. With Automatic login, you bypass the login screen and log right into one of your accounts to speed the startup process along. Because this setting lets you log into OS X without needing to enter your password, Automatic login is not advisable if you carry your laptop with you everywhere you go and are prone to leaving it unattended in public places. If your laptop spends most of the time safely at home, here’s how to enable it.

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  • Open System Preferences and click Users Groups.
  • Click the lock button in the lower-left corner and enter your account password.
  • Click Login Options in the left panel.
  • Choose an account from from the Automatic login pull-down menu and enter the password for that account.

For more, here are 5 tips to speed up your Mac and 6 easy ways to speed up Windows 10.

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