Why Does Your Gaming PC Take So Long To Boot?

As a gaming enthusiast, you expect your PC to be at its best performance so you can enjoy your games. However, you’ve noticed that your PC takes too long to boot. Slow booting times are pretty frustrating, but luckily, there are a few ways to make your boot times faster. 

The most common reason your gaming PC may be taking too long to boot is that it is running out of storage space. You might have downloaded too many files, and your PC is struggling to keep them running. You might also have too many programs running at startup or have virus attacks on your PC. 

If your gaming PC has been too slow when booting, read on to understand different reasons why this is happening. You’ll also learn the most suitable ways to deal with this problem. 

a gaming woman getting frustrated with slow gaming computer

You are running too many background programs

list of current applications running on a windows 11 machine

The more background programs on your gaming PC, the slower it will be when booting and performing. 

This is because background programs take up more processing power and reduce your machine’s performance. 

Some of the programs continue running in the background even after closing them. When you start your computer, you’ll see alerts for these programs.

Some of these programs start automatically when you turn on your gaming PC, and they drain your machine’s processing power and slow its booting process. 

Solution: Disable background programs

Before switching off your gaming PC after use, close all the background programs. If you leave them running, they’ll affect your machine’s booting speed when you start it again. 

You can also restrict the background programs so they don’t run whenever you start your computer. If you don’t need them, uninstall the programs and free up some space in your machine. 

The idea is only to have the necessary programs running on your PC. 

If you keep cleaning up the apps and turning them off religiously when switching off your PC, you’ll notice a significant improvement in your machine’s booting process. 

Also, be careful having lots of Chrome tabs open at once, it can quickly consume quite a bit of memory.

Too many startup programs

windows task manager startup tab displaying all the startup programs to be able to edit to not start up everytime

How many programs are running when you start your machine? You could have too many startup programs running simultaneously, causing a slowed-down booting process. 

Most of these programs come with an option to run at boot, but you should use this feature sparingly. 

While startup programs are great for your machine’s operation, too many of them will only slow your device. 

Startup programs are only helpful if you use them consistently. However, as a gamer, you may install temporary startup programs and forget to delete them. 

As a result, they continue taking up space in your PC and make it slower at the booting process. 

Solution: Disable startup programs

Assess all the startup programs running on your machine when switching it on. Then, identify all the programs you still need and delete those you don’t use. 

Make it a habit to assess your machine. 

As a gamer, you’ll download and install many programs on your machine. Some are for long-term use and need to stay in the device to boost its performance. 

However, some are short-term, and you won’t need them after you are done playing a game. 

So, make sure that your machine only has the necessary startup apps and programs running when you switch it on. 

To do this, open the Task Manager and select the startup tab to disable the applications you don’t want running every time you start your computer.

You don’t have enough RAM

computer ram for desktop gaming pc

If you just built or purchased your computer, RAM may cause your boot-up blues. 

If you do not have enough RAM to get your computer started up, you may experience prolonged loading times or failure to start up. 

Solution 1: Get more RAM

Most computer builders and gamers recommend having at least 16GB of RAM for reasonably fast boot and operation. 

However, if you don’t have enough RAM, you’ll also notice some crashing with advanced games and slow loading times. 

So, it would benefit you greatly to re-up on the RAM and stick some more into your rig. 

The more RAM you have up until a certain amount, the faster things will go. So, don’t skimp on the amount of GBs. 

So, check your motherboard’s specs and ensure you have the right RAM for your setup. 

Also, if you choose to simply buy more RAM sticks and not replace your current ones, be sure to get the same brand and model. RAM is not cross-compatible with other brands and types. 

Solution 2: Reseat your RAM sticks

Sometimes, issues with RAM occur just because they aren’t securely in place. For example, if your RAM doesn’t make it into your motherboard, you’ll have some booting issues. 

So, before jumping to conclusions and blaming your RAM for the problem, check that the sticks are securely in place. 

It’s also a good idea to ensure that the contacts are clean. This can avoid issues like blue-screening, black screens, or random restarts.

Low storage drive space

a SATA mechanical hard disk drive for a desktop computer

Your gaming PC could be taking longer to boot because your drive space is full. That means that you have so many files on your drive that your PC takes longer to read and reboot. 

In addition, the operating systems in your PC don’t have adequate space to run, slowing the booting process.

Always ensure at least 500 megabytes of free space in your drive. Keep freeing up space in your drive to give your operating system adequate room to perform. 

Solution 1: Empty the Recycle Bin

Whether you’re a modder or game-hoarder, you likely download many programs and files and discard them in the recycle bin when you no longer need them. 

Unfortunately, the deleted files and programs continue taking up space in your PC and are part of the reason why your PC is taking longer to boot. 

Go to your gaming PC’s recycle bin and delete all the files there. Your machine automatically deletes files that have been in the recycle bin for more than 30 days. 

However, if you keep deleting files and programs, you must manually clean up the recycle bin and improve your PC’s performance. 

Solution 2: Remove unwanted programs

How many programs running on your PC do you need and use? As a gaming enthusiast, you might download one-time usage programs and forget to delete them after use. 

These programs continue using valuable space on your hard drive and cause your PC to be slower when booting. 

Analyze all the programs on your PC and delete all the ones you no longer need. You should only have the frequently used programs running in your background. 

After removing all the unnecessary programs, you’ll significantly improve your PC’s booting process. 

Solution 3: Clean the Downloads Folder

Your downloads folder is very likely the most cluttered of all. You download different games, files, and programs to boost your gaming expertise. 

However, you don’t use all these downloads simultaneously. 

Sometimes, you keep things that you no longer use in your downloads folder. For instance, you might have downloaded a newer game version and forgotten to delete the older version. 

These files keep consuming space in your PC and slow it down. 

Do a thorough clean-up of your download folder and see your PC’s booting process speed up. 

Solution 4: Find and delete temporary files

Your PC might have temporary files that you no longer use. Such files and programs consume space in your machine and run in the background every time you boot up. 

They could be the reason why your PC’s booting process is slower. 

So, to deep clean your PC, find these temporary files and delete them. They could be download packages or launchers, but cleaning them up is key to keeping your processing power at its peak. 

A good program to help you accomplish this is CCleaner. The free version does a good job of cleaning up the old build-up of files on your system.

Solution 5: Clear cache and cookies

Your browser saves some web pages to make browsing easier. These pages are called cache. Unfortunately, they consume space on your gaming PC and may cause slowed booting. 

You should check your cache and delete all the web pages you no longer need. 

The websites you visit will ask you if you accept their cookies. If you accept the cookies, the websites start storing data on your PC. 

This data consumes a lot of space in your machine and may trigger some programs to run in the background. 

You can clear the cookies of the websites you no longer need through your browser’s settings. 

You can also adjust your cookie settings so that your machine doesn’t automatically accept cookies from all the websites you visit. 

An Old or fragmented hard disk drive

a graphical model of the defragmentation process

If you’ve been using your gaming PC for a long time, the hard drive could be old and have a lot of unnecessary stuff. It could also be fragmented, causing it to save files in different segments.

The different fragments make it hard for your PC to access information when booting – hence the slowed booting process. 

Solution: Defragment Your Hard Drive

Defragmenting your hard drive means restructuring it such that files are stored in neat and accessible compartments instead of scattered fragments. 

Games are the main culprit in fragmentation. Keep assessing your storage section in the hard drive and remove the small fragments. 

Then, compile them into more accessible and orderly files.

You can check out this video for steps on how you can defragment your hard drive:

An even better solution would be to upgrade your old mechanical hard disk drive to an M.2 SSD. If your motherboard doesn’t have an M.2 slot, go with a SATA version of SSD instead.

Delayed system updates

You need to update the operating system in your gaming PC regularly. Your machine will send you pop-up updates to remind you when you need to update them. However, there’s an option to do it later. 

If your machine takes longer to boot, it might be because you’ve delayed the updates for too long. 

You’re using outdated versions of your operating systems that don’t match the work you need your gaming PC to do. 

The operating systems in your machine need regular updates if it’s to serve you as well as you expect them to. 

Solution: Update your system regularly

If you keep ignoring the system update requests on your PC, you’ll affect its performance. The best thing is to click on the updates whenever they appear on your screen. 

However, if you’re too busy at the time of the updates, you can schedule them for later. For instance, you can start the updates when you’re about to switch off the computer. 

Your machine will switch off automatically when the updates are done. 

In addition, you can always opt for auto-updates for most Linux distros and Windows. Doing so will help you get the updates you need for peak performance. 

Whenever you have a free moment, open the Start Menu, click on Settings, and then on Windows Update in the settings app.

Then click on the Check for updates button to initiate the check manually as to whether or not there are any updates ready to download for your computer.

You have malware or viruses

a graphical representation of a virus being detected inside a computer

Your PC could be dragging its booting process because of malware or attacks by viruses. 

Malware means that something in your gaming PC is broken and not functioning as it should be. 

Viruses come in downloaded files and can damage your machine’s functioning, including booting. 

Solution: Run a diagnosis and use antivirus

You can run a diagnosis on your machine to identify the broken parts. The operating systems in your PC can run the diagnosis and alert you to areas that need repair. 

Sometimes your computer will resolve the issues independently. 

If your PC has viruses, use a credible antivirus to get rid of them. Run the antivirus on every new program or file you install on your PC. 

Conclusion 

If your gaming PC is taking too long to boot, it could be because your PC has internal issues. 

These issues include insufficient RAM, a broken or segmented hard drive, many background or startup programs, and delayed system updates. 

Fortunately, there are different ways to resolve these problems fast before they overpower your PC. 

You can reduce the number of files on your PC by deleting those you don’t need, defragmenting your hard drive, and updating the systems.