Why Does Your Gaming PC Take So Long To Boot?

As a gaming enthusiast, you expect your PC to perform at its best 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. 

1. You are running too many background programs

The more background programs or apps on your gaming PC, the slower it will be when booting and performing. Background programs take up more processing power and reduce your machine’s performance. Some of the apps continue running in the background even after closing them. When you start your computer, you’ll see alerts for them.

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 apps so they don’t run whenever you start your computer. If you don’t need them, uninstall them 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 booting process. Also, be careful having many Chrome tabs open at once. It can quickly consume quite a bit of memory.

2. Too many startup programs

Windows Task Manager Startup tab displaying all the programs that launch at startup.

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

Most of these apps have the option to run at boot, but you should use this feature sparingly. While startup apps are great for your machine’s operation, too many will only slow your device. 

Startup programs are only helpful if you use them consistently. However, as a gamer, you may install temporary startup apps and forget to delete them. As a result, they continue taking up space on your PC and make it slower during the booting process. 

Solution: Disable startup programs

Assess all the startup programs running on your machine when switching it on. Then, identify all of them 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 must stay in the device to boost performance. However, some are short-term, and you won’t need them after playing a game. 

So, ensure your machine only has the necessary startup apps and programs 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.

3. You don’t have enough RAM

2 Sticks of Dual Channel RAM are Installed on a motherboard.

If you just built or purchased your computer, RAM may cause your boot-up blues. If you do not have enough RAM to start your computer, 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 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 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, RAM issues occur just because they aren’t securely in place. For example, you’ll have booting issues if your RAM doesn’t make it into your motherboard. 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.

4. Low storage drive space

An M.2 SSD is placed amongst some hard disk drives.

Your gaming PC could take longer to boot because your drive space is full. That means 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. Your machine automatically deletes files in the recycle bin for over 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 apps and forget to delete them afterward. 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 apps 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 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. Clean your download folder thoroughly 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 whenever you boot up. They could be the reason why your PC’s booting process is slower. 

So, to deep clean your PC, find and delete these temporary files. 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 store 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 websites’ cookies you no longer need through your browser’s settings. You can also adjust your cookie settings so your machine doesn’t automatically accept cookies from all the websites you visit. 

5. An Old or fragmented hard disk drive

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 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. Assess your storage section on the hard drive and remove the small fragments. 

Then, compile them into more accessible and orderly files. 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, use a SATA version of SSD instead.

6. 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 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 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 to serve you as well as you expect them to. 

Solution: Update your system regularly

It will affect performance if you keep ignoring the system update requests on your PC. 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 your 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.

7. You have malware or viruses

A virus found in a computer concept art.

Your PC could be dragging its booting process because of malware or attacks by viruses. Malware means something in your gaming PC is broken and not functioning as it should. 

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

Solution: Run a diagnosis and use an 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 eliminate them. Run the antivirus on every new program or file you install on your PC.