Modern computers come loaded with hundreds of processes and services designed to make the operating system run smoothly. Sometimes when you install a program or service, they may interfere with crucial services, resulting in unexpected program crashes, error messages popping up, or slowing down your computer.

You could start your computer into Safe Mode, which is a more barebones approach that disables even more drivers or services, but it may disable some things you may be trying to test. Instead, you can perform a Clean Boot on Windows 10 by temporarily disabling non-critical services and startup programs. You can then enable them again one at a time to see if any are causing trouble.

RELATED: How to Boot Into Safe Mode on Windows 10 or 8 (The Easy Way)

Note: Before you get started, you may want to set up a System Restore Point or back up your computer just in case anything goes wrong during the process. Also, you should not try to perform these steps if your PC is connected to a managed network, such as the one at your company. In fact, it’s likely the tools you’d use to perform these steps are disabled by your administrator.

 

To start, hit Win+R to open the Run window. Type “msconfig” in the box and then hit Enter.

Once MSConfig opens, switch over to the Services tab to display a list of all services for your computer. At the bottom of the window, select the “Hide All Microsoft Services” option and then click the “Disable All” button. This disables all non-Microsoft services. Click “OK” when you’re done.

In the warning window that pops up, click the “Exit Without Restart” button. You will be restarting your computer, but you have one more step to perform first.

Next, you’re going to disable third-party startup programs that could potentially be causing problems on your computer.

Hit Ctrl+Shift+EscapeHead to open Task Manager and then switch over to the “Startup” tab.

You’ll have to disable startup apps one at a time; there’s no way to disable them all at once. Select an enabled app and then click the “Disable” button. Do that for all the enabled apps on the tab.

RELATED: How to Disable Startup Programs in Windows

When you’re done disabling apps, restart your computer, and it should load without any of those services or startup programs running.

You can now start troubleshooting the issues you were experiencing before. If you receive any errors stating certain programs couldn’t start, this is normal as you’ve just disabled all non-essential services.

If the clean boot fixes the problem you were experiencing, you can start turning services and startup apps back on and restarting your PC. We recommend doing this one service or app at a time, even though the process will take some time. This allows you to narrow the problem down by process of elimination.

When you’ve finished troubleshooting, go back to the “Services” tab in msconfig, click the “Enable All” button, and then individually disable any services that caused problems. In Task Manager, turn on all the startup apps that did not cause any problems.

Brady Gavin Brady Gavin
Brady Gavin has been immersed in technology for 15 years and has written over 150 detailed tutorials and explainers. He's covered everything from Windows 10 registry hacks to Chrome browser tips. Brady has a diploma in Computer Science from Camosun College in Victoria, BC.  
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