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After Windows starts up, it waits about ten seconds before opening your startup programs. This “startup delay” lets your desktop and Windows services finish loading, making everything run a bit smoother. If you have apps you’d rather run immediately, you can do it with a simple Registry hack.

The ten-second delay after Windows starts but before it begins loading startup apps gives the operating system time to load into memory and perform any necessary system tasks before the apps start requesting resources. The Registry hack we’re talking about in this article reduces or disables the startup delay, meaning that it applies to all startup apps. There’s no way to apply this technique only to specific apps.

RELATED: How to Add Programs, Files, and Folders to System Startup in Windows

Note: Eliminating the startup delay works best on solid-state drives since they load things much quicker. While you can certainly give it a try if you have a traditional hard drive, you might not see much increase in how fast your startup apps load.

How to Disable the Windows 10 Startup Delay

To disable the Windows 10 startup delay, you just need to make a few edits in the Windows Registry.

Standard Warning: Registry Editor is a powerful tool and misusing it can render your system unstable or even inoperable. This is a pretty simple hack, and as long as you stick to the instructions, you shouldn’t have any problems. That said, if you’ve never worked with it before, consider reading about how to use the Registry Editor before you get started. And definitely back up the Registry (and your computer!) before making changes.

Open the Registry Editor by hitting Start and typing “regedit.” Press Enter to open the Registry Editor and then permit it to make changes to your PC.

Open Registry Editor App

In the Registry Editor, use the left sidebar to navigate to the following key (or copy and paste it into the Registry Editor address bar):

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Serialize

Navigate to the Key in Registry Editor

If the Serialize key doesn’t already exist, you’ll need to create it. Right-click on the parent key ( Explorer ) and choose New > Key. Name it “Serialize.”

Create new Key "Serialize"

Now, right-click the Serialize key and choose New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the new value StartupDelayInMSec .

Create new Value StartupDelayInMSec

Next, you’re going to modify that value. Double-click the new StartupDelayInMSecvalue and make sure the value is set to 0 in the “Value data” box.

Set The DWORD value to 0

Click “OK” and then exit Registry Editor. For the changes to take effect, you’ll need to restart your computer. You and any other users should no longer experience the delay forced upon you by Windows.

If you ever want to re-enable this delay because your startup programs are demanding too many resources upon signing in, head back into the Registry Editor and delete the StartupDelayInMSec value by right-clicking it and then clicking “Delete.”

Delete the Registry Value

Download Our One-Click Registry Hack

File Explorer showing reg hack files

If you don’t feel like diving into the Registry yourself, we’ve created a registry hack you can use. Just download and extract the following ZIP file:

Disable Startup Delay Registry Hack

Inside you’ll find a REG file for disabling the Startup delay in Windows and one for enabling it again. Once extracted, double-click the file you want and accept the prompts asking whether you’re sure you want to make changes to your Registry.

These hacks are just the Serialize key exported from our own Registry after we added—or removed—theStartupDelayInMSec value we talked about in the previous section. Running the hack modifies the value in your Registry. If you enjoy fiddling with the Registry, it’s worth taking the time to learn how to make your own Registry hacks.

RELATED: How to Make Your Own Windows Registry Hacks

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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