How-To Geek

Start Your Computer More Quickly by Delaying the Startup of a Service in Vista

If you are the type of person that restarts your computer all the time, you are probably really worried about speeding up your bootup time. Unless you get paid to watch the Windows boot screen. I wonder how well that would pay…

Windows Vista provides a simple method to delay the startup of a service so that you can boot more quickly. The service will still eventually be started, but in the background after you are already at the desktop.

Delaying Service Startup

Open up Services by typing services into the start menu search box, or you can look in the administrative tools section of control panel.


Here’s the tricky part: finding the right services to delay. You shouldn’t try and delay the services that deal with internal Windows functions or networking, but there are plenty of less important items like the Cisco VPN client required by my employer, or services installed by your printer.

Once you find the service you want to delay, right-click on it and choose Properties (or just double-click it)


Now change the “Startup type” drop-down to “Automatic (Delayed Start)”, close the dialog and then go on to the next item.


In some cases this can significantly improve the initial bootup time. I’d recommend starting with additional services installed by applications. You’ll have best luck if you only make one change at a time, and keep track of what you change in case you break something!

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 01/19/08

Comments (7)

  1. Lisaweb

    Neat! Can this be done in XP?

  2. Planet Lowyat

    I won’t shutdown or restart my Vista or XP if no necessary. Normally I will either put it on standby, sleep or hibernate. Anyway, thanks for the tips.

  3. Pnkfldman
    has a very extensive set of services & they are tested safe to speed up win XP/2k, etc. Very Knowledgeable guy that runs that page.

  4. Rob

    Thanks I didn’t know about this new option in vista
    I have changed a few obviously unimportant things and now my logon is less than 1minute including live mail signing in.
    As my machine is the cheapest I could find with vista premium this seems quite acceptable

  5. Rob

    Reply to Lisaweb
    You can use a program called Startup Delayer
    From r2 Studios at
    It is free and I have used it on my XP machine with no probs

  6. Castle_Rock

    So if I set some of the processes to auto-delayed start, will this bog down the loading time of the desktop after I have logged in? Meaning the AVG, Ipod service etc.

  7. Sylvia

    Yes, you should turn off the IPOD service, because it is not just basically is completely useless.

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