What is Windows “Fast Startup” option, and why disable it?

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In a recent blog/podcast, I talked about the importance of restarting your computer in order to refresh the memory and speed it up. But some people actually powered down their computers and powered up again, and the “Up time” counter did not reset. That’s because of the Windows 10 “Fast Startup” option so we’ll talk about that today.

Windows 10 fast startup


Thanks to my friend Larry for reminding me about this feature!

If you’re running Windows 10, there’s a built-in feature called Fast Startup. Guess what it does. That’s right, it helps your computer start up faster!

But you might not want it to do that.

Think of it like this. If you wanted to be dressed and ready to go in the morning as fast as possible, one way to achieve that would be to just not take off your clothes from the day before. Just sleep in them. So when you wake up and get out of bed, BOOM – you’re already dressed! So you’ve achieved the goal of being dressed quickly, but there’s a cost – your clothes are all wrinkled, and not really clean because you wore them the day before.

That’s kind of what this Fast Startup option does with Windows. You hit the power button and choose the Shut Down option, to turn off your computer. But what Windows 10 does is, it takes a “picture” of your computer’s state, and then puts it into a hybrid state between powered off and powered on.

The thing is, your computer DOES need to completely power down sometimes (as discussed in this blog back on July 9). So it might be a good idea if you disabled the Fast Startup option (though there is an exception, which I’ll cover in a minute). And in reality, you might not even see a noticeable difference in the bootup time when Fast Startup is turned off – especially if your computer has a solid state drive, which means it’s already really fast.

Here’s how you check the Fast Startup option and disable it if you want to:

Do a RIGHT click on the Start button, and choose Power Options.

Quick menu


In the new window that opens, click on “Additional power settings”:

power options

In the next window, click on “Choose what the power buttons do”:

power button options


In the new window, look in the section called “Shutdown settings”. There will be a few options there, and one of them is “Turn on fast startup”. It’s probably already checked. If you can just uncheck it, go ahead.

If you can’t uncheck it, you might need to find “Change settings that are currently unavailable” in the top part of that window and click that first, THEN uncheck the Fast Startup box.

disable fast startup


After that, just click “Save changes” and you’re all done.

Now, when you click “Shut down”, your computer will actually shut completely down.

NOTE: Here’s the exception. If you choose the “Restart” option, that actually DOES fully turn off your computer and turn it back on again. For some people, this may be sufficient. Since I do a restart pretty regularly, the Fast Startup option is not a critical thing.

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- Larry -
August 20th, 2018

Thanks for the honorable mention Scott.

I kind of figured that you would confuse people withresetting the ‘up time’ counter with what you wrote. I KNEW some folks, like me, who turned their computer completely off would not ‘reset’ that timer. It needed some clarification.

Yer welcome… keep up the good/reasonably good/adequate information newsletters! Ha!

– Larry -.