Many Windows 10 users in the High Desert are not aware of what actually happens when they click or tap on the various power off options offered by the Start Menu. If you have not modified many Windows 10 settings on your desktop or laptop, the chances are that you are not really shutting down your system even if it looks like you are doing so.
Understanding the “Fast Startup” Feature
One of the default settings of Windows 10 is called “fast startup;” this is a feature that Microsoft developers have been working on for decades. Computer owners who are old enough to remember the days of Windows 95 and its excruciatingly long boot and startup routines will understand the rationale behind the fast startup feature. Whenever this feature is enabled, Windows 10 creates a system file that saves kernel settings on the hard drive, thereby speeding up the process.
Fast startup works like a charm on new systems and on computers that have been recently upgraded to Windows 10. This feature is designed to emulate the “always on” operation of Android and iOS; however, there are times when it may actually slow down not just the startup process but also the entire operating system.
The Difference Between Restarting & Powering Off then Starting Up
If you are experiencing driver or software issues with your Windows 10 installation, you may be better off restarting your computer since doing so will force a refresh of the kernel, but this will often entail a longer boot process. In many cases, you may want to start off with a freshly booted Windows 10 session, particularly if the startup routines have become progressively longer over time.
To determine if the fast startup feature is actually slowing down your system, enter “power” on the Start Menu search bar and select the “Power & Sleep” option; you can also navigate to this section from the Control Panel. You will want to look for the option that lets you “Choose What the Power Buttons Do” to disable the fast startup feature.
If you notice your system booting up faster when “fast startup” is disabled, you may need to optimize your Windows 10 installation. You can also try holding down Shift on your keyboard when you press the power button to force a complete shutdown and bypass fast startup. Unless your desktop or laptop is more than five years old, it should not take more than two minutes for Windows 10 to boot.