Windows 8 came with a feature called fast boot. In Windows 10 it got renamed to fast startup. Microsoft never publicly stated why they decided to change the name, but it might have something to do with fastboot already being a common word within the Android community. Android users have known it as a feature that has nothing do with getting Android to boot quickly.
Many components deserve some recognition for being, at least partially, responsible for helping make Windows 10 PC’s boot quicker than older PC’s. The revamped Task Manager that allows users to manage startup applications considerably easier being one of them. There’s also a lot of technical stuff going on that makes Windows boot quicker nowadays, which involves a different development of the boot process. On top of those things, Windows 10 also comes with fast startup mode that can be turned on or off from the settings when you use your computer. By default, this feature is turned on, so you are already reaping the benefits, but you can turn it off if you like.
Why in the world would anyone want to turn off the fast startup mode if it makes the PC quicker, you ask? There are a few cons to having the fast startup mode enabled that, for some people, depending on the computer and users’ needs, might be a deal breaker.
Potential Cons of Using Fast Startup Mode in Windows 10
Part of the reason why fast startup mode is so fantastic is that it’s not what it seems. It cheats a little bit. With fast startup mode turned on, the computer doesn’t shut down the same way it typically would do if you selected the option to shut down from the Power menu instead. Your software updates are designed in such a way that they begin installing when you are using the computer, but they don’t start installing until you go to shut down. There are some suggestions out there, including from tech experts covering Microsoft, that fast startup might get in the way of some of those updates. We don’t necessarily believe them because we’ve been using a computer with fast startup turned on the whole time, and system updates are still working. But we also can’t confirm whether or not some additional ones might have arrived or the current ones might have come quicker than what they did. This one is still open for interpretation.
It’s possible that fast startup doesn’t work well together with some drive encryption programs that are available out there. According to some leading Microsoft experts, TrueCrypt, one of the more well known third-party encryption programs for Windows 10, is one of them. I’ve written before about how encryption works in Windows 10 and why you might not want to have it running on your computer anyway. It’s fine to disable encryption if you don’t need to secure files from others who have physical access to your PC. Windows 10 comes with full drive encryption but only if you have the Pro or Enterprises editions. It doesn’t come with the Windows 10 Home anyway, so this isn’t a problem for most people out there.
“Computers that don’t support hibernation won’t support fast startup mode” is another potential myth as well. The computer that is being used today to write this post does not have a hibernation mode options from the Start menu when clicking on the button to shut the computer down. It comes with “Sleep,” “Restart,” and “Shut down” only, so it might depend on the definition of support. If this computer does support hibernation, it’s not something that I’m aware of. Still, it’s something you might want to consider because it’s something that experts are suggesting might be a problem.
From our understanding, hibernate is missing from Windows 10 now because fast startup mode is quicker than it was on computers. Thus, there isn’t a real need for it to be there anymore. Fast startup mode works by saving the image kernel and loaded drivers to the hiberfile that’s located on the C: drive. You can find it by navigating to C:\hiberfil.sys location of your computers hard drive from File Explorer, if you want to go searching for it. The only definitive reason why you might want to turn this off is, so it no longer loads stuff from that hiberfile.
Unusual Battery Drain
With fast startup mode turned on, expect a bit more battery drain than usual because not as much hardware is shutting down. Microsoft has likely fine-turned this, so there isn’t much of a noticeable difference.
However, after listening to some of our readers, we can conclude that some people seem to be suffering from a significant battery drain with fast startup mode turned on. If you notice 10-25% more battery drain than you would have expected, you might want to disable this option (at least for now) and then try enabling it again in future after you’ve updated to some newer versions of the Windows operating system, after the problem might have been rectified.
You may have noticed over the years that computers are booting up far quicker than they used to. Some of that can be accredited to developers making a more efficient boot time, but it’s not the only reason. Some modern operating systems like Windows 10 also cheat a little bit.
Windows 10 comes with a Fast Startup mode, which instead of shutting down the computer entirely will put it in more of a hibernation state. Fast Startup is enabled on your computer by default if applicable. The idea behind it being to help boot up your computer as quickly as possible.
There are some potential caveats for Fast Startup being turned on, such as some Windows updates may not be installed as timely as they would have been if fast Startup were turned off. This is because some Windows updates remain pending until there is a full shutdown. That doesn’t mean you have to turn off fast Startup to get those updates installed though: Windows 10 is designed in such a way that any pending updates will be installed when the computer has been restarted.
Read more information on Windows 10’s fast startup:
- Updates may not be installed with Fast Startup in Windows 10
- Distinguishing Fast Startup from Wake-from-Hibernation
- Delivering a great startup and shutdown experience
The following tutorial demonstrates how to turn on and off the Fast Startup mode when you’re using a version of the Windows 10 operating system.
Method One: How to Turn On/Off Fast Startup in System Settings
You can turn fast startup mode on and off from the System Settings available in Control Panel. Here is where you can find that:
2. From the list of All Control Panel Items, click the Power Options icon.
3. From the left menu of Power Options, click on the Change Choose what the power buttons do link. (click to enlarge screenshot below)
4. Under the Define power buttons and turn on password protection heading, click on the Change settings that are currently unavailable link. (click to enlarge screenshot below)
5. If prompted by User Account Control, click Yes.
6. To Turn On Fast Startup
a. Under the Shutdown settings heading, check the box next to where it says Turn on fast startup recommended (recommended), and then click Save changes. (click to enlarge screenshot below)
7. To Turn Off Fast Startup
a. Under the Shutdown settings heading, uncheck the box next to where it says Turn on fast startup recommended (recommended), and then click Save changes. (click to enlarge screenshot below)
You can now close the Control Panel and continue using your computer.
Method Two: How to Enable/Disable to Require Fast Startup in Local Group Policy Editor
You can also use the Local Group Policy Editor to enable and disable the option to turn fast startup mode on and off from the System Settings in the Control Panel. For example, if you disable fast startup from the Local Group Policy Editor, you won’t see the option to turn it on from System Settings. Here is how you can do that:
- This option overrides any changes you may have made with turning on or off the fast startup from system settings.
- You can only use the Local Group Policy Editor if you have one of the following Windows 10 editions: Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Enterprise, or Windows 10 Education.
2. Using the Local Group Policy Editor’s left pane, navigate through to the following keys:
Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Shutdown
3. With Shutdown selected, click on the Require use of fast startup policy from the right pane. (click to enlarge screenshot below)
4. Choose between Not Configured (to not require fast startup), Enabled (to enable requirements of fast startup), and Disable (to not require fast startup) and then click the OK button at the bottom of the policy window to save the changes.
You can now close the Local Group Policy Editor and continue using your computer if you like.
This article was last updated on June 15, 2019.
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