Your work PC is a pretty impressive piece of technology if you think about it. Your PC is the nerve center of your workday, empowering you to accomplish more in an hour than your parents or grandparents could’ve done in an entire workweek— not to mention tasks that are commonplace today that would’ve been unthinkable just a few years ago.
(At least, all that’s true assuming you’ve updated your hardware recently enough — so if you’re tempted to disagree with that first sentence, maybe it’s time to talk about a hardware refresh!)
But as powerful as your computer is, it can create frustrating distractions if you aren’t strategic in how you use it. And that strategy starts with a process called Startup — what happens when you first power up your machine.
Today’s post will cover how to gain control of your Windows Startup — along with reasons why you might want to do so.
Why Take Control of Windows Startup?
In a nutshell, your startup process (what happens when you first turn on your computer each day) can get bloated with unnecessary apps that slow down both the startup process and everyday performance. It can also create unexpected and unnecessary distractions via notification overload.
Consider these three reasons why taking control of Windows Startup is a smart move.
1. Take Control of Teams and Other Communication Apps
The first reason to explore your Startup menu is if you need to take control of communication apps, like Teams or even Outlook. For most of the workday, you want these apps running so you can get instant notifications that affect your workflow and decision-making. But if you’re like most business leaders, you’ve lost hours — even days — chasing down notifications like these. Sometimes you just need to focus.
Removing these apps from Startup puts you back in control. You could start each day with an hour of focused work, free from Teams, Slack, or Outlook pop-up notifications.
2. Speed Up Your Computer’s Boot Cycle
If your computer is starting to show its age, the boot-up process might start feeling pretty slow. This is a problem because it encourages you and your team to not power down your machine nightly (a typical best practice), creating a vicious cycle: not powering down regularly can delay crucial security updates and lead to more bloated processes, slowing down daily performance.
3. Speed Up Day-to-Day Performance
Speaking of your PC’s daily performance, a cluttered Startup can slow down day-to-day performance, too. With a bunch of unnecessary apps launching during startup and running continuously in the background, your PC has fewer resources to power the apps you actually use.
How to Access Windows Startup
Next we’re going to tell you how to access the Windows Startup menu, but first, a word of warning: be selective and careful, and don’t go deleting processes you don’t understand. Some of the stuff in Startup might sound unfamiliar but actually be a crucial process for security or performance. If you’re not sure, check in with your IT partner before disabling something.
Find Windows Startup by opening your Start menu (Windows 10) or clicking the magnifying glass next to it (Windows 11). Then type “settings” into the search field. Within settings, look for Apps, then Startup.
Once in that menu, you’ll probably see a long list of apps — including ones you never use anymore or that you use rarely enough they don’t need to be running at startup.
Try toggling communication apps like Teams or Outlook to “off”. Same with apps you recognize (such as Adobe products) but rarely or never use.
You can still open all of these apps the normal way — but now you’re in control of when they open (and start eating system resources).
If something stops working right after these changes, you can always undo them by coming back to the same menu.
Last, if all of this seems a bit too complex (or the Startup section in settings is missing entirely), then reach out to our team. We can help you tighten up your startup settings and improve your PC’s performance.