Show of hands: Who feels too inconvenienced to fully shut down your computer at night?
Sure, you might save some energy or battery life with a full shutdown, and the system might appreciate having a fresh start in the morning. But who wants to wait around for Windows to boot from scratch?
You can solve this dilemma in Windows 10 by using Fast Startup. Similar to Fast Boot in Windows 8, Fast Startup creates a master file during shutdown that stores certain system files, such as the Windows kernel and device drivers. As a result, all applications, files, and user accounts are closed, without requiring a complete reboot.
Advantages from Fast Startup
What sort of savings can you clean from Fast Startup? In my personal experience on an SSD-based desktop, enabling this feature shaves about five seconds from the startup process, making an already speedy boot process that much faster, but of course, your mileage may vary. You should see more pronounced results on systems that use a mechanical hard drive rather than an SSD.
The manufacturer likely enabled Fast Startup by default if your PC was shipped with Windows 10 pre-installed, the same applies to upgrading from Windows 8. Users upgrading from Windows 7 may have to enable this feature through Control Panel. Here’s how to do it:
Enabling Fast Startup
First, head to Power Options in the Windows 10 control panel. Open a search, type “power then select power Options under the “Best Match” search results.
Or right-click on the Windows Start button and select Power Options from the menu. From the resulting popup, select Aditional power settings. On the resulting popup, select Choose what the power buttons do.
Select “Choose what the power buttons do” from the left sidebar.
If you find that the settings on the bottom of this menu greyed out, click “Change settings that are currently unavailable” near the top of the screen.
Finally, check the “Turn on fast startup (recommended)” box near the bottom of the screen. Don’t forget to click “Save changes” when done.
Why wouldn’t you enable Fast Startup? HowToGeek has a helpful explainer on some of the downsides for power users—for instance, it can mess with dual-boot systems because of how it locks down the Windows hard disk—though most normal users shouldn’t run into any show-stopping issues.