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Step-by-Step: Disabling Fast Startup on Windows 10 and Why It Matters

How to Disable Windows 10 Fast Startup (and Why You Might Want To)

If you’re looking to disable Fast Startup in Windows 10, you can do so easily. Fast Startup, introduced in Windows 8 as Fast Boot and carried over to Windows 10, helps your PC boot more quickly by saving the operating system’s state to a hibernation file. However, it doesn’t always work perfectly for everyone, prompting many users to disable it on their new PCs.

This article will explore how Fast Startup works, why you might want to disable it, and the steps to do so.

What is Fast Startup?

Windows PCs operate in several Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) power states. The S0 power state, for instance, is when your PC is fully on and responsive. There are also various sleep states (S1, S2, and S3), and a hybrid sleep state combining sleep and hibernation.

Hibernation is considered an S4 power state. In this state, your PC appears to be off, but it saves the hibernation file so it can resume from where you left off. Some power remains to peripherals, allowing you to wake the PC with a keyboard tap.

The S5 power state, or soft off, is when your PC is completely shut down with no hibernation file or saved session. G3 is when your PC is fully off, consuming no power.

With Fast Startup enabled, shutting down your PC enters a state between shutdown and hibernation. It saves a smaller hibernation file, as it logs you off before creating it. The speed boost comes from saving the Windows kernel on your hard drive and loading it during boot.

Is Your PC Truly Shutting Down?

While Fast Startup can significantly reduce boot times, some users prefer their PCs to fully shut down. A Windows 10 update, such as the Fall Creators Update, can re-enable Fast Startup, so it’s worth checking your settings periodically.

Why Disable Fast Startup?

While Fast Startup is generally harmless and can speed up boot times, there are reasons you might want to disable it:

  • Wake-on-LAN Issues: Fast Startup can interfere with Wake-on-LAN functionality.
  • Storage Space: Fast Startup requires a hibernation file, which takes up disk space.
  • Dual Boot Complications: Linux users may encounter issues with dual boot or virtualization.
  • Peripheral Problems: Some users report issues with power buttons or fans when Fast Startup is enabled.
  • Update Problems: Windows 10 updates might not install properly with Fast Startup enabled.

By fully shutting down, Fast Startup can also interfere with system updates that need a complete shutdown. If you have Fast Startup enabled, a workaround is to apply updates by restarting instead of shutting down.

How to Enable and Disable Fast Startup on Windows 10

To disable Fast Startup:

  1. Right-click the Start button and select Search.
  2. Type Control Panel and press Enter.
  3. Click Power Options.
  4. Click Choose what the power buttons do.
  5. Click Change settings that are currently unavailable.
  6. Uncheck Turn on fast startup (recommended).
  7. Click Save changes.

To re-enable Fast Startup, repeat these steps and check the Turn on fast startup box.

Changing the Size of Your Hibernation File

If storage space is a concern, you can reduce the size of the hibernation file:

  1. Press Windows + X and select Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. Type powercfg /h /type reduced and press Enter.

This command reduces the hibernation file size. To revert this change, type powercfg /h /type full.


Disabling Fast Startup on Windows 10 is straightforward and can resolve various issues related to Wake-on-LAN, storage, dual boot, and peripheral functionality. While it provides a speed boost, understanding how to manage it can help you maintain a smooth and efficient computing experience.

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