How To Track Your Computer’s Boot Time

Computers slow down over time. There are a lot of reasons why this happens. A PC will boot the fastest after a clean install. But after installing a lot of different applications and falling behind on your general computer maintenance, your computer’s boot time will gradually increase.

You can use the Windows Event Viewer to track your boot time speeds to see how much your computer’s boot time has increased over a several month duration.

How To Use The Event Viewer To Find Your Computer’s Boot Time

To begin, you’ll first need to launch the Event Viewer. There are several ways to do this. The easiest way it to go to the Start button and then type Event Viewer into the search box. Or you can find the Event Viewer in the Administrative Tools section of the Control Panel.

boot time

After you launch the Event Viewer, click the Applications and Services Logs link in the left-hand pane.

pc boot time in event viewer

Next, click the Microsoft folder, and then the Windows folder. You will then see a folder for Diagnostics Performance. And within that a folder called Operational. So the click through path is Microsoft>Windows>Diagnostics Performance>Operational.

find your boot time

After you double-click on Operational, you will see an option to Filter Current Log in the right pane. Click on that to filter the results.

boot speed

Under the Event level, we want to tick the Warning box. In the Includes/Excludes Event IDs field, we want to type 100. Windows assigns each event an ID. This particular ID is associated with Windows starting up.

Windows boot time

You can now sort these start-up events by date and time. Click on the Date and Time tab at the top so the dates are descending. Double click the most recent event to see your computer’s boot time.

event viewer

The time is displayed in milliseconds. Divide that number by 1000 to get your most recent computer boot time. In this case, it took this computer 37 seconds to boot.

slow boot time

To see how much your boot time has increased over the months, scroll down the list and open a different date. In this case, this particular computer booted nearly twice as fast six months earlier at 19 seconds.

Now that we have a way to track our computer’s boot time, we can take measures to speed it up. To reduce your computer’s boot time, consider defragging your hard drive, uninstalling unnecessary programs, and reduce the amount of programs in your start-up folder.

Try this on your own computer and let us know your computer’s boot time over a six month duration.

Category: Windows

About the Author ()

David is a tech professional with over fifteen years of experience in the IT fields of hardware, software and system administration.

Comments (22)

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  1. Bernard Spaulding says:

    What version of Event Viewer does this article make reference to?
    Window XP Pro (SP3) doesn’t look anything like the Event Viewer shown in this article.
    Thanks for any clarification that is provided.

    • Dave says:

      Hi Bernard. The Event Viewer in this article was Windows 8, which should also be similar to Windows 7 and Vista. I have not tested this in XP, but the capability should still be there–even if you have to get there a different way.

  2. Kim Balderasl says:

    I have windows 8. do you have or recommend free windows 8 pro upgrade ?

    • Dave says:

      Hi Kim. If you’re talking about the free Windows 8.1 upgrade–yes, I do recommend it. It is the next version of Windows and they are giving it away for free.

  3. Bill says:

    Using HP Pavilion g7, win 8 64 bit home prem, 8 G RAM, AMD quad core boot is 153 sec. Cannot use event viewer except as Admin, event is CRITICAL, not WARNING, older event after cleaning with PrivaZer was 213 seconds, only other event stored. Computer new in June 2013.

    Why is event flagged as critical, not warning?
    Why will this not work in user mode, only Admin?
    Any idea why time is so great, especially after a cleanup?

    After Win 3.1, 98, ME, XP pro, and 7 I like Win 8 very much. Found it easy to adapt to!

    Thanks,
    Bill

    • Dave says:

      Hi Bill, look in the task manager under the startup tab. Try to reduce the amount of start-up applications. This should lower your boot time.

      • John says:

        Dave, I’m using Windows 7 Home Premium and my task manager does not have a startup tab; can you direct me to where I should go to control my start-up apps?

  4. Jeremy says:

    It seems on my pc the boot times vary between 40-80 seconds. I am using windows 7 ultimate and the desktop is months old. Is that normal?

    • Dave says:

      A minute to a minute and a half is not that bad. The machine I’m using has a solid state hard drive, that’s why my speeds were slightly faster. Did you check a date six months earlier to see if there was a difference? Thanks for sharing your times. Anyone else?

  5. Dale Wilson says:

    Good stuff, Dave! You helped me solve a problem with this.

  6. ACB says:

    This is a useful tip. I have two Windows 8 computers. On the laptop I get a meaningful report. On the desktop PC I get ‘0’ recorded events for Event ID: 100.
    Any advice, Dave?

  7. Vista Premium.
    I get a blank page after clicking OK. At the top it states Event ID:o events.

  8. John says:

    Hmmmm…When I filter out the events using the 100 code I get no hits. Does that mean I need to turn on this event in order to have it log the event? Or could my system use a different code? Code 101 looks something like a boot performance event item. I am running windows 7.

    • Dave says:

      Hi John. It should work fine. You do not need to turn anything on. I’ll test again on a Windows 7 machine to confirm.

      • John says:

        Dave, I took a note from Bill’s page and filtered without the restriction of ‘warning’ and I got all the 100 code events. Apparently on our systems the boot performance monitoring is considered ‘critical’. Is there any way to compare these measurements to what they were when we first booted the machines when they were new? Are there any log files stashed away that we could peruse? Thanks for the tips.

    • Wallace says:

      I discovered that you have to double click the event and a separate window opens with the boot time information. I have windows 7 premium.

      • John says:

        Wallace, I’m using Windows 7 Home Premium on a 64-bit HP laptop. I don’t get any hits when filtering to the 100 code events, so I can’t double-click on an event to see that info. Are you doing this on an event before doing the filter action?

        • Wallace says:

          I to have an HP laptop running Win 7 premium 64 bit. After clicking on “filter current log” I tick warning in event level and enter 100 then click ok and the boot times list come up. I double click on a boot time and a separate small window appears which allows me to move up or down the list of boot times.

  9. ACB says:

    Leaving the ‘Warning’ box unchecked is the answer and scrolling through the list of events with the keyboard cursor keys gives rapid access to the Boot Duration results.

  10. Tim says:

    On the topic of boot time, many people want to use the pre-fab programs that “optimize” their registry to speed up their PCs. That crap doesn’t work! If people want to speed up their computers, all they need is Autoruns which they can download from Microsoft’s Technet site.

    Of course, they can do a lot of damage with Autoruns, but if they stay on the “Logon” tab and uncheck what they don’t need, they can make a nice dent in boot time as well as running speed.

  11. I checked again without check marking the warning box and 255 events came up. My question now is, It shows the level of critical, should I worry about this? My PC always was slow with start up.(between 2.5-3.5 minutes) See copy of last event:
    Description:
    Windows has started up:
    Boot Duration : 253178ms
    IsDegradation : false
    Incident Time (UTC) : 16/10/2013 3:28:21 AM

  12. ipankint says:

    Wow, that’s so easy. but for newbie, maybe it still confusing.
    Is there any other simple method? Like using a software maybe?

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