AppTimer: Measure application start up times in Windows

There is always a debate as to which browser is the fastest to start. It may vary from system to system and may depend on various factors, browser versions or on the plugins or add-ons installed on the browser. So how can we measure the start-up time for browsers, or any software for that matter? Use AppTimer.

AppTimer: Measure application start up times

AppTimer is a freeware that will run an executable, a pre-set number of times and then measure the time it takes to start-up each time. It measures the time up to the state where user input is being accepted before exiting the application. After each run AppTimer will close the application in an automated fashion, before restarting it again.

You can opt to run the app for one time or multiple times, although it might be a good idea to set the tool to run the app multiple times, so that you can get the average time.

The main use of App Timer is in benchmarking an application’s startup time or comparing the performance of multiple products on the same hardware. It can also be useful for comparing the performance of the same product on different hardware. Using AppTimer will give far a more consistent and repeatable measurement than manual measurements with a stopwatch. Especially when the applications startup time is less than a couple of seconds.

I decided to time the four main browsers for Windows. I ran the tests on the latest updated stable versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Opera, without any add-ons or plugins with about:blank as the home page of each, on my Windows 8 x64 RTM.

Once you have opened the tool, you have to browse to the .exe file of the Application you want to test. Next create a log file and enter its path too in the Log file space. I preferred to choose 3 executions.

After each run of the application, AppTimer will close the application in an automated fashion while logging the startup time measurements to the log file. Once done, I clicked on Run App for each of the browsers.

You will see the browser start and then close for 3 times. Once done, you will see a small ‘Finished Executions’ dialog box. The results are outputted to the log file. Open the log file to see the results.

The results were as expected. Internet Explorer 10 on my Windows 8 had the shortest start up times. This was followed by Opera, Chrome and then by Firefox – which was the slowest to load. I was expecting Chrome to be almost as fast as IE10 – based on my perceptions – but surprisingly Opera beat it.

These were the results on my PC and they may vary on your system.

AppTimer Free Download

You can download AppTimer from its home page.  It is a 63KB portable app. Simply extract the contents of the zip file and run it. To uninstall it, simply delete the program folder.

Do share your results and let us know which browser start the fastest on your computer. Would love to see your results.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.