Fast Startup mode makes Windows 8 boot faster

In Windows 8, Microsoft has introduced a way to start your computer. This feature is called as Fast Startup. Currently, in Windows 7, users could either shut down their computers, put it to Sleep or Hibernate. According to usage data it had, it found that a very small percentage of users actually preferred to use the Hibernate option.

Fast Startup in Windows 8

This new Fast Startup mode is a hybrid of the traditional cold boot and resuming from hibernate option. In Windows 7, during shutdown, the OS closes the user session and the kernel session. But in Windows 8, the kernel session is not closed, but it is hibernated. Unlike the full hibernate data, whose file size is very large, this “kernel only” or 0 Hibernation data file is much smaller. As a result, it takes much less time to write it to disk. Using this file during boot, gives a substantial time-advantage while starting Windows 8.

The Fast Startup option is enabled by default in Windows 8. You can access its settings here. Press Win+W key, start typing Power and hit Enter to open Power Options. You can learn more such Windows 8 search tips here. Alternatively you could click on the Power icon in your notification area and select More Power Options.

Clicking on Power Options will open the following window.

In the left pane, you will see the option: Choose what the power buttons do. Click on it.

Here, you will see that the default recommended setting box Turn on fast startup (recommended) is checked. This is one of the reasons, why Windows 8 starts faster.

Do note the Fast startup settings comes into play only when you are shutting down the computer and not when you are restarting it. To fully reinitialize Windows 8, you have to force a full shutdown.

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Anand Khanse aka HappyAndyK is an end-user Windows enthusiast, a Microsoft MVP in Windows, since 2006, and the Admin of 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.
  • Barry Etheridge

    So, if I buy W8 I can save, what, 30 seconds of my life every time I start up? Why, that’s almost enough time to … er … um … yeah, maybe I’ll just stick to W7!

  • Phrozencrew2020

    To activate and add Windows 8 Normal Shutdown and Hybrid Shutdown in your context menu you can copy registry entry below. Then save as shutdown.reg and double click it and enjoy! Right click on desktop and see the Power Menu at the bottom of your context menu.
    —————-copy file below —————————-

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDesktopBackgroundShellPower Menu]
    “MUIVerb”=”Power Menu”


    @=”Shut Down (Normal)”


    @=”Shutdown -s -f -t 00″


    @=”Shut Down (Hybrid)”


    @=”Shutdown -s -f -t 00 -hybrid”

  • Vasudev

    Also noticed on my Desktop, when ‘Turn on fast startup’ is ticked, the PC starts as soon as UPS Power is On even W/O PC’s Power button is pressed.

  • Alejandro Szomszéd

    I use the power button to shut down, in this case which shut down is working? Normal or hybrid?

  • Anand Khanse

    Power button in charms bar? Then its Hybrid.

  • Alejandro Szomszéd

    Not in charms bar. On the computer physical button. :)

  • Anand Khanse

    Oh – that should result in a full shut down, imo.

  • donnam

    Eeeek!!!! I ended up turning off “Fast Startup” after I upgraded to 8.1 Whenever I booted back up from sleep, my screen would start dark. Would ultimately have to force a hard shutdown then turn everything back on. This happened repeatedly until my tech support person recommended this – after downloading and installing a ton of new drivers, including video drivers

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