Although Windows 8 is designed to run Modern UI apps, the majority of us still spend most of our time using the desktop mode. One thing that you might have noticed is the few seconds of delay before Windows launches any desktop applications that are set to run at Windows startup. This includes desktop-related system utilities, items in the Startup folder, and apps that add a registry key for launching at startup. Microsoft hasn’t stated any clear reason behind this delay, but it looks like this mechanism was implemented to let the Modern UI part load first before letting Windows start desktop-exclusive services or apps. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a way to minimize this delay, there is a simple registry hack for that.
First up, you need to open the Registry Editor. Navigate to the Start Screen and type ‘regedit’ (without the quotation marks), and click the Registry Editor shortcut under the Apps section on the left side.
The Registry Editor window opens up under the desktop mode. Now navigate to the following key:
In some cases (as it also turned out for us), the Serialize key may not already be there, which means you need to manually create it by right-clicking ‘Explorer’ and selecting New > Key from the context menu that pops up.
After creating the key, you need to create a new DWORD parameter under Serialize. Right-click either on Serialize itself or in the right pane, and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value from the context menu.
Now rename the DWORD parameter to ‘StartupDelayInMSec’ (without the quotations again), double click it, and enter 0 (that’s a zero) under the Value data field, as demonstrated in the screenshot below. Click OK, close the Registry Editor, and restart your computer to apply your changes. Even though you cannot entirely get rid of the delay, you will notice faster load time for all desktop services and apps.
If you want to test-drive this registry hack, just try putting some application shortcuts in the Startup folder. To open the Startup folder, press Win + R to bring the Run dialog, enter shell:Startup and click the OK button.
The Startup folder will open up, where you can place shortcuts of your favorite program and restart your PC.
Found this registry hack useful? You might also like our collection of the top 20 Windows 8 tweaks, hacks and tips.