Troubleshoot slow start-up on a managed staff PC

Applies to: managed staff PCs

Your PC goes through a number of stages during start-up. Typical start-up times for each stage are shown below. If your PC is regularly much slower than this then you have a slow start-up issue that should be investigated.

Stage Desktop PC Laptop PC
Power On 0s 0s
Login screen 30s 1m30s
Start menu visible 45s 2m
Apps open 1m30s 3m30s


Note that during the first 5 to 10 minutes after start-up your PC may also need to install critical security updates for Sophos and your installed apps. These will normally run in the background without impacting your use significantly, unless you open one of the apps that is being updated.

Use the solutions below to confirm whether your PC is affected, and check/fix some common issues.

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Before investigating a slow start-up it is important to establish a repeatable timed start-up. This may also resolve a wide range of cumulative issues that can affect performance.

  1. Turn your PC on and sign-in
  2. Open Task Manager, select the Performance tab and wait for the CPU usage to drop to below 25%
  3. Choose Start  > Power  > Restart   and confirm that you want to restart if prompted
  4. Using a watch or timer, note how long your PC takes to get from the first Dell logo to the sign-in screen. Pause the timer: this the Login screen timing shown above
  5. Enter your sign-in details, select sign-in and resume the timer. Record how long it takes for the Start menu to show. This is the Start menu visible timing shown above. Leave the timer running
  6. Open Word from the start menu (don't open an existing document) and time how long it takes for Word to open. This is the Apps open timing shown above

Note: Under Windows 10 a restart ensures a more complete refresh than a shutdown and power-on.


Your PC is normally connected to the network with a cable

PC starts quickly, but sign-in is slow

On the Windows sign-in screen, the network status is shown as disconnected (globe icon with no-entry sign)


  1. Check that you have plugged your PC into the normal network socket using an appropriate cable
  2. If you are working in the office and this doesn’t help then please contact IT support for assistance
  3. If you are working elsewhere then please contact whoever supports the network where you are


Your PC is normally connected to the network using WiFi

PC starts quickly, but sign-in is slow

Sign-in pauses for a long time with message “Please wait for the user profile service”


If you are on a WiFi connection then use SBL VPN to ensure that your PC can quickly access policies and resources that are needed for sign-in.


Start-up delays with a black screen, or a blue screen with a message indicating that Windows is applying updates.

PC starts quickly, but is slow after sign-in.



  1. Check for pending updates.
  2. Check for high resource usage and TiWorker / Chrome / SAV update processes.
  3. Trigger installation, wait for completion.


PC starts quickly and sign-in is fast, but PC is very slow after that


Sign-in on a desktop PC in the office. If this is equally slow then this indicates that something in your user account or settings is causing the problem. 

Solution 1 – Turn off unnecessary apps

  1. Select Settings > Apps > Startup
  2. Turn off apps that you have installed but do not need
  3. Avoid changing apps that you did not install yourself, as many of these are needed for reliable operation of your PC

Note: Windows 10 does not experience the old issue of needing to copy your “roaming profile” down when you sign-in. Performance issues after you have logged in are most likely caused by one of the items on this page


After Windows sign-in your PC displays a black / blank screen instead of going directly to your desktop.


  1. Wait up to 10 minutes to allow background processes to complete
  2. If your desktop is not displayed after 10 minutes and it was not installing Windows updates then try a cold restart
  3. If this problem persists after a cold restart, or is not just a one-off, then please contact the service desk to request technical support

Method 1 - Full shutdown at end of working day

We recommend that at the end of each working day you save your work, close all programs, and choose Start > Power > Shutdown.

On a laptop, wait until the shutdown is complete and the screen backlight has turned off before closing the lid. Then unplug the charger from the laptop and turn it off at the wall socket.

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