On Windows 8.1,

Have some app on your desktop, say TestApp. Make a shortcut.

Windows+R, type "shell:Common Startup",

Drag that shortcut in to the "Start-up" area you now see.

(NOTE: if you now go to Task Manager, and select at the top the 4th tab, "Start-up", you will in fact see TestApp listed and "enabled".)

Restart the machine.

AFTER Windows 8.1 starts normally, everything,

IT WILL WAIT about 10..12 seconds, and THEN correctly start your TestApp.

This has nothing to do with machine performance, it always waits the same time.

It has nothing to do with the app in question (perhaps, the app uses networking, or similar woes) .. you can try any simple or complex app.

It has nothing to do with Windows "doing other stuff". You can carefully remove any other crap that may be on your machine, and it will still do it.

Does any genius know how the heck to reduce or eliinate this unusual seemingly built-in feature of a 12-15 second pause, before Windows starts start up items you have added, such as TestApp in the example given? Thanks in advance - it is very difficult to google this as 1000 other related issues appear, have not been able to find a fix anywhere.

  • Is it exact on the dot time every time or is it just a delay "about" 10 seconds? Cos it could sound a lot like your app just gets back queued and gets started once everything else has loaded.
    – user38331
    Apr 23, 2015 at 13:34
  • I'm not saying other stuff loading, but perhaps a grace time set by Microsoft, to put "lower" priority on "custom" applications. Normally this stuff used to be done with either adding a service or adding it to a startup folder. Seeing as this is a new mechanic, there is the possibility it has a different ruleset.
    – user38331
    Apr 23, 2015 at 13:48

1 Answer 1


This is by design. You can disable the delay:

  • Open Registry editor (regedit.exe) and navigate to the following key:


    If the "Serialize" key does not exist, then you should create it.

  • Create a new DWORD StartupDelayInMSec and set the value to 0.

enter image description here

Now reboot and Windows should load the desktop programs faster.

  • Utterly incredible information, MagicAndre ... we will run some tests. You're the best.
    – Fattie
    Apr 24, 2015 at 5:15
  • Detail: do you think there would be a problem using HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE so that the setting applies to all users and all cases on the machine? or perhaps HKEY_USERS? I really couldn't find the doco for this magic Serialize\StartupDelayInMSec feature! thanks!!
    – Fattie
    Apr 24, 2015 at 6:36
  • I never tried HKLM, because I replaced the Startscreen with StartIsBack, which hooks into Shell and here the Apps start very fast. Apr 24, 2015 at 16:55
  • StartIsBack is a tool that brings the Win7 Startmenu back: startisback.com Apr 25, 2015 at 6:36
  • A bounty is to give a question more attention if it was not answered after a longer time. Is the question answered? Apr 27, 2015 at 17:31

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