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Richard Walz
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The truth behind Fast Startup and why it should be disabled, especially in enterprise or managed environments.

While Microsoft has made progress and improvements in update and restart area to help elminate the number of reboots needed for a system it has not been able to fully do so. Microsoft has also incorporated several features to improve this process to end users by trying to identify and check pending updates on install or shutdown but it doesn’t always catch this. Even in more recent times, Microsoft added new logic that can detect pending updates during shutdown and try to perform a restart, while eventually performing the shutdown, that the user requested but to save time on the next bootup.

However, it is best to have this set to disabled and turned off so that your machines install updates on during both restarts and shutdown as you expect. This also saves the user time, you get better patch compliance and you don’t need to have users being confused about a restart or a shutdown. In addition I have come across instances where organizations are expecting users are shutting down their machines but are frustrated to why the updates are not being installed or are still pending a reboot. The reason is that if you have Fast-Startup enabled (which is default) the machine will not actually perform a real shutdown. Instead the machine actually performs a mini-hibernation where some data is saved to disk in order to achieve a faster boot time.

I have also seen instances where depending upon the network driver you have, when the system is shutdown in this state it saves some of the WIFI session data. Due to this when the machine boots up it still holds onto this old WIFI session data and is trying to reconnect with this old information. For whatever reason, the WIFI will never reconnect to the WIFI network unless you turn the devices adapter on and off or switch it to airplane mode temporarily. If you restart the problem goes away because you are clearing all memory out of the machine. Once, you turn fast-startup off the issue immediately went away.

Another way you can tell if Fast Startup is enabled is by shutting down the computer, and turning it back on. If the machine’s uptime is increasing in Task Manager, this is another way to check.

How to Disable Fast Startup.

Group Policy

  1. Administrative Templates (Computers) > System > Shutdown > Require use of fast startup
  2. Set to “Disabled” (this may not work across all systems, so you may want to add the setting via GPO Preferences via Registry instead


REG ADD "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Power" /V HiberbootEnabled /T REG_dWORD /D 0 /F 

Windows 10 (GUI)

  1. Settings > System > Power & Sleep
  2. On the right hand side select “Additional power settings”
  3. Select “Choose what the power buttons do”
  4. You may need to select “Change settings are are currently unavailable”
  1. Uncheck “Turn on fast startup (recommended)”

Note: this setting will not show up on a virtual machine