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How to clean boot your Windows 11 computer


Troubleshooting a computer problem requires patience, knowledge, and a lot of trial and error. Booting your PC into a clean configuration will help automate the process.

Trying to determine the exact cause of your Windows 11 personal computer not being able to boot properly can be frustrating. Troubleshooting problematic application or driver misconduct requires patience, perseverance and more with little trial and error. But there are some tips and tricks we can use to make troubleshooting a PC that won’t boot properly a little more efficient.

VIEW: Windows, Linux, and Mac rules that everyone should know (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

By using some internal Windows 11 tools and apps, a user looking for a solution to a PC problem can systematically test for faulty drivers and applications that are loading or running on during the boot process. The key is to start your restores from a clean boot PC, running only the smallest applications, and then add applications back in the process until you find your cause.

How to clean the boot of your Windows 11 computer

To put our Windows 11 PC in a clean boot mode, type msconfig go to the desktop search tool and select the System Configuration app. Select the Services tab to reach a screen like Figure A.

Figure A

There are many services running today on our example PC.

Click the Hide all Microsoft services checkbox at the bottom of the screen to show only third-party services, as shown in Figure B.

Figure B

There are many more services. For our clean boot, we will click the Disable all button.

Now, click or tap the Startup tab in the System Configuration app and click the Open Task Manager link, as shown in Figure C.

Figure C

From the Startup tab of the Task Manager, we will disable all available applications and services.

To make things easier, click the Status column heading to sort the apps, as shown in Figure D.

Figure D

If you have already disabled all apps and services, exit the Task Manager, and then click OK in the System Configuration app, which will also exit the app. Now, restart your Windows 11 PC to its minimalist clean boot environment.

This is where troubleshooting begins. If your computer is now booting without problems, congratulations, you have reduced the hassle to a manageable level. Reopen the System Configuration app and systematically enable the apps and services you have disabled until you find the cause of the problem.

If there are only a few services, you can do them individually. If there are many, divide them into halves, thirds, or fourths. For example, enable the first third and restart-if there are no problems, enable the next third. Eventually, you should be able to find a set that contains bad app behavior and after that you can start systematically removing apps and services. With patience and perseverance, you can see the cause of your failures.

Even if this process seems tedious, it is the most insidious method we have for troubleshooting personal computers. However, you can find the process though by following one of the basic axioms of troubleshooting, which is the end of, first exit rule. If a problem starts after installing new software or hardware, then that should be the first place you look for the solution.



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