Acebyte > knowledgebase > Speed up windows startup (Part 1) – Clear up Prefetch Cache on Windows

Speed up windows startup (Part 1) – Clear up Prefetch Cache on Windows

November 15th, 2011 2,490 views |Write a Comment

Suppose you’ve just been got a brand new computer. Open your computer, start up Windows, and only 30 seconds later, you are surfing on the Internet, reading mails, playing loved PC games, or chatting with your best friends or colleagues. What a great feeling!

While, after several months, you will find that everything becomes not so nice. It will take longer and longer time to start up your computer and load your Windows. Then it is the time for you to take actions to keep your boot time shorter and sweeter!

As a matter of fact, there are several factors which affect your boot time. In the following articles, we will introduce these factors one by one and tell how to make your Windows start up faster.

Article 1: prefetch cache on Windows

As we know, Windows has its own feature to load commonly used programs at boot time. For example, you opened Microsoft Word yesterday, Windows will save them in the prefetch folder and keep them in the memory before Windows finishes its boot process, which will shorten the Microsoft Word launch time. If you need to open Microsoft Word time, it will pop up very quickly once you double click its icon. But the trouble is people may have been running Windows for a long time, too many prefetch have been crowed together that you almost never use any more, which causes your computer to start up more and more slowly.

Do not worry. You can fix it very easily. Turn to the Windows folder (like C:\Windows) and find out the prefetch folder. Delete all files under prefetch folder completely from your computer. But it is not the final solution. You need to repeat it timely or weekly. Below is a Prefetch screenshot in Windows:

empty/clear/clean/delete/remove prefetch folders/files in Windows


While, to delete the prefetch in Windows manually and timely cannot prevent more and more new prefetch files from coming out, unless you stop using your computer.

The best solution is to disable the prefetch. You can do this by editing a registry key by the following steps:

Step 1 Browse to start and open regedit in “run” box.

Step 2 Find the key which is named as  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters

Step 3 Under this key you can see a value named EnablePrefetcher

There are four possible values for EnablePrefetcher as below:

0 – Disabled : The prefetch system is turned off.

1 – Application : The prefetch only caches applications.

2 – Boot : The prefetch only caches boot system files.

3 – All : The prefetch caches boot, and application files.

It is a bad idea to disable all of the 4 possible values. Actually to disable all of them can make your boot time even longer. Prefetch in Windows can also be used to speed up the loading of boot files. The best choice is to set the No. 2 option. This is because that the No.2 option enables us to keep the advantage of caching system files without continually clogging the system up with applications. Just go to set the value to 2 and restart your computer.

You can find the second time you boot is much faster. While, here is a little side effect. If you find that it has become slightly slower to load on Windows when you are trying to open your individual programs, just take it as common.


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