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Change the default amount time the Windows 8 boot menu displays

Override the defaults and reduce the amount of time that Windows 8's dual boot menu displays on the screen to an amount of your choice.

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Are you dual booting Windows 8 with another version of Windows as I showed you in the following articles?

If so, then you know that the Windows 8 boot menu appears on the screen for 30 seconds before it launches the default operating system. Chances are that there have been times when you wanted to be able to change that default amount of time. Fortunately, there is an option right on the boot menu itself that will allow you to change the amount of time that the menu displays from the default of 30 seconds down to 5 seconds or even up to 5 minutes. But what if you really want to reduce the amount of time to 15 seconds? What about 0 seconds? Well, you can't do that from the boot menu configuration options, as they aren't adjustable, but you can do so from within Windows 8 itself.

In this article, I'll show you how to reduce the amount of time that Windows 8's dual boot menu displays on the screen. As I do, I'll explore the options on the boot menu and then show you how to change the amount of time that Windows 8's boot menu displays by using a setting buried deep in the operating system.

Using the menu option

Changing the amount time that Windows 8's boot menu displays from the menu itself is easy. When you see Windows 8's boot menu, select the Change defaults or choose other options command at the bottom of the screen, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A

Fig A 9-27.png

You can change the boot menu configuration by selecting the Change defaults or choose other options command.

Once you select the command, you'll see the Options menu. To change the amount of time, select the Change the timer option, as shown in Figure B.

Figure B

Fig B 9-27.png

From the Options menu, you can select the Change the timer setting.

You'll then see the Change the timer menu, shown in Figure C. As you can see, if you want to reduce the amount of time down from the default of 30 seconds, then you only have one option - 5 seconds. Of course, if you want to increase the amount of time that the menu displays on the screen, you can select the 5 minutes option.

Figure C

Fig C 9-27.png

If you want to reduce the amount of time that the menu displays on the screen, there is only one option.

Using the Startup and Recovery option

If you want to choose a custom amount of time to display the Windows 8's boot menu, you'll have to delve into Windows and locate the Startup and Recovery dialog box. To begin, press [Windows] + [Break] to bring up the System window. Then, select Advanced system settings on the left of the screen, as shown in Figure D.

Figure D

Fig D 9-27.png

You'll start in the System window.

You'll then see the Advanced tab of the System Properties dialog box. Then, in the Startup and Recovery panel, select the Settings button, as shown in Figure E.

Figure E

Fig E 9-27.png

You'll then see the System Properties dialog box.

When you see the Startup and Recovery dialog box, as shown in Figure F, you'll see that inside the Default operating system panel, you can use the spin button to change the Time to display list of operating systems setting to any value that you want. You can also just type numbers in the text box. For example, you could change the amount of time to 15 seconds.

Figure F

Fig F 9-27.png

You can use the spin button to choose any value that you want.

If you just want to boot into your default operating system right away, you can clear the check box. When you do the value will automatically change to 0 seconds, as shown in Figure G, and you won't see the boot menu. This can come in handy if you are troubleshooting a problem that requires rebooting your system several times. (Keep in mind that this only disables the boot menu, your other operating system will remain intact.)

Figure G

Fig G 9-27.png

If you clear the check box, you won't see the boot menu.

When you want to use the boot menu again, just reselect the check box and adjust time accordingly.

What's your take?

Have you wanted to change the amount of time that the boot menu displays on the screen? As always, if you have comments or information to share about this topic, please take a moment to drop by the TechRepublic Community Forums and let us hear from you.

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

5 comments
bd1235
bd1235

I have always changed this setting by the second method. It works for XP, 7 and 8. I set it to 2 seconds. This is just long enough to react and select other than the default. There is a great little utility called ireboot (not sure if it works on win 8) which allows a boot to an alternate opsys from an icon in the tray. When you boot this way it bypasses the windows boot menu altogether (for that boot only) and saves even more time.

edit: It even works on Vista. Funny how I keep forgetting that one.

pgit
pgit

Nice that they give you a UI for this, rather than poking around with registry keys.

syhprum
syhprum

You could of course download Dual boot pro which gives you simple control of operating systems.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin moderator

Knowing how important boot times are for many readers, I can imagine many of you were looking for a way to reduce the time the Windows 8 boot menu displays. How long are you willing to wait on the boot menu?