Prepare a list of easy-to-answer questions for them
There are far too many options at first and they will spend a ton of time on lower levels, but most people read everything and run into the problem of having too much to choose from without any idea of what this really means for the game later on.
You can make this easy by preparing some questions that give you some general ideas and then you quickly generate some characters. For example I asked my players before ever talking about a single rule or stat:
Are you more of a mage, relying solely on magic or someone who prefers brute force? Or maybe something in between?
This gives you an idea of whether to choose something like Wizard/Sorcerer or Fighter/Rogue or maybe Ranger/Paladin, depending on what they tell you. They don't need to know these names, or look up the abilities - they just focus on what kind of character they want to play.
The same goes with the race.
Are you more of a bulky dwarf or a fast elf? Or would you prefer the relatively short-lived humans?
Then you ask them indirectly about stats:
Are you fast, relying on your speed to get away from danger? Or do you prefer to rush into the enemy and think about the consequences later?
Now you know wether you should use Strength (and maybe Constitution) as the main physical stat or Dexterity. The same thing for mental stats:
Are you good at remembering stuff or do you excel at getting people on your side? Or maybe you are watching your back, trying to find every trap before it springs?
Now you know about Int/Cha/Wis.
After that you just quickly go through and at everything to the charactersheet, crunching the numbers to get the modifiers. While you are doing that your players can think about their backgrounds by reading some of them and putting in Bonds/Flaws/... That's mostly role-playing stuff and you can adjust the proficiencies later. Tell them to just go over the names of the background and maybe the first paragraph and show you which they prefer.
Now they are set up with a character that they want to play. It may not be the best optimitzed character, but they will soon understand that they can't have perfectly optimized characters at first - they need to understand how the game works and what stuff is important (in your campaign) before making such decisions.
This worked perfectly fine for my group and after a few sessions some of them grabbed the books and started to read through the chapters that describe their race/class/spells/... to get a better understanding. I often tell them that we can just create another character if they want to, but they love them because it's the kind of character they always wanted to play. Trying to understand all the rules would only slow them down in this creative process. That's what works for my group.
Also remember that you can explain everything in rough terms without getting into too-detailed-rules (and leaving some caveats out at first):
Strength influences how hard you hit with a melee weapon like a sword, while Dexterity is generally used for ranged weapons like a bow.
If then someone mentions they would prefer a rapier you can adjust that
Rapiers are a bit special, they can also use Dexterity
With this style of asking general questions you can easily get the character-creation phase to be an interesting part of the role-playing aspect of the game without taking too much time.