Computers get slower for a number of reasons, in this article, we will cover how to remove unnecessary applications launching on startup. No paid software is required, and it should take approx 3 minutes to follow the steps. Please be aware that some of the areas/options may look slightly different if your PC is not running a contemporary Microsoft Operating System. As with all of our advice, if you are not sure what you are doing, or feel uncomfortable trying any of the steps, give us a call and we can help for a small fee.
[contentblock colour=”red” id=”Image Backup”]
Disabling unused applications from startup
Software companies love to remind you who they are, while also enabling features to only ever be a click away (like all those little logos you see next to your clock on the desktop?). Unfortunately this often means the program is running in the background, slowing the computer down. This is where MSCONFIG comes into play – a tool largely used by IT support staff to troubleshoot problem software and startup issues. Microsoft has a long list of programs which request being started automatically when the computer starts, and using MSCONFIG allows the user to manipulate which are allowed to, and which aren’t. Novice users should be very careful here, and we would recommend not disabling anything in startup that you don’t recognise. If in doubt, give us a call. Also never tamper with anything outside of startup, as the computer has a great many legitimately required services that must start in order for the computer to function.
Helpful tip – when we refer to the ‘Windows key’, that is the button on your keyboard with the Windows logo, always positioned on the left hand side, between CTRL and ALT.
Step 1. Open the Run command by pressing Windows key + R at the same time (or selecting from the start menu).
Step 2. Type MSCONFIG in to the Run window and press enter.
Step 3. On the startup tab, you can remove the tick in the box on 100% of the items listed, but some are handy to keep. For example Dropbox, Microsoft Skpe for Business, anti-virus, automatic backup software and anything else you like having the option in the task bar for. You can come back to this later and add them in again if you want to, so take your time, and cherry pick as appropriate.
Less is more, run with as little in startup as you can, and add things back in as you find you are missing them. We recommend leaving anti-virus in every time, as they will notify you of trouble
Check the startup list with MSCONFIG every few months, as updates will often re-add items back to the startup list
The computer will prompt you to restart once this is done, so save up and give it try. You should notice the time from logging in to the computer, where the desktop is drawn, and the time before it is fast enough to start using, is dramatically improved. This is because the programs you are no longer launching, will have been using memory and processing time, especially as the computer started to load your account, often taking as long as 5 minutes before it is usable.
If you find the computer struggles more when it is activly used, and the startup list is minimal, then it is probably due to a lack of RAM in the machine, or just really old/low end kit.
RAM upgrades are easy enough and often very cheap. Give us a call if you need any help figuring out if yours can have more.