There’s a way you can get back at lot of speed on your PC, and it only takes a few minutes, plus it’s free and doesn’t require you to be an expert. Here’s a walk through of how to manage your start up processes.
Whether you know it or not, when you turn on your PC, many programs run without your knowing. Some of these programs are rather benign and even necessary, such as a messaging client or your automatic backup program. But many of them are unnecessary and only serve to eat up your RAM and utilize the CPU, thus slowing down your computer. I’ve seen some PC’s with dozens of start up processes that run after a reboot. Usually those computers are the slowest and least responsive.
Where do these programs come from? When you install new software, a lot of them come with associated start up processes. For example, when you install iTunes, a program called iTunes Helper runs at start up. This process keeps a look out for any connections made with an Apple product, thus causing iTunes to launch. While this may be a slight convenience, you can also just manually open iTunes if you’re connecting an iPod or iPhone to your PC. If you kill this start up process, you’ll save system resources.
Here are the steps:
1. In Vista or Win7, type “msconfig” into the search bar in the start menu. In XP, open the Run program and do the same thing. If you get a User Account Control dialogue, press “yes”.
2. Go to the fourth tab – Start up.
3. Go through this list and uncheck anything you don’t need to start up when you start your PC. It’s better to uncheck more than less, because you can go back into this screen and recheck certain items if you find that your computer is not launching a key program, etc.
4. Reboot your computer, and enjoy the added speed. For extra fun, take note to the idle CPU utilization (via the Task Manager) and amount of free RAM, and compare that to the stats after you manage your start up processes. For some, the difference may be huge.