Start Up Items - Speed Up Your Pc

By: Olly Fallon

Disabling start up items.

When your PC has been around for a while you may find that it starts to become very slow. Booting up your computer used to take around 20 seconds now it's possibly taking 10+ minutes. The most likely cause is too many start up items.

Start up items are, very simply, programs that are requested to automatically load when your computer boots. It is meant for your convenience but most are not needed to run on start up at all. In fact, over time, as this list of start up programs grows, your computer struggles under the strain and pretty much grinds to a halt.

So how do you go about solving this?

Well firstly, uninstall any programs you may no longer use from the control panel's add/remove programs.

There is most likely going to be programs that you still need in this list that you do not want to remove. At the same time you do not need them to start up every time your computer loads. The simplest way around this is to use MSCONFIG.

MSCONFIG is accessed by clicking on the start icon, then clicking run and typing "msconfig". Here you will have a new window appear showing all sorts of information. For the purpose of this article you will need to slick on the start up tab.

All the entries within the list here are the programs that load up when your computer starts - you may be surprised at how many items appear here. Some are essential such as your antivirus and firewall so try to be careful not to disable these.

Try to locate items that you really do not need starting up when your computer loads. This could be MSN messenger as an example or programs like QuickTime, which add a system tray icon etc. Bear in mind that by disabling these programs from start up does not stop you using them. They still exist on your computer but you only load them when you need them rather than them running all night and day.

Once you have disabled all but the important start up items you will need to restart your computer. Hopefully this time starting up should be much much quicker. The config window will pop up once windows has finished loading but you can tick the option not show this again and close it. If you do not tick the box, this window will load each time you reboot your computer.

It is a good idea to check your start up items periodically as viruses and trojans or other computer nasties can show themselves in this window. If there is something listed that you cannot identify, search on the Internet and if you still cannot identify it, disable it. Worst case situation, if you disable something and your computer does not work as expected, repeat the steps and re-enable whatever is causing your fault.

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