Archive for August 19th, 2010
Not All Applications Should Be Startup Items
Most users don’t understand that standard installation routines for programs may include actions that actually slow their computers down. If one application “volunteers” to configure itself as a startup item, the performance loss may hardly be noticeable. If five applications do the same thing, the computer’s performance may slow. If ten applications are configured to start up automatically, the computer may not have enough memory to function, depending upon what the applications are designed to do.
Aside from the applications you download and install knowingly, some applications may do things you don’t fully appreciate until you see them in action. Some “freeware packages” are good examples. Don’t get me wrong; free is good. I like free as much as the next person, but “free” often comes with a hidden cost. Some freeware programs are well behaved and do exactly what they say they do. Others try to load up your computer with spyware and other malware; toolbars and other applications that run all the time and slow your computer down. Removing or disabling these “riders” will improve your computer performance.
To find out what’s running on your computer at startup, close all of your applications and restart your computer. Without opening any applications, open the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del. The Task Manager will provide a list of all running processes and give you the option to end a task by clicking on the task within the list and pressing End Task.
Don’t arbitrarily end a task because you don’t recognize the file name. Instead, write down the questionable file names and do a little research to find out what the file is. If it turns out to be an important system process, leave it alone. If it’s an application, reconfigure the computer to eliminate this extra baggage from the startup routine.
If you do a lot of software removal, spend a few extra minutes and run a registry cleaner like RegCure. Keeping your registry free of unnecessary lines of code will speed up your computer and improve its overall performance.
Photo Credit: Florian, via Flickr
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