Tag Archives: startup

The Three S’s of Speeding up a Slow PC

This one is about speeding up your computer and keeping it easy.  Truth is, there are lots of reasons a computer can slow down, but among them are three core tenants that should be your go-to S-olutions.

So What’s Going On?

The main reasons computers slow down is because the finite resources – hard drive space, processing speed and virtual memory – are getting used up.  So why does slowdown happen over a period of time?  The simple answer is programs.  Your new PC probably came with a host of programs when you bought it.  Promos, demos and brand-related tools that you likely don’t want and/or need.

And over time you’ve added more, right?  More apps, more games, more browsers and browser add-ons …so now it’s gotten to the point where the resources that seemed so plentiful at the outset have become used up.  More programs means more things are trying to run at the same time.

Diagnose it

Hit the key combination of CTRL + SHIFT + ESC.  This works on any version of Windows and brings up the Task Manager.  Click on the tab that says Processes.  This is a list of things that are currently running on your computer, and how much of your computer’s speed and energy they’re using.


What do you see?  Are there programs here you don’t recognize?  Are there things running in the background you don’t need.  You can right-click on a given process and opt to “End Process,” though this isn’t necessarily recommended.  Sure you can stop a  given process, but that won’t stop it from re-initializing later.  Instead, you an control how and when your computer lets a given application run by remembering the three S’s. Continue reading

Work Like It’s Supposed to: Fix a Slow Boot-Up

Nothing is more tooth-grind-inducing than a computer that takes forever to boot up. You turn the computer on, you sit down, you get ready to work…and then you wait. And wait.

It’s a sad truth that the longer we have a computer, the slower it seems to boot up. This is due to a few things, and old computer age is not one of them strangely enough. The first major problem that your computer is likely having is that it is bogged down with too many programs trying to start up all at once when you initially boot up the machine. The second problem may simply be an overabundance of programs and their associated drivers and files.

Managing Startup Permissions

When you turn on your computer, a lot of programs try to kick in immediately. Some are absolutely necessary things like your antivirus software and all of the various Windows mechanics. But others are a bit less than necessary and they can drag your computer down as it kicks into gear.

Fortunately you can check out the program that are all starting up at the same time and control them in a single location. In Windows 7, search for MSCONFIG in the search bar of the Start menu. In Windows 8 open the Task Manager.

You’ll see a menu labeled Startup. This is the long list of programs that are currently working immediately when you turn on your machine.


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Work Like It’s Supposed To: AntiVirus Software

We all know we need anti-virus software, but are you sure that your program is actually working correctly? Most of us download the program and assume it is working. It’s a safe assumption when you consider how many messages you get from your security suite about scans, safety checks and safe internet surfing. In fact, all of that protection can get a bit overwhelming at times. You don’t have to let your antivirus software dominate your computer – and it will.

The standard antivirus suite is usually a huge program that ties up a lot of your computer’s valuable resources and can even slow your computer down. While it’s essential to have protection, you don’t have to always play by the rules set by the software companies. After all, it’s your computer so it’s your choices.

There are many settings that you can control with your security software, and even if you choose to let it work exactly the way it wants to, you should at least know how to control it should it ever complicate routine tasks for you. For example, sometimes your security software can make it challenging to download new programs and you will need to disable it briefly to let your computer do its job.

Changing Start-Up Permissions

There are components of your antivirus software that startup immediately when you flip the computer on. This is good in the sense that you have protection right away from the malware that also likes to try and get going right when you turn on your machine. But sometimes you are bogged down in security and want to have the option to boot your computer faster without starting every security feature right away.

You can control what starts immediately by controlling your startup permissions. If you’re working in Windows 7, search for MSCONFIG in the Start menu. Open the program associated with “msconfig.exe” that appears and you’ll see a tab labeled “Startup”. In Windows 8 do this through the Task Manager.  Open it by clicking Ctrl+Shift+Esc.  Then click on the “Startup” tab.

msconfig or system configuration menu in Windows 7

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