Quicker boot a few clicks away
Published: Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
As computers age, they naturally slow down — especially when they're starting up. It's just a fact. It isn't a fact you have to live with, though. There are some simple steps you can take to speed up a slow-booting computer. Cue the “Hallelujah Chorus.”
Now, the reason startup gets slow is that there's too much information for the computer to load at once. So, you need to trim the fat. These simple steps are the knife.
• Ditch the non-essentials
Your computer is loading a whole bunch of programs at startup. Some, like your security programs, are crucial. Other programs, maybe not so much.
Go to Start>>All Programs>>Startup. Any programs or files in this folder will start when you turn your computer on. Simply delete the program or file icon to stop it from starting.
If you find a program you never use, you might as well just remove it completely. You can use Windows' built-in uninstaller.
For something a bit more powerful, check out a free third-party program like Revo Uninstaller.
Of course, the Startup folder isn't the only place programs run from. You can use another free program, Autoruns, to find the rest. It lists the programs set to start during boot and what each program does. It even knows enough not to remove essential programs like your security software.
I recommend disabling programs before you decide to remove them. That way if you accidentally disable something you need, you can easily turn it back on again.
• Delay the inevitable
You will probably find programs that should start automatically, but don't need to start right away. For example, an instant messenger program can start after your security software.
Here, free programs like Startup Delayer and TopWinPrio will start programs one by one, instead of all at once. You can even set the order.
This won't make the individual programs load any faster, but it will take strain off your system. Your computer should be more usable while they're loading.
• Delete the clutter
Your programs themselves might be cluttered with unneeded information. It might be image caches, history files or temporary files. If they have to check this information when they load, that's just more things for the computer to process.
The freebie CCleaner is a simple way to remove this clutter. Just stick with the program's default settings. You might mess up some of your programs if you don't.
CCleaner includes a registry cleaner. Cleaning the registry doesn't do much speed-wise for modern computers. However, broken registry entries can cause errors on startup. So, running the registry cleaner might be useful from time to time. Just be sure to let CCleaner make a backup in case something goes wrong.
Bonus step: You might think about leaving your computer turned on. Contrary to what many people believe, it won't hurt your computer if it's on 24/7. It also doesn't hurt it to turn it off every night.
E-mail Kim Komando at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Railroad entrepreneur Henry Posner recovers $14.6M from Guatemala
- Stocks struggle as investors weigh economic news
- Lobby: EPA imperils energy boom
- Olive Garden challenges competitors with 6-ounce burger
- Flabeg wins court battle
- Fed says economy ‘trudging’ on
- Reporter want ad: Did your health insurer cancel your plan?
- Western Pa. retailers enthused about early shopping action
- S&P 500 gains for 8th straight week
- Steel Nation hopes to use oil, gas field success as springboard
- Taking vacation vital, personnel managers say