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Speed up your PC by Trimming your Startup Programs

Streamlining the Window Startup process will significantly reduce the amount of time the PC takes to complete the third step of the PC start sequence.


In the past, we have discussed many solutions for increasing the performance of a PC. There are tips and tweaks for hardware and software alike that will boost access speeds, program operation, and memory allocation. As your system ages, the options for upgrading the hardware in your system begin to offer the more significant performance boosts. What are your options if hardware upgrades are out of the question and you have already followed our tips blogs from the past few months, but your system continues to boot like Vista with 1GB of RAM? It is time to clean up the programs in your Startup.

Windows Startup

Each time you start your computer, the system follows a set sequence of steps before your PC is fully available. The first step is a diagnostic to ensure that installed hardware is operating properly. Then the system loads the operating system and checks to make sure there are no issues. Lastly, the system begins to load programs queued in Windows Startup. The first two steps of the PC start process are completed in a relatively short time. The majority of the PC start sequence time is taken up by the launching of Startup programs. The act of removing and streamlining the Window Startup process will significantly reduce the amount of time the PC takes to complete the third step of the PC start sequence.

How Do Programs Get Into Windows Startup?

There are several ways that programs can be added to the Windows Startup queue. Many Startup programs come preinstalled by the manufacture and are trial versions or proprietary program offerings that are bundled with new PCs. Programs that are manually installed by users often insert Startup commands during their installation. Lastly, many free programs come bundled with other 3rd party software that are installed at the same time as the main program. Be aware that many essential services that run along with the Windows operating system will also run in the Startup queue and should not be disabled.

Solutions for Managing Startup Programs

The following solutions are suggestions for accessing locations where Startup programs may be located. These solutions range from safe and easy to execute to much more advanced techniques. Do not remove any program or application if you are unsure of its function. Significant harm can be done to your system.

  1. Remove programs from Startup menu.
    1. Access location from Start > Programs > Startup Menu.
    2. Easy to access and understand.
    3. No file descriptions are included for programs in this location.
    4. Programs in this location do not represent the majority of Startup programs.
  2. Change program preferences.
    1. Locate preferences of individual programs.
    2. Can be performed at installation and after.
    3. Ranges from easy to understand to confusing for more advanced program settings.
    4. Not all programs have this functionality.
    5. Can be time consuming.
  3. Change settings using Windows utility msconfig.
    1. Can be accessed from the command line or search function.
    2. Moderately more difficult to manipulate programs than previous options.
    3. File information can be obscured, confusing, or incomplete.
    4. Not all Startup programs are included.
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