When you first boot up your computer, Windows and other programs that are essential for your computer to run properly, begin to load. There are, however, programs that load and run all the time unnecessarily. For example, when you install Microsoft Office on your system, a small program is loaded into the start-up menu. This is done by most software manufacturers so that when you click on their program icon, their program starts up faster because it is already running in the background. Disabling unnecessary programs in the start-up menu can make a significant difference in your computer’s performance.
Just because we disable the program in the start-up menu, doesn’t mean the same as uninstall. We merely are stopping the program from running until we actually need to use it. Once we do click on a program, it will then run in the background all the time until we shut down and restart our computer.
For those running Windows 8 or 8.1, push the “Ctrl,” “Alt” and “Del” keys at the same time. Select “Task Manager.” Click “More details” to expand the box. At the top, click the “Startup” tab. Your startup programs are displayed here. Click once to highlight each item and then click “Disable” in the lower-right.
It has been my experience that you can disable just about everything located in the start-up menu. Start-up items for “Intel,” “Adobe” and your antivirus software can be left enabled. After disabling your start-up programs, reboot your computer.
On occasion, if you find something isn’t working the way it should, just return to the start-up menu and enable the item in question. This may be particularly so for “Apple” products.
A note about Windows XP. Last year about this time, I wrote that Microsoft was ending support for Windows XP. Well, this year I believe they mean it. Support will end for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. If you are using Windows XP, there are some things you should know at this point.
No support for Windows XP means that you will not get future security updates. Security updates typically are released to counter or fix security issues found in the software. If you must continue to use Windows XP, I strongly recommend you don’t log into any banking websites, email accounts, and other websites that require you to log in. Although somewhat unlikely, it will be easier for criminals to access your personal information. I fully expect a dramatic rise in hacking due to the sheer number of companies that still use Windows XP and have resisted upgrading to newer operating system software.
Your best course of action is to upgrade to a newer operating system. I recommend at least Windows 7. If your computer is not compatible or cannot run Windows 7 or 8, you will get to purchase a new one.
Scott Lindsay actively promotes learning the computer, regardless of age, to better one’s life and circumstances and has helped thousands of people over the past 13 years to become better computer users. He can be reached at Scott@MicroScottPro.com.