When you boot up your PC, there can be numerous programs that run when Windows loads and these programs will run in the background whether you use them or not. Taking a few minutes to disable these programs from automatically starting can dramatically improve the performance of your computer.
The easiest way to access the task manager, after you have your PC turned on and at your desktop, push the “Ctrl + Alt + Del” buttons on your keyboard. When the window opens, click “Task Manager.”
If this is the first time you have opened task manager, click “More details” in the lower-left corner. You can expand the box to full screen by clicking the box at the top-right. Next, click the “Startup” tab at the top.
Look at the list of your programs that are automatically starting up every time you turn on your computer. I have serviced computers where there are more than fifty programs starting up and running in the background, so don’t be concerned at this point if this is the case for your machine.
Look at your list of programs, and if you know of a program that you have installed, that should start every time, then do not disable that program. If you have antivirus software that shows in this list, do not disable it.
For the other items, I recommend you select each one and then at the bottom-right, click the “Disable” button. Keep in mind, disabling these programs will not harm your computer in anyway. When you restart your PC, this will halt your disabled programs from automatically starting.
When it comes time for you to use any of these programs that you have disabled, just open your program as usual and it will run normally. You will not notice any ill effects in your programs when you disable their start up.
After you have made your choices, close the task manager and restart your machine. After using your PC for a time, if you notice that a program is not functioning as it should, simply go back to the task manager and “Enable” the program to start up with Windows. Again, this won’t harm your computer and you should see an increase in performance, especially the time it takes for your PC to boot to your desktop.
For more than 15 years, Scott Lindsay has helped thousands of people better their skills, publishing more than 500 articles about Apple and Microsoft software, the computer and the Internet. You can reach Scott for comments or questions at ScottLindsay@live.com.