Ready to speed up your PC? A friend complained recently that her year-old PC was running really slowly. Browsing the web was crazy. She’d click something and have to wait almost a minute before the page would load. It wasn’t the Internet, and her cable speeds hadn’t changed. What was making her PC so sluggish?
This situation is pretty common with almost every Windows PC. Background programs designed to optimize performance of certain applications — like Adobe Reader or Microsoft Office — often clutter the computer, taking up memory and slowing down the operating system. My friend had over 40 of these programs running! The good news is, they’re not necessary. You can safely and easily stop these programs from auto-starting — often with dramatic results.
1. Click the Start button, type msconfig, and press ENTER.
2. When the System Configuration utility comes up, select the Startup tab and deselect auto-starting programs like Adobe Reader, Microsoft Office, QuickTime, Java, and anything that says “update.” Don’t deselect programs that say “Catalyst,” come from NVIDIA (these work with your screen), or say “point” or “pointer.”
3. Reboot your computer. (Be sure to try out things you regularly do to make sure you didn’t turn off an essential program. If something suddenly isn’t working, just go back to msconfig, re-enable that program, and reboot again.) Your PC should be much more responsive!
To learn how to fix other common computer problems, enroll in Introduction to PC Troubleshooting today.