Thursday is Computer Illiteracy 101, a class in which we discuss the ways those who have not been properly educated in the use of their PCs can slow, damage, or even destroy their computers. Reap the benefits of our experience oh readers, that you might avoid the foibles of our misguided youth.
This week I wanted to touch base on one of the major problems that can bog down your Windows PC: Programs that automatically launch with Windows.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this sadistic process, it essentially means that many programs, once installed, will launch themselves as soon as Windows boots up. This can cause your boot times to go from 30 seconds to five minutes and more often than not, siphon your memory and CPU usage as well; slowing down your entire computing experience. Imagine that every time you woke up from a glorious four hours of sleep you were immediately required to prove Fermat's Theorem, recite a Shakespearean Sonnet, and perform your three S's - all at the same time. Each one of these processes by itself might be possible, but altogether they would slow each other down to the point of an impossibility. Actually, if you are in any position to not only prove Fermat's Theorem, but also recite a sonnet then you probably shouldn't be wasting your time reading this blog.
Regardless, multiple programs upon start-up can be detrimental to your productivity. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to combat this threat, all of which require a few minutes of your time every couple of weeks. One particular program that I use is Glary Utilities. This is a fantastic program that has a copious amount of other features and those will be covered in a later post. For right now all we want to focus on is the "Start-up Manager".
The procedure is simple: just select programs that you know shouldn't be starting up with Windows and deselect them. *A word of caution: do not disable something when you have no idea what it does. This can cause Windows to boot improperly, if it boots at all.* When in doubt, leave it checked until you can either research it on Google, a method for computer troubleshooting that we endorse wholeheartedly, or ask someone else what it does i.e. us.
If you've had your computer for a long time, it's likely that there are at least dozens of programs starting up with Windows. If you use iTunes you'll most likely have bonjour, iTunes, and QuickTime all starting up at the same time, which is entirely unnecessary. They are your programs, you tell them when to start-up, and more importantly, when to shut down. Cast off the yoke of oppression and manage your start-ups. It should make up for the productivity lost while looking at this blog.