Monday, January 25, 2010

Windows Performance Tune up: Msconfig

MSCONFIG is a wonderful little tool built into almost all versions of Windows.  You can use it to remove some unnecessary programs from loading when your computer starts up to really get a performance boost.  It was designed to help you troubleshoot problems with your computer and MSCONFIG can also be used to ensure that your computer boots faster and crashes less.

The more programs you have running on your computer at once, the more likely it is that your computer will either run slowly or even crash. However, every time you boot your computer a whole mess of "hidden" programs load in the background. Some of these hidden programs are essential, but most aren't. In fact, many viruses will load themselves into "startup".  Turning off some of these hidden programs can significantly increase your computer's performance and reliability. 

Here are the steps to run MSCONFIG

1.  Click Start => Run

2.  Type "msconfig" (no quotation marks)

3.  Click OK

4.  Now the System Configuration Utility will launch

5.  Click the Startup tab.

6.  You can safely remove almost any item by unchecking it, though I'd leave anything associated with the antivirus program on the computer checked. 

If you are unsure, check this huge list of startup programs at this link here:

7.  Click Apply => Click Ok

8.  Now you will be prompted to reboot for these changes to take effect.  You may reboot now or later if you wish.

When your computer comes back up, be prompted about changes made if it's the first time the utility was run.  Simply accept the changes.

If you find that you've disabled something that you needed, such as DVD burning software that needed to load, simply run the utility again and check the box that loads it.

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