Everybody likes a speedy computer. I remember the days when you could hit the power button on a computer, then go make a pot of coffee. When you returned, your computer would hopefully be displaying the Desktop signifying it was ready for you to get some work done. Even today, with much faster computers at our disposal, there is still a very basic way to speed up your boot times. This week’s Quick Tips article will show you how to potentially shave several seconds off that start-up time.
The main culprit here are programs that automatically start when you fire up your computer. Each one takes time and many of them may not be necessary. Many programs you install will set themselves up to start when you fire up Windows. Sometimes this is what you want, but many times, not so much. Any program that starts running like this will continue to hog some resources in the background for the entire time you are using your computer. Do you really need to have that “quick load” utility running in the background for the occasional time you actually want to use it? Probably not.
Some of these programs are well-behaved. They will offer you a setting within their interface to either allow, or disallow them from starting up at boot time. Other bits of software are not so user-friendly, but there is a very simple way to tame these beasts.
Task Manager to the Rescue
- You can run Task Manager by using this Windows Hotkey combination– CTRL+SHIFT+ESC
- There are several tabs across the top and one of those is labeled Startup
Once you click the Startup tab, you should see a screen similar to this one:
One of the things you might notice in the upper-right corner is an item labeled Last BIOS time. This is not the total time it takes to boot your system. This reference is how long it takes your BIOS to initialize your hardware before the actual Windows boot sequence begins. Increasing or decreasing the number of startup programs won’t have any effect on this number.
Another thing to make note of in the above image is that you can sort the various columns by clicking on the column header. The image shows the list sorted by Status. This will group all the startup programs by Disabled/Enabled status.
Your first decision is whether you actually need a particular program running in the background all the time. You may be surprised when you realize just how many bits of software are using up your computer’s resources for no good reason. This not only impacts boot times, but can be detrimental to the responsiveness of your system as a whole. Disable anything you don’t need on this list.
- Click the offending program
- Click the disable button
Next time you boot your computer, that program will no longer intrude on your peace of mind, or your computer. See how easy that was?
For the curious ones out there, the MyCortana software (by LazyGuyz) is a little utility I tried out to change Cortana’s name. I didn’t like saying, “Hey Cortana!”, to wake her up so I changed her name to something kinder to my ears. I wrote an article about it a while back and if you are interested, this is the link: How To Rename Cortana
As always, if you have any helpful suggestions or comments, please share them with us,