In our series on tuning up your computer, we continue by going over startup programs, checking resources and lightweight alternatives. We can’t teach you everything about IT in a day, but we can take the first step.
Programs in the background, programs auto-starting on startup, and checking resource usage
- Check the icons in the bottom right. If there is anything running you do not use all the time, you will want to stop them from auto-running. You could just quit them, but then the next time you start it will turn on again. So open up preferences and have them not start automatically. And some programs will keep running there even if you close the window.
- To see other startup programs, click Control-Alt-Delete, click task manager, and then click the tab that says “Startup”. Be careful to not disable anything that you do not recognize. If you have an HP, do not disable programs made by Intel, HP, Blue Western(hard drive) company, etc. You would not want to turn off something needed. But things like Dropbox, Skype, Spotify, and that one weird game you downloaded ten years ago, can all be disabled. Under “Status” in the Startup tab, it will either say Enabled or Disabled(meaning yes or no to starting by itself). To disable it, right click the program you are changing, and select “disable”.
- To find any programs that are running constantly, but not startup programs, you will want to open Task Manager again. This time stay in the Process tab, and see if there are any applications you recognize but do not need that are taking up a huge percentage of resources. You may have downloaded a video game that has a lobby for online gaming that is always on.
Programs for making your computer run faster
- CCleaner is a great option for clearing out old cache and memory space. Some programs tend to build up a huge cache, and after a time will begin to slow themselves down. When going through the options however, make sure you do not delete your browser’s history or saved passwords.
- Choose an antivirus that is lightweight. If you are running something like Mcafee you are probably slowing your computer down. Unlike a lot of other programs, you have to constantly run antivirus. But Avast is a great option for keeping memory usage low. We normally recommend this to all of our clients as well.
- Instead of using Safari or Internet Explorer, try using Google Chrome. Google Chrome outperforms almost any other modern browser(Mozilla is a close second). You would be surprised how much faster using Chrome can make your computer seem.
If you are not the kind of person who wants to mess with your own computer, we at tekRESCUE are here to help you and your business speed up their machines.