Speed up and manage your Windows startup

SnailThere’s no avoiding the fact that the more programs you install on your PC, the slower Windows is to start. It’s really annoying when you take a spanking new PC, install a few programs, and already the startup sequence is taking twice as long. This adds-up over time until eventually, your PC starts at a snail’s pace, taking longer to get going on a morning than you do.

Defragging your drive can help but it only goes so far. The usual culprits for startup delays, crashes and errors are programs which have installed themselves either overtly or covertly in your startup sequence. The best thing to do therefore, is simply remove them. My favourite tool for this is the elegantly simple but hugely effective CCleaner. If you click on the “Tools” tab and then click “Startup” you can see at a glance how many programs have wormed their way into your startup sequence. Simply select the ones which aren’t needed on startup and click “Delete Entry”. Be very careful however that you know what your are deleting – some startup entries may be important for other things to work (such as external devices), so unless you know what you are removing, best leave it there.

CCleaner is however dedicated mainly to cleaning and there are many other apps out there that focus on all aspects of startups. Startup Inspector for Windows tells you in much greater detail, which programs are necessary in your startup sequence and which aren’t – useful if you don’t know what some of the startup files refer to. StartUpLite does a similar job although in a slightly simpler fashion but be warned that there’s no “undo” function if you remove something by mistake.

Maybe you’re in a situation where you need certain applications to execute on startup but not in the order that they are currently doing so. In which case, try using Arrange Startup which allows you to select the order in which your programs execute when you switch on your computer. In this way, you can make sure that those that take the most time are relegated to the bottom of the list so that you can get on with using your PC in the meantime. Or, maybe you share your PC with another user who needs a different startup sequence to yourself. The solution in this case is Shock Startup which allows you to configure different startup sequences for different users as well as optimise the startup speed.

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