Ashville NC IT Support Company | Blue Ridge Technology, Inc.

PC Running Slow? Try a Startup Cleanup

Begin work quicker…if that’s your thing.
If your work PC seems like it’s getting too slow, your mind might immediately jump to dollar signs or danger: maybe it’s time to upgrade, which is always an expensive proposition. Or, worse, maybe you’re in danger. Maybe your PC is being slowed down by malware or some other digital threat. Those are both possibilities, of course. But there’s another much less serious or costly consideration: Windows startup. If the biggest source of slowdowns seems to be when you restart your computer, it may not be the computer. It could be all the programs that are launching at startup. And that’s something you can control.

Why A Startup Inventory Matters

When your computer first launches Windows, it does a number of things. One is to check the list of startup apps and then initialize each one. The more programs and apps are on this list, the longer it will take for your computer to get to its normal level of responsiveness. The thing is, over time, your startup list can get crowded. And not every entry on the list actually needs to start at startup. So taking a startup inventory every now and again can help you speed up the reboot process and reduce your PC’s sluggish response.

How to Access Startup

To take a look at what your PC has on its startup list, first open the Settings app. (To do this, search for “settings”, press Windows key + I, or open settings from the Start menu.) Navigate to the Apps section, then choose Startup. What you see next is a list of everything that starts automatically, along with other apps that can start automatically but aren’t currently toggled to do so.

What to Do With This List

The next step is the trickiest one. You can go down this list and toggle off any apps that don’t seem essential at startup. But you’ll want to take care as you do this. Turn off certain system processes, and Windows might not initialize the way you expect next time. It’s best to stick to easily recognizable programs that you know aren’t essential for startup. For example, while it’s probably not installed on your work PC, Steam is a great illustration of this. By default, it adds itself to the startup list when you install it. Now, if you’re gaming every day, this is probably fine. But if you only play games on Steam every now and again, having the app in startup isn’t worth the time it takes to initialize. You can just open the app the normal way when you’re ready to play. It’s impossible to list in a blog post all the apps that every business user might have in startup, so use the Steam analogy and apply it to your workload. Are there resource-intensive apps on that startup list that you use only every now and again? You’re safe to take them off the list. But complicated or obscure-sounding things that you aren’t really sure about? Leave those alone or chat with IT. They could be essential system processes that need to stay on.

Don’t See Startup in Settings?

If you’re using an endpoint managed device (one where your IT team or IT partner controls aspects of the device for you), you might not have access to Startup in settings. That’s typically OK, because it means someone else is taking care of these details for you already. Of course, we believe using endpoint managed devices is a standard best practice for all businesses. If you don’t have the internal IT resources to make this happen, we can help. We’ll take as much or as little of your IT workload as you want or need, enabling you to focus on the business that matters most: yours. If you need help with your IT needs, we can help. Reach out now!