When your Windows computer starts to bog down, slow down and stall during startup – there may be an easy solution to your problem. See, many times when your computer is slow during the boot up or start up process, it’s due to too many programs trying to load when your PC is booting up for the first time. We’ve put together this short tutorial to show you, step-by-step, how to remove unnecessary startup programs and how to identify which programs are safe to remove.
Removing unnecessary programs to speed up XP startup
In order to find out which programs are loading when your computer is starting up, you need to open up the System Configuration Utility. Don’t worry — it’s a quick and painless process.
To access this utility:
- Click the Start button on your desktop
- Click on Run on the right-hand side
- Type in msconfig
- Hit OK
Now, you’ll need to view the programs that are scheduled to load when your computer is starting up and you can find this information by pressing the Startup tab.
Once you have this opened, you’ll likely see a good number of seemingly confusing words and file locations – but all you really need to know at this point is that the boxes with checkmarks (on the left) represent programs that are scheduled to run when your computer is starting up.
Identifying unnecessary startup programs
Now, this part is a bit trickier — but fortunately you have some help to do this. You’ll notice that in the Startup section of the System Configuration Utility that there are words next to the checked boxes –these are the words that we are going to use to check against the Windows Startup Database to see if they are necessary programs, whether they are programs that you can disable or even if they are potentially malicious programs which should be completely removed from your PC.
When you are attempting to check whether an application is needed by Windows XP, the search term you will be using will be in the Startup Item column next to a checked box. In some cases you may be able to guess what an application is, for instance, YahooMessenger is the popular instant messaging software –Yahoo Messenger. Unfortunately, not all startup programs are as clear as our example here – which is where the Windows Startup Database comes in handy.
Once you have identified and unchecked the unnecessary startup programs from the System Configuration Utility, you’ll need to press the Apply button and then OK. At this point you will be prompted to reboot your computer, though it’s generally ok to wait for the reboot until you are done with your session.
This one easy tip can make an immense difference in the amount of time that it takes your Windows XP computer to startup. If your computer is still lagging when it comes to starting up, please see some of our other computer optimization tips for ideas on how to address this problem.