Slow computers are a bigger concern than we previously thought. One new study found that the average American wastes two hours every week, simply because their computer is running too slow. That means that 1.2% of our lives are being wasted because we aren’t optimizing our PCs to run faster.
One of the biggest reasons that our computers run slower than we would like is that we are running too many programs. You could increase system speed dramatically by terminating many programs that you don’t need.
Microsoft System Configuration is a feature in Microsoft Windows that lets you pause programs that are consuming too much memory. However, it is important to make sure that you don’t terminate the wrong programs. You could seriously impede the performance of your PC or lose some of the functionality you are depending on.
Here is a quick guide on using Microsoft System Configuration to make sure your computer runs more quickly.
How do you access Windows System Configuration?
Invoking Windows System Configuration is a simple three step process:
- Start by clicking the Start button.
- Type the command “misconfig” and then click the OK button. A window called System Configuration Utility will subsequently appear.
- Click the tab that says Startup.
Once you complete the steps, you will see a list of all programs that are currently running. Each program has a checkbox next to it. If the icon has a check, then that means that the program is scheduled to start when Windows launches. Otherwise, the program needs to be manually started.
There are a few things that you need to bear in mind when assigning settings. First, start by familiarizing yourself with the following processes:
- Explorer.exe. This process controls the graphical shell for the Windows environment. Many people will tell you that Windows will stop functioning if it is closed. This is a hyperbolic assessment, but explorer.exe still has some very important functions. It controls many graphical interfaces that most users depend on, including the Task Manager, startup menu and file managers. You can still technically run Windows without it, but it will be a lot more complicated.
- Winlogon.exe. This is a process that operates in the background of Windows. It is central to authorizing users and performing activation checks on Windows processes. Disabling this process is highly discouraged, especially in a multi-user Windows environment.
- Spoolsv.exe. This process controls printing and faxing jobs. If you don’t intend to print or fax from your PC, then you can probably close it without any issues. You can always consider launching it again. However, if you operate in environment where users with limited technical knowledge need to be able to print documents at their leisure, then it is not advisable to remove the checkmark on this box.
- Lsass.exe. This is another process that is essential for user authentication. It verifies the identity of users liking onto your PC. Terminating this program is not advisable, even if you don’t intend to allow anybody else to use your computer.
The applications listed above are some of the more important programs that you should be careful about closing. However, most nonessential programs can probably be unchecked under the System Configuration.
You probably don’t need to use Microsoft Word as soon as it starts up. Yet, many users unknowingly have Word or other Office programs set to launch during startup. If you notice that the box next to it is checked under System Configuration, then it will constantly be draining memory from your computer. You can also uncheck any applications that you manually installed, unless you have a good reason for making sure they operate as soon as your system starts up. It is always a good idea to keep your malware protection software running at all times, so you should probably make sure that the button next to it is checked in your System Configuration dashboard.
See how much memory different programs are using before deciding to keep them
You might believe that you really need a particular program running at all times. However, aside from essential Windows processes or malware protection software, most applications are not as necessary as we think. We usually just rationalize keeping them running in the background so that we don’t have to manually start them multiple times during a Windows session.
If you are tempted to keep a process running, it is a good idea to look at your task and see how much memory it is using.