Have you ever noticed how the longer you have your computer the longer it takes to boot up?  There are a couple reasons why this can happen.  Your computer can have a virus, malware (spyware), and/or there are numerous programs running in the background.  For now I will just discuss how to disable the unnecessary programs from starting up.  Most likely, you never knew there were programs running in the background.  Some companies have their software running in the background to make it open up quickly (at least give the illusion) or to run minor tasks (like looking for updates).  The problem with this is it uses up the computer’s limited memory capabilities and it slows the boot up time.  Now don’t get me wrong there are some programs that have to run on the start up otherwise you computer may not function correctly, so please be very careful on what you disable on your start up.

Luckily enough Microsoft has a program on all Windows platforms that will help you determine and/or stop programs told to run on boot/start-up.  The secret program is called msconfig.exe.  Normally it is located at c:\windows\system32\msconfig.exe.  There are numerous ways to start the program and it can also vary for each operating system.  You can open up “My computer” and go to c:\windows\system32\msconfig.exe.  Another way is to click on the “Start” button for XP or the Windows button for Vista and Windows 7.  Then type in “msconfig” into either the “search” box or the “run” box.  What should show up is:

Now select the “Startup” tab.  What you will see is all the programs that start when the computer starts its boot up process.

To stop the program during the start up process, just un-check the check box.  The true essential Windows programs needed to function are running as services and won’t show up on this list.  Now with that in mind, what windows considers essential you may not.  Please be very careful on what you disable on your start up.  Take for example on the list above, the first program starting allows me to use bluetooth on the computer.  If I disable it and reboot, I will no longer be able to connect to my computer via bluetooth.  The computer may boot fine and I may not know this isn’t running for awhile.  If you truly don’t know the program, don’t disable it on start up.  Now if you know for certain a program shouldn’t be running during the boot up process I would disable it.

Once you are done, just close the program by clicking “OK”.  The following prompt will pop-up:

You don’t have to reboot immediately unless you want to test the changes you made.  The changes you make will not take affect until you reboot.  I would suggest this since the changes are fresh in your mind.  If you have any problems and you want to re-enable some programs previously disabled, just run msconfig again and put the check back to the desired program.  Reboot again and the program will run again on the boot up.

I hope this was helpful and please let me know your thoughts.