About the Service:
Slow startup times and sluggish behavior are all signs of a PC in need of a Power Boost. These instructions will help you trim the fat and get your computer back in the fast lane.
Create a System Restore Point
System Restore is a feature that backs up critical operating system files and settings, allowing you to safely restore them if you make a mistake. Think of it like Undo for Windows.
- Click the Windows Start menu, type System Restore into the search box and press Enter on the keyboard.
- Click Continue to the User Account Control Screen. This will bring up the System Restore Wizard, which will allow you to save the state of critical operating system files for later recovery if necessary.
- Click Open System Protection, and then click Create.
- In the box that appears, type “DIY Power Boost”, then click Create. Restore points are very thorough, so it may take a few moments to create it. A prompt will appear when finished, letting you know that the restore point is complete.
- Click OK.
- On the System Properties window, click OK.
- On the System Restore window, click Cancel.
Now that you’ve got a safety net, move on to step 2.
Modifying Virtual Memory
Virtual memory settings determine how Windows assigns memory resources to programs as they’re needed. By simplifying the configuration, Windows performance can be increased.
- Click on the Windows Start button, in the search box type SystemPropertiesPerformance.
- Click Continue to the User Account Control Screen.
- Select the Advanced tab and click Change under the Virtual Memory section. Your current virtual memory settings will appear. The C: drive should be selected by default.
- In the Paging file size for selected drive, select Custom size. Note the Recommended size in the section entitled Total paging file size for all drives.
- Set both Initial size (MB) and Maximum size (MB) to this value.
- Click Set to ensure the change is put into effect.
- Press OK to close the window, then close the Performance Options and System Properties windows. If you are asked to restart your computer, go ahead.
When finished, you’re ready for step 3.
Customize the Recycle Bin Size
Files placed in the recycle bin still take up space, even if you think they’re gone. By reducing the recycle bin’s maximum size, you can reduce wasted space.
- Right click the Recycle Bin and select Properties.
- In the window that appears, select the General tab, then select the Custom Size option and set Maximum size (MB) to 2048. This will allocate a smaller portion of your drives to the recycle bin, ensuring less wasted space. Reducing the Recycle bin size can impact your retrieval of mistakenly deleted items, adjust accordingly.
You’re now ready to move on to step 4.
Disable Startup Items
Your computer follows a list of instructions every time it starts up, performing tasks and starting programs. By removing unnecessary items from this list, your startup time can be improved. This is an advanced step, however, and a familiarity with startup items and related troubleshooting is recommended.
- Click the Windows Start menu, type MSCONFIG into the search box and press Enter on the keyboard.
- Click on Continue to the User Account Control screen.
- When the System Configuration Utility appears, select the Startup tab.
- A list of your computer’s startup items will appear, allowing you to make changes to the programs and services that load when your computer boots up. Uncheck anything that isn’t necessary. Research any items you may have questions about. Disabling some items may cause aspects of the computer to not function correctly.
- Click OK.
- When asked to restart your computer, click Restart.
- Upon restarting Windows, you may be prompted about the changes you’ve made. Check the box labeled Do not show this message and click OK.
- If you experience trouble of any kind after modifying the startup item list, return to the System Configuration Utility and re-check the items you disabled.
Feeling faster yet? Time for step 5.
Disable Unneeded Services
Windows manages an array of services that perform tasks and provide various capabilities. Not all are necessary, however. By removing the extraneous ones, your computer has less to juggle and will behave more responsively.
- Click the Windows Start menu, type SERVICES.MSC into the search box and press Enter on the keyboard.
- Click Continue to the User Account Control screen. The Services console will now appear, along with a complete list of services currently available on your computer.
- Two of them can be safely disabled: Indexing Service and Remote Registry. To disable a service, find its name in the list, right click it, and select Properties.
- In the window that appears, set the service’s Startup Type to Disabled and click OK.
- After disabling both services, close the Services console.
Now that Windows has extra breathing room, move on to step 6.
Delete Microsoft Windows Temporary files
Windows creates temporary files to store internal data needed for its operation. By periodically cleaning up these files, performance can be kept at its maximum level.
- Click the Windows Start menu, type %temp% into the search box and press Enter on the keyboard. You should now see a folder titled Temp, with a list of folders.
- Select all of the files in the folder either by pressing Ctrl A on the keyboard or by clicking on the Edit menu and selecting Select All.
- With all of the files selected, press Delete on your keyboard, or right click on any of the highlighted icons and select Delete.
- In the event that a given temporary file is in use, Windows will let you know and prevent you from deleting it. Don’t worry about these items just delete the files around them.
With more junk out of the way, get ready for step 7.
Running the Disk Cleanup Utility
The Disk Cleanup Utility analyzes your hard drive and determines how much space it can free by deleting system files and resources that are no longer needed.
- Click the Windows Start menu, type Disk Cleanup into the search box and press Enter.
- When asked which files to clean up, select Files from all users on this computer if you only have 1 user account you may not see this screen.
- Click Continue to the User Account Control screen.
The Disk Cleanup Utility will then begin a complete analysis of your hard drive to determine how much space can be freed. This process may take up to 3 minutes depending on the speed of your computer and the size of your hard drive.
- Once complete, the Disk Cleanup window will appear. The Disk Cleanuptab lists the items that can be deleted and the amount of space each will free. Check the following items:
- Downloaded Program Files
- Temporary Internet Files
- Offline Web Pages
- Hibernation File Cleaner
- Recycle Bin (pending customer approval)
- Setup Log Files
- System error memory dump files
- System error minidump files
- Temporary Files
- Web Client / Publisher Temporary Files
- Click OK, then click Delete Files when the Are you sure you want to permanently delete these files? prompt appears. The Disk Cleanup Utility will begin erasing the specified files and will close itself when finished.
Time for step 8!
Often times, programs are installed but used only rarely, if ever. Nevertheless, unnecessary programs consume disk space and should be removed.
- Click the Windows Start menu, type Programs and Features into the search box and press Enter. A list of all programs installed on your computer should appear.
- Click the corresponding Uninstall button for each program you want to remove. This will initiate the program’s uninstall sequence, which is usually automatic.
- Be sure to leave the Programs and Features window open for the next step.
Now that even more fat’s been trimmed, move on to step 9.
Remove Unused Internet Explorer Toolbars
Special toolbars are commonly installed in Internet Explorer, sometimes even without a user’s knowledge. Removing them can greatly speed up browser performance.
- If you completed the last step, the Programs and Features window should still be open.
- This time, look for programs with names containing the word Toolbar.
- Just like last time, select the unwanted programs and click their corresponding Uninstall buttons, click YES to the Are you sure you want to uninstall screen.
- Close the Programs and Features window when finished uninstalling unwanted toolbars.
This is just one of many ways to optimize your browser. Step 10 continues the process.
Set Internet Explorer Cache size to 50 MB
Internet Explorer stores copies of website data on the hard drive while browsing. Reducing the amount of space available for this process can free up hard drive space for other uses.
- Click the Windows Start menu, type Internet Options into the search box and press Enter.
- Under the General tab, look for a section called Temporary Internet Files (depending on your browser version).
- Click the Settings button to bring up the Temporary Internet Files and History Settings window.
- Set the spinner marked Disk space to use to 50 and click OK. You’ll be using the Internet Options window in the next step, so go ahead and leave it open.
Your browser’s low-disk-space diet has begun, so it’s time for step 11.
Disabling Script debugging
Internet Explorer will alert you when a web page is improperly programmed, but this is usually unnecessary information that simply gets in your way. Disabling this option can make browsing a much smoother experience.
- After the last step, the Internet Options window should still be open.
- This time, open the Advanced Tab and find Disable Script Debugging (Internet Explorer) and Disable Script Debugging (Other), both of which should be in the Browsing section of the list.
- Make sure both boxes are checked, and then click OK.
Your browser should be in good shape by now. Step 12 is next.
Setup Windows Automatic Updates
Windows Update is a service that fixes bugs, keeps software up-to-date, and ensures your computer is protected from threats as they emerge.
- Windows Update is most useful when it’s set to run automatically, ensuring you’re always up-to-date. To make sure you’re configured properly, click the Windows Start menu, type Windows Update into the search box and press Enter on the keyboard.
- In the window that appears, select the Change Settings option located on the panel to the left.
- Select Install updates automatically (recommended), and set Install updates to Everyday. It’s best to set the install time to a time when you’re unlikely to be using the computer (such as late at night or early in the morning).
- Click OK to save the changes, then click Continue to the User Account Control screen.
Your PC’s operating system will now stay current, please go on to the 13 step.
Defragment your Hard Drive
Defragmentation is an important part of cleaning a hard drive. It is also one of the least expensive and most overlooked methods of getting your computer to run more efficiently.
- Click the Windows Start menu, type Disk Defragmenter into the search box and press Enter to start the File Defragmentation utility.
- Click Continue to the User Control Account screen.
- Click Defragment Now. Defragmenting a hard drive can be a time consuming process, and depends on the size of your hard drive, the amount of space in use, and other factors.