In Part One I showed you how to clean up some basic clutter from your computer and free some valuable disk space.
Part Two was all about streamlining performance and how to remove or disable programs and services that you don’t need or use very often.
This week, I will give some tips for advanced users who feel confident exercising a degree of control over what services they allow to be active on their machine.
#1 – Turn Off Performance Hogs
Windows-users know this age-old theory: The more software you install on your PC, the slower it gets. The simple way to get round this logic is to remove any programs that you are not using.
Now, instead of uninstalling programs (you might need them later, right?), AVG PC TuneUp has another way of returning your much wanted performance – “Program Deactivator”.
Program Deactivator turns off all the parts of a program that slow down your machine the most, even when it is not actively being used.
The program is still there, but it’s just “sleeping” – No memory consumption, no processor usage, no annoying balloon tips, no splash screens at startup, no hard disk activity.
The cool thing is: The moment you start it (e.g. double-click on the shortcut!), AVG PC TuneUp instantly enables it on-the-fly!
Here’s how to use it:
- Within AVG PC TuneUp Optimize tab you’ll find the new Program Deactivator feature:
- Once clicked, you’ll see a list of all your installed programs, which are categorized by their load on your system: High, Medium, Low and None.
Your priority should be those in the “High” category as these are the sorts of programs that create the most resource-draining services, scheduled tasks and startup entries.
Do you really need them on a daily basis? Because if you just start them once a month, there’s no need for having it them run in the background 24/7, right? The same applies to all programs; you might just be surprised how much of a difference disabling 10 low load programs can make!
#2 – Check Your New PC for “DPC” hogs
What’s a DPC hog?
Without getting too much into the technicalities: if a device that’s built-in to your PC is not working properly, it’s causing a lot of processor load – that’s called “DPC latency”.
To check your computer for DPC problems, download and launch the free “DPC Latency Checker” which is available here.
If the bar exceeds 500-1000 on your PC, then you’ll likely experience choppy videos and gameplay.
In about 90% of all cases, drivers are the root of this problem – probably installed months (or even years ago) ago by your PC manufacturer and never updated.
I suggest updating all drivers on your system; that includes Wi-Fi adapters, LAN adapters, USB host controllers, Bluetooth receivers, sound chips, graphics and last – but definitely not least – the chipset controllers.
#3 – Find Hidden Startup Programs – and Turn Them Off!
Even though we’ve used AVG PC TuneUp for a number of tasks already, there is another useful feature that can dramatically help improve PC performance and decrease boot time.
- Install AVG PC TuneUp 2014 (see above). Go to “OPTIMIZE”, and select “Disable startup programs”.
- In the next window, you will find a list of all of the programs that are loaded at every Windows start:
PC TuneUp StartUp Manager is able to identify thousands of common and popular startup items, and tells you whether they are unnecessary.
Just hit the “Details” pane on the right for a description, telling you exactly why it’s there and what it does. Even if StartUp Manager is not able to find anything, there’s still the option of asking Google or Bing for advice!
#4 – Remove Unnecessary Windows Features!
Unfortunately, it’s not just the PC manufacturer that’s preloading your laptop or desktop with programs you’ll never need. Windows also comes with a list of tools and additional features you might never use.
Here’s how to get to that list – and save some disk space and gain a bit of performance!
Windows 7 users: Click on the start button and go to “Control Panel”.
Windows 8 users: Go to “Computer” and click on “Control Panel”.
On the left hand side of the window, simply click “Turn Windows features on or off”.
In “Programs and features”, simply click “Turn Windows features on or off”.
In the next window you will have the ability to uninstall a couple of build-in programs and features. For more information, head on over to this TuneUp blog post.
March 11, 2014