News Column

How to ramp up your slow start-up

August 6, 2014

I've seen computers take a full 10 minutes to get up and running, which in an office environment is nearly an hour wasted a week - so, apart from reducing frustration, it can pay to speed things up.

Resident programs that load automatically when a computer starts up don't just slow it down then; in many cases they are loaded into system memory and remain "resident" there. This reduces the amount of memory available to whatever programs you open when using the computer. In other words, they slow down your PC.

Some are necessary to help various utilities and programs to work correctly, but often these memory hogs relate to rarely-used programs, "trial ware" and needless utilities that may have been pre-loaded by the manufacturer.

They may be the remnants of long-forgotten programs you installed yourself. In any case, they can always be started manually as required, so there's no need to have them all open and loaded every time you turn on the PC.


Like most PC trouble-shooting, it can be tricky discovering which programs are safe to disable at start-up and which are required. The names of start-up programs don't always reveal their purpose.

Without software such as Soluto, described below, it can be difficult to manage this process. If you're not sure what a particular program does but think it may not be required at start-up, it's safer to disable it and test the system after a reboot than to uninstall or delete it permanently, as you can always enable it again if necessary.


Soluto from is one resident program I suggest you install - because it will help you deal with all the others. Soluto silently observes everything running on your PC, and tallies up how much time each program or service adds to the computer's boot-up process.

It also makes you aware of any web browser add-ins that may be affecting your internet experience, tells you about available updates for many of the programs you already use, and suggests useful, popular utilities you might want to install.

Soluto categorises your start-up items into those that are essential, potentially removable, or "no-brainers" that are simply not needed at all. For any programs you're unsure about, simply select the "delay" option, which loads the program automatically a short while after the computer has started, when the system is idle.

Not sure about a particular program? Soluto's "PC Genome" |(a global, community-driven database of Windows programs) will tell you what others have chosen for their PCs.

There are suggestions for thousands of popular programs |and services. Soluto works on any Windows system, including the aged Windows XP. All changes are reversible, so it's safer way to tweak.

Note that Soluto's home page,, is a little confusing as it currently only advertises their offerings for mobile devices. Use the link to find the PC version. Click the big green "Cut Your Boot" button to start. You need to sign up for a free account, allowing you to install Soluto on up to three PCs - free.

If you are invited to a 14-day trial of Soluto's "Pro" edition, don't worry - after the trial ends, the account is automatically converted to the free "Lite" version. There are a host of other management functions included with Soluto, including the ability to remote-control the PC via the internet. This can be useful for helping family or friends with their IT problems or just to help you keep an eye on a system's software and performance.

Soluto's one of the best free tools I've come across in a while, delivering genuine performance benefits with little risk.

Give it a go yourself!

The Mercury

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Source: Mercury, The (South Africa)

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