Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Solutions: Speeding up a sluggish computer

What should I delete to make my computer run faster? I have a Toshiba laptop, with Windows 7.

First, make sure your computer fan is free from dust. A clogged fan will make the computer run hotter. When the computer senses a heat buildup, it slows itself down in an effort to decrease the heat. It's a good idea to use a can of compressed air (available at all stores that sell computers/office supplies) and every now and then give your PC's fan a couple of quick blasts from about 6 inches away.

Next, hold the Windows key and press the R key. This will open the Run dialog. Type MSCONFIG and click OK. This will open the Microsoft System Configuration program. Click the Startup tab. You will see a list of programs that are set to automatically start each time you start Windows. Some of these programs are necessary, some of them are not. Every PC will be a little different. You can use Google or Bing to search the process image name and make a determination if that process is necessary at startup. Unchecking the process name will keep it from starting at startup. It does not delete it from the system, and you can always re-check. But be careful. When in doubt leave it alone until you can find out more about it.

For Windows 7 systems, AUTORUNS (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902) is a Microsoft supported program that helps you identify startup programs and makes it easier to search for more information on a process. Windows 8 has a "Startup" tab in the Task Manager that does something similar.

Why can't I uninstall Skype from my list of programs? I went to Control Panel and tried to uninstall, but no luck. I am on Windows 7 and Internet Explorer.

It is probably because Skype is set to run at Startup and is active. Try this first: Right-click the Skype icon at the bottom right of the screen and choose Quit. Try the uninstall again. If no luck, restart your PC. On the way back up and before Windows appears, hold the Shift key down. This is a shortcut way of keeping Startup programs from running. Go to Control Panel/Programs and try the uninstall again. If for some reason this fails, reboot again, this time into Safe Mode (hold the F8 key while it reboots and choose Safe Mode). Try the uninstall again.

I am using a computer put together by my son using Windows XP Professional. When I use email (Outlook Express), somehow some of my incoming messages are going to "deleted items". I have to move them one at a time to "Inbox". How can I direct all of them to Inbox?

Check the Junk Mail or Rules settings under the Options menu. Maybe there is something there that is triggering the move to the Delete folder. The individual emails that display in your Inbox or Delete folders can be selected individually or as a whole: click the first email you need to move to select it, then while holding the Shift key, select the last email. All those in between will also then be selected. Then drag those emails over to your Inbox folder on the left. If you need to move some but not all, hold the Control key while you select each email, then drag them to the Inbox. This is a Windows standard and works with files in file Explorer as well.

Send questions to personaltech@tampabay.com or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: Speeding up a sluggish computer 12/13/13 [Last modified: Friday, December 13, 2013 7:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida education news: Makeup days, accountability, charter schools and more

    Blogs

    MAKEUP DAYS: The Pasco County school district alters the daily schedule of 11 schools to make up teaching time missed because of Hurricane Irma, avoiding the …

    With students back in school after Hurricane Irma, schools across Florida begin scheduling makeup days for missed classroom time.
  2. How visiting a scenic Cuban resort can help save green sea turtles

    Wildlife

    The Florida Aquarium has been collaborating with Cuba's National Aquarium since 2015 to help save coral dying throughout Caribbean waters.

    The beaches of Cuba's Cayo Largo are home to a large population of green sea turtle nests. The Florida Aquarium will lead eco-tours of Cayo Largo next year that will help protect the turtles and fund research.  [Avalon Outdoor]
  3. Photo of the Day for September 22, 2017 - Willets taking flight

    Human Interest

    Today's Photo of the Day comes from Dan Cleary of Madeira Beach, FL.

  4. Why a true freshman quarterback doesn't kill FSU's title hopes

    College

    Florida State's James Blackman will make history Saturday when the No. 12 Seminoles host North Carolina State in their first game after Hurricane Irma.

    Florida State quarterback James Blackman warms up before a game against Alabama on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017, in Atlanta. When Florida State's Deandre Francois, Georgia's Jacob Eason and Texas A&M's Nick Starkel all got hurt in their respective season openers, true freshmen ended up taking over the rest of the way.  (Joe Rondone/Tallahassee Democrat via AP)
  5. Puerto Rico could face months without electricity after Hurricane Maria (w/video)

    Hurricanes

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The eye of Hurricane Maria was nearing the Turks and Caicos early Friday as Puerto Rico sought to recover from the storm's devastation.

    A pregnant woman carries empty plastic bottles to collect water a day after the impact of Hurricane Maria, in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, Thursday, September 21, 2017. As of Thursday evening, Maria was moving off the northern coast of the Dominican Republic with winds of 120 mph (195 kph). The storm was expected to approach the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas late Thursday and early Friday. [Associated Press]