Using the MSConfig tool allows examination of the system with a microscope like precision giving the user the ability to fine tune what runs and how it runs on the computer. Windows comes with many tools that will allow the user to see unique ways of how to speed up the PC, and MSConfig is one of the most powerful.

What is the MSConfig Tool?

The MSConfig tool is a program that comes free with Windows that will show you how to speed up the PC by stopping services and preventing unwanted programs from starting when you start your computer. It also allows you to customize how Windows boots up and what, if any, custom boot options are configured.

Running the MSConfig Tool

To run the MSConfig tool in Windows 7, click on the Start button and type in MSConfig in the search box. Once done, the tool will appear with a title bar that shows "System Configuration."

There are many options within the tool and it's possible that many of them are set to default already. If they are not set to default, then setting them to the default settings is the best bet for better performance unless you know of a specific reason not to. The most common reason they would be set to something other than the default is if the service technician who had worked on the machine had changed them and forgotten to set them back to their original settings.

The first tab that appears is the General tab which is responsible for determining what mode the computer will boot into when next rebooted. Normal Startup is the default option and should not be changed without a specific reason.

Boot is the next tab and it controls additional aspects of the boot up process. One of the specific things that it controls is where the computer expects to find Windows. Safe boot along with several other options are available and useful for troubleshooting, but can slow down the computer or affect the experience in other ways. Under normal processing, all of the check boxes on this screen should be unchecked. The same is true of the advanced options found in this tab.

The Services tab allows you to control what services are running on the computer. If unfamiliar with a service, you can Google the name of it to see what it is and if you really want to stop it. The Tools tab allows you to start additional Windows tools from this interface.

I find the main benefit in figuring out how to speed up the PC on the Startup Tab. This tab will give a list of all of the programs that Windows starts when it boots up. All of these will run in the background and take system resources that could be used by you instead. Many of them do not take many resources by themselves, but together they can add up. There is no need to rough it by stopping programs that you want running but you will find many that you do not want running and can be stopped.

Run down through the list and identify programs that you do not want to automatically start and uncheck the check box next to them. If unsure of what a program is, a simple Google search will clarify it. When finished click ok, and reboot.

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