Using the MSCONFIG utility

The "Microsoft System Configuration Utility" (MSCONFIG) is a special tool that is built into Windows and its purpose is to help you troubleshoot problems with your computer.

You can activate MSCONFIG as follows. The illustrations are froma Windows 7 or Vista system but the procedure for Windows XP is much the same.

Hold down the Windows key and tap the ‘R’ Key on your keyboard and then type 'msconfig' into the search box a shown in the diagram below. The double-click on the MSCONFIG program that appears.

Using MSCONFIG, step 1

Windows will now open MSCONFIG and you will see something similarf to the illustration below. Then click on the STARTUP tab (see red circle).

Using MSCONFIG, step 2

When you have clicked on the startup tab, you will see a list of 'startup items' as in illustration below. It is not uncommon for there to be a list of 20-30 items. Each item is in fact a piece of software that loads every time your computer starts. If you have many items, your computer will be slower to start. Furthermore, the more items you have, the more memory resources your computers needs to run the software in the background.

Using MSCONFIG, step 3

Almost all of the items in the list of startup programs shown by MSCONFIG can be stopped from loading each time your computer starts. All you have to do is to untick the box to the left.

Typical programs that load include software for printers, cameras, scanners, mobile phones, GPS navigation, itunes, toolbars, sidebars and more. It is often the case that MSCONFIG reveals software for printers and mobile phones still loading, when the equipment itself was thrown away years ago.

If you can recognise sofware no longer needed, just turn it off (untick it). If you are unsure just leave it ticked.

You can check some software at the following page:

When you have finished, click the OK button. You will then get a message advising you that you must restart your computer before changes take effect. If you wish to restart your computer click 'restart'.

Using MSCONFIG, step 4


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