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How to edit the programs that autostart in Windows

Do you have a program that automatically starts when you log in to Windows that you do not want to do that anymore? Or maybe you have too many programs starting when you log in to Windows? If so, here is how to edit the programs that autostart in Windows.

How to edit the programs that autostart in Windows

Autostart programs are a great convenience for users as they allow commonly used programs to start automatically when the computer boots up, saving time and effort. However, these autostart programs can accumulate over time, slowing the bootup process.

Now, there are only two (2) locations that can automatically run a program: the Startup folder and the Registry. There are two (2) types of autostart programs: System-wide or user-specific. And then, there are the different ways to edit the autostart programs.

Now you can edit the autostart programs using a couple of different applications, Task Manager and Autoruns. Task Manager is built into Windows, and Autoruns is a Microsoft utility that must be downloaded (see link below).

With Task Manager and Autoruns, you can toggle on or off any autostart program to test how it will affect the performance of your computer. And with Autoruns, you can even delete items that automatically start.

Task Manager: Task Manager is a built-in tool in Windows that allows users to monitor and manage running processes. To access Task Manager, press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys or right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager. Navigate to the Startup tab to see a list of programs set to autostart. To disable a program from autostarting, right-click on it and select Disable.

Autoruns: Autoruns is a free tool from Microsoft that provides a comprehensive list of all autostart programs, including those from the Startup folder, Registry, Task Scheduler, and other locations.

Autoruns for Windows

Once downloaded, run the program and navigate to the Logon tab to see a list of programs set to autostart. To disable a program from autostarting, uncheck the box next to it. To delete a program, right-click on the entry and select Delete.

You know how to disable, enable, and delete autostart programs, but what if you want to add a program? This requires manually editing either the Startup folder or the Registry.

Startup Folder: The Startup folder is a simple and easy way to add programs to autostart. To access the Startup folder, press the Windows Logo key Windows logo + R to bring up the Run dialog box. Then type shell:startup and press Enter. This will open the user-specific Startup folder. Or navigate to the following folder in File Explorer (show hidden items must be turned on).

C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

Once you have the user-specific Startup folder open, right-click on an empty space on the right-hand pane, select New > Shortcut, and then navigate to the program to want to autostart. For reference, here is the location for the read-only system-wide Startup folder.

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp

Registry: The Registry is a powerful tool that stores configuration settings for Windows and many programs. Improperly editing the Registry can cause your computer to run incorrectly and even fail to boot, so backing up the Registry is recommended before making any changes.

How to backup the Registry in Windows

To access the Registry, press the Windows Logo key Windows logo + R to bring up the Run dialog box. Then type regedit and press Enter. Navigate to the following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

This key contains a list of programs set to autostart for the current user. To add a program to autostart, right-click on an empty space in the right-hand pane and select New > String Value. Enter the name of the program and the path to its executable file.

For reference, here is the location for the system-wide Registry key.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

In conclusion, autostart programs are a great convenience for users but can also slow down the bootup process. Using the tools mentioned in this article, users can easily manage and edit autostart programs from various locations in Windows.

Play all of your favorite multimedia files and disks with VLC Media Player

Are you looking for a program to play optical disks (BD, DVD, CD) in Windows? Maybe you are feeling frustrated by having to have multiple media players to handle the various file formats you encounter? If so, you'll be happy to know there's a solution: VLC Media Player.

Play all of your favorite multimedia files and disks with VLC Media Player

VLC Media Player is a remarkable media player that can handle a wide range of formats, including MPEG-1/2, DivX® (1/2/3/4/5/6), MPEG-4 ASP, XviD, 3ivX D4, H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC, WMV 1/2/3, QuickTime, RealVideo, and many more. This gives you the flexibility to play just about any media file you come across without the hassle of switching between different players.

But that's not all: VLC Media Player is also highly versatile when it comes to operating systems. Whether you're using Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Unix, iOS, or Android, there is a version of VLC Media Player for your device. This means you can enjoy your media files on your preferred platform without worrying about compatibility issues.

You can also change the appearance of the VLC Media Player by using skins. There are quite a few skins available for download, or you can create your own with the VLC Skin Editor. Note: Skins do not work on the Mac OS version of VLC.

Another great thing about VLC Media Player is that it's completely free. There are no annoying ads or in-app purchases, so that you can enjoy uninterrupted media playback. VLC Media Player is open-source and produced by the non-profit origination VideoLAN.

In summary, VLC Media Player is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a media player that's both versatile and easy to use. For more information on the VLC Media Player, follow the link below.

VLC Media Player

How to estimate the power required for your custom-built computer

Whether you are building a new computer or replacing/upgrading your existing one, one of the most important considerations is the Power Supply Unit (PSU). The PSU is responsible for delivering power to all the components in your system, including the motherboard, CPU, graphics card(s), and other peripherals. Choosing the correct PSU is crucial to ensure stable and reliable performance and prevent damage to your components.

How to estimate the power required for your custom-built computer

Two (2) components in your computer will consume most of the power: the motherboard and the graphics card(s). The motherboard uses a relatively small amount of energy but supplies power to the CPU, memory, PCIe slots, and USB ports.

To determine the appropriate wattage for your PSU, you must first consider the power requirements of your components. Here are some guidelines to help you estimate how many watts your PSU should be:

  • CPU: The power consumption of your CPU depends on its model and clock speed. Generally, high-end CPUs require more power than budget models. You can find the power requirements of your CPU on the manufacturer's website.
  • Graphics card(s): If you plan on using a dedicated graphics card(s), these will be one of the most power-hungry components in your system. High-end graphics cards can consume up to 450 watts under load, so check the manufacturer's specifications before choosing a PSU.
  • Motherboard: Your motherboard's power consumption is relatively low compared to other components, but it still requires some power. Make sure to choose a PSU that can provide enough power for all the motherboard components, including the CPU and memory.
  • Storage: Hard drives and SSDs consume very little power, so you don't need to worry about them when choosing a PSU.
  • Other components: If you plan to use other components, such as a sound card, network adapter, or USB devices, make sure to factor in their power requirements when estimating your PSU wattage.

Now, some online power supply calculators can estimate the power requirements given the specifications of the components. You can use these websites to calculate a rough estimate of the amount of power your computer will require. Here are a few online power supply calculators.

Newegg - Power Supply Calculator

PC builds - Power Supply Calculator

Cooler Master - Power Supply Calculator

Once you have a rough estimate of the power requirements for your components, add some extra headroom to ensure stable and reliable performance. A good rule of thumb is to choose a PSU that can provide at least 20% more power than your estimated requirements.

In conclusion, choosing the suitable PSU is crucial to ensure stable and reliable performance for your computer. By estimating the power requirements of your components and adding some extra headroom, you can choose a PSU that meets your needs and provides room for future upgrades.

Troubleshooting graphics card issues in Windows

Updated February 15, 2024

Are you having video problems when trying to play a game? Maybe your screen goes blank for a second or two? If so, here is how to troubleshoot the graphics card in your Windows-based computer.

Troubleshooting graphics card issues in Windows

If you are currently experiencing issues with the graphics on your computer, it may be due to a problem with your graphics card. You can take a few steps to diagnose the issue and potentially resolve the problem.

The first step is to check for updates. It's important to ensure that your graphics card drivers are up-to-date. To do this, you can visit the manufacturer's website and download the latest updates. This will ensure that your graphics card is functioning optimally and may resolve any issues you are experiencing.

Next, run a stress test. Using a graphics card stress testing tool, you can test your graphics card and identify potential issues. This will help you determine whether the problem lies with the card or another component of your computer.

The Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD) is a great diagnostic tool that includes a video memory stress test. All you have to do is download the latest ISO file and burn it to a CD/DVD or use Rufus to create a bootable USB drive.

You may have to change some settings in your motherboard's BIOS to get the UBCD to boot correctly. The UBCD is built on a Linux platform, so you may need to turn off secure boot and UEFI boot features temporarily.

Diagnose computer hardware issues with the Ultimate Boot CD

Create custom installation media with Rufus

While you test your graphics card, it is essential to monitor the temperature of your graphics card. High temperatures can cause issues with the card, so it's important to keep an eye on it and ensure it's not overheating. You may need to take additional steps to cool it down if it is. Most graphics card testing tools will include the ability to monitor the clock speed and temperature.

Here are some free graphics testing tools:

  • FurMark - FurMark is a popular choice for stress testing your graphics card. It's designed to push your GPU to its limits and help you identify any potential stability issues. With FurMark, you can customize your testing parameters, track your GPU's temperature, and clock speed in real-time.
  • MSI Afterburner - MSI Afterburner is a popular overclocking tool but also includes a built-in GPU stress test. This software is handy for gamers who want to optimize their graphics settings for a specific game. With MSI Afterburner, you can monitor your GPU's clock speed, temperature, and fan speed while running a stress test.
  • Heaven Benchmark - Heaven Benchmark is another popular benchmarking tool designed to stress test your graphics card. This software is handy for users who want to see how their GPU performs under different conditions. With Heaven Benchmark, you can customize your testing parameters and track your GPU's temperature and clock speed in real-time.
  • MSI Kombuster - Optimize your gaming PC's performance with MSI Kombustor, the ultimate stress test for your graphics card. With MSI Kombuster, you can use the preset testing parameters or customize your own. You can monitor your GPU's clock speed, temperature, GPU load, and GPU power. Note: MSI Kombuster only works with NVidia-based graphic cards.

Another factor to consider is physical damage. Examine your graphics card for any visible damage. If there is damage, it may need to be replaced. Handling your computer components carefully and avoiding any physical damage is important.

Finally, check your computer's power supply. Ensure that it's adequate for your graphics card. If it's not, you may need to upgrade your power supply to ensure that your graphics card is receiving the necessary power to function correctly.

These troubleshooting tips can help you identify any issues with your graphics card and ensure it's running at its full potential. Whether a gamer or a casual user, these tips can help you get the most out of your graphics card and improve your computer's overall performance.

In conclusion, if you're experiencing graphics performance issues, diagnosing the problem as quickly as possible is important. By following these steps, you can diagnose and potentially resolve any problems you are experiencing with your graphics card.

Five free programs to keep your Windows computer running like new

As our lives have become increasingly digitized, our computers have become the central hub for all our information and activities. But with all that use comes clutter, which can slow down our machines and even put us at risk for security breaches. That's why it's essential to regularly clean up our computers. Fortunately, there are several free tools available to help you keep your Windows computer running like new.

Five free programs to keep your Windows computer running like new

The first tool(s) I recommend is Storage Sense / Disk Cleanup, which are built into Windows. These tools will scan your computer for unnecessary files, such as temporary files and system files, and give you the option to delete them. To access Storage Sense or Disk Cleanup, follow the instructions below.

How to open Storage Sense in Windows 11

  1. Left-click on the Start Windows logo key button to bring up the Start menu.
  2. In the list of pinned apps on the Start menu, left-click on Settings.
  3. Scroll down the right-hand column and left-click on Storage.
  4. In the right-hand column, left-click on Storage Sense.

How to open Disk Cleanup in Windows 11

  1. Left-click on the Start button Windows logo to bring up the Start menu.
  2. In the upper right-hand corner of the Start menu, left-click on All apps.
  3. Scroll down the list of programs and left-click on Windows Tools.
  4. Left-click on Disk Cleanup.

How to open Storage Sense in Windows 10

  1. Left-click on the Start Windows logo menu and left-click on the Gear (Settings) icon. It should be the second icon up from the bottom.
  2. Left-click on the System category
  3. In the left-hand column, left-click on Storage. All of the storage options will appear in the right-hand column.

How to open Disk Cleanup in Windows 10

  1. Left-click on the Start Windows logo button.
  2. Scroll down the list of programs to Windows Administrative Tools and left-click to expand.
  3. Left-click on Disk Cleanup. If you have more than one (1) drive, you will be prompted on which drive you want to clean up.

For complete details on Storage Sense and Disk Cleanup, click on the link below for your version of Windows.

Clean up Windows 11 with Storage Sense and Disk Cleanup

Clean up your Windows 10 computer using the Storage feature

Clean up Windows 10 with Disk Cleanup

Another great tool is Adwcleaner, which is designed to remove adware and other potentially unwanted programs from your computer. Adware can slow down your machine and even put you at risk for malware infections.

Adwcleaner can also detect and remove pre-installed software (bloatware), requires no installation, and is easy to use. For more information on Adwcleaner, check out the following artilce.

Clean up your Internet browser with AdwCleaner

Autoruns is another valuable tool for cleaning up your computer. This tool allows you to see all of the programs set to run when you start your computer and allows you to disable any that you don't need. This can help speed up your machine and reduce the amount of clutter on your desktop.

Autoruns is one of the free utilities included in the Sysinternals Suite from Microsoft. Check out the following links for more information on Autoruns and Sysinternals Suite.

Autoruns for Windows

Troubleshoot your computer and more for free with Sysinternals Suite from Microsoft

CCleaner is a popular and powerful tool that can clean up your computer's registry, temporary files, and other unnecessary data. It also includes several other features, such as a file shredder and a program uninstaller.

CCleaner also includes a software updater and a duplicate file finder and can manage System Restore points. For more information on CCleaner, check out the following article.

Clean up and optimize your computer for free with CCleaner

Finally, Revo Uninstaller is an excellent tool for removing programs that you no longer need. Unlike the default Windows uninstaller, which can leave behind files and registry entries, Revo Uninstaller will completely remove the program and all of its associated files. This can free up valuable space on your hard drive and help keep your computer running smoothly.

Revo Uninstaller has a cool feature called Hunter Mode that allows you to find a shortcut or link to the program you want to uninstall. For more information on Revo Uninstaller, check out the following link.

Revo Uninstaller

In conclusion, cleaning up your computer is an important task that can help keep your machine running smoothly and reduce the risk of security breaches. You can easily clean up your computer by using free tools such as Storage Sense / Disk Cleanup, Adwcleaner, Autoruns, CCleaner, and Revo Uninstaller and enjoy a faster, more secure computing experience.

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Repairing a PC can sometimes be expensive, and that is why we offer free basic in-shop diagnostics. Give one of our professional and experienced technicians a call at (602) 795-1111, and let's see what we can do for you.

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Geeks In Phoenix LLC, BBB Business Review

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Here at Geeks in Phoenix, we take pride in providing excellent customer service. We aim to give the highest quality of service  from computer repair, virus removal, and data recovery.

Bring your computer to us and save

Repairing a computer can be time-consuming. That is why we base our in-shop service on the time we work on your computer, not the time it takes for your computer to work! From running memory checking software to scanning for viruses, these are processes that can take some time.

Contact us

If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call at (602) 795-1111  and talk with one of our Geeks. Or you can send us a message from our contact page , and one of our Geeks will get back to you as soon as possible. Or you can stop by and see us. Here are our hours and location.

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