Tag Archives: startup monitor

Preventing iTunes from Slowing Down Your System

Does iTunes slow down your laptop/desktop PC? iTunes is a media player and media library application that also allows you to manage iPhones and other Apple devices. Over time it has gotten bigger with more functionality and requires several background services that run all the time. The result is that it slows down your computer even if you are not using it. One of the ways to deal with a bloated program is to run a non-bloated alternative. However in this case there are no real alternatives if you use Apple hardware. So if you have or want to get Apple hardware how do you prevent iTunes from slowing down your system?

We can first start by installing iTunes with Install Monitor running. The machine I used was running Windows 7. A unique feature to Install Monitor is that you do not have to do anything special to start the iTunes installer. Install Monitor is smart enough to detect the installation. iTunes installs 5 programs and the Program Tree groups them together.

Picture of program tree and program list
iTunes installs 5 different programs

If you use the Program Process Viewer you can see that 5 different processes (the numbers in parentheses) and 3 different programs are running. These programs are generally going to be running all the time. In fact they will even slow the startup of your system. How do we change that?

The Program Process Viewer showing iTunes programs
iTunes running after install

We can use the Startup Monitor to prevent iTunes from starting automatically. Click the image icon on the toolbar for Startup Monitor. It will list the current programs that start automatically. We can see that there are now 4 programs that automatically start. We are going to uncheck the icons for the Apple programs and then restart Windows.

Startup Monitor window
Startup Monitor lists programs that start automatically

After restarting Program Process Viewer should shows no other iTunes programs running. So how do we start iTunes now? Most programs do not actually need the background services or are able to start them on demand. This is the case with iTunes. Once we start it, it will automatically start any dependent background programs.

You can also start a program from Install Monitor by right-clicking it and choosing “Start”. In this case Install Monitor will recognize that the program has been disabled in Startup Manager and start any background services before running it.

The advantage of using Install Monitor instead of other startup configuration programs is it is you no longer have to be concerned about what startup entries belong to each program. Also Startup Monitor dynamically blocks the programs instead of making changes to the registry. Making changes to the registry can make a program think it is not installed properly and attempt to reinstall itself. Moreover, whenever you update the program you have to block the new startup entries all over again.

Also as I just mentioned Install Monitor is able to automatically able to start background services the program may require to run. When you combine this with the Program Process Viewer you can easily stop those programs when you are done running it. This prevents the program from running until you need it again. This is another way that Install Monitor gives you more control over you computer and reduces the affects of bloated programs on system performance. Keep your computer fast and clean. Download Install Monitor now.

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Program Process Viewer after disabling iTunes in Startup Manager
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Improve PC Performance by Reducing the Amount of Running Programs

One of the best ways to improve pc performance is to reduce the amount of running programs. This can often result in a significant improvement to your PC or laptop system performance. Mirekusoft Install Monitor provides several useful features for improving your computer’s performance. (Image below take from Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net)

Improve PC Performance

Improve PC Performance by Reducing the Amount of Running Programs

Introducing Two New Features of Install Monitor

Startup Monitor helps by allowing you to reduce the amount of programs that start automatically. Many programs start automatically when they do not need to. Also some programs continue to run after you exit them. However using two new features in Mirekusoft Install Monitor 2.0 it is possible to further reduce the amount of programs that are running at any time. These features help to combat programs that are always running even if they do not need to.

Start a Program from the Program List

start up monitor

How Start Up Monitor Works

One of these feature is the ability to start a program from the program list and is just one of the changes from Mirekusoft Install Monitor 1.1. The right pane no longer shows shortcuts that can allow you start a program. However by right-clicking a program, you are now provided with a “Start” menu option that allows you start that program.

How does this work?

Technically what happens is that Install Monitor will try to figure out the correct shortcut to start based on installed shortcuts. In most cases, it will automatically and correctly guess the program to start. If it can not guess it, it will present you with a list of shortcuts similar to the right pane in Version 1.1.

Additional Benefits

  • Works with Startup Monitor to start any background services required for the program, which is similar to the trigger start services feature in Windows 7.
  • Provides another way to start programs on Windows 8 due to the missing Start Menu on the desktop.
  • Alternative to the searchable Start Menu on Windows Vista and Windows 7.

TIP:This feature can be useful for programs that you rarely use but need to run every so often.

Ensure the Program Stops Running After Exiting

When you exit the program you can also use the Program Process Viewer to make sure it is no longer running and all related processes are shutdown. When used together the result is:

  • Less processes running
  • More responsive computer

Sample Scenario

For instance some of my applications that I use are run infrequently. Instead of having the program always starting I disable it with Startup Monitor and then when I need to run it I start it from the program list.

 

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The right pane in Install Monitor 1.1 shows shortcuts for the current program.

 

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In Install Monitor 2.0 you can start programs from the right-click menu in the program list.

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Are You Waiting Too Long for Your Windows to Start?

One of the frustrating parts of using Windows can be waiting for it to start. I often find that I sometimes I hold of doing a restarts as much as possible because of this. One of the main causes of a slow startup is too many programs that run when the computer is starting. This causes disk contention which ends up slowing the computer.

It is similar to rush hour traffic in that everybody is trying to go somewhere but due to congestion everyone gets there much slower. As a result the best way to speed up start time is by having less programs starting.

Busy Streets vs Busy PC Programs

Solving PC Traffic Problems
(Image taken from Feelart of freedigitalphotos.net)

The Problem of Disabling Startup Items

To Disable or not to disable?

Confused if you should disable or not?
(Image taken from Artur84 of freedigitalphotos.net)

There are plenty of programs or startup managers like msconfig or Autoruns that allow you to control which programs start. However there is a learning curve. You have to be able to tell whether the program can be disabled without impacting you! Which (unfortunately) may not always be obvious.

How do you tell if widgetsupport.exe can be disabled?

Lack of Standard for Disabling Startup Items

Another issue is to address is the lack of standard for disabling startup items. Thus, you end up always having to use the same program to enable or disable your startup items.

Errors Due to Improperly Disabling a Program

Disabling startup items can sometimes confuse programs as they think they are not installed properly and sometimes replace the disabled startup item. That usually means after every update you have to re-disable the startup item, which can create two disabled startup items. Nevertheless, the most important issue is that sometimes disabling startup items can prevent a program from running properly.

Should I Disable Startup Items or NOT?

However disabling startup items makes sense since it can improve startup performance. This is especially the case for programs that do not need to start right away. For instance you may never run the application for a several days but it still ends up slowing your startup speed during that time period. Further if the program is not running it can not consume any resources or slow down your other programs.

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Msconfig showing startup programs.

 Introducing StartUp Monitor

A new feature in Mirekusoft Install Monitor 2.0 called Startup Monitor helps address these issues. It gives you the ability to prevent programs from running at startup. Disabling a startup program is as simple as unchecking the box. No more having to determine what widgetsupport.exe does.

Install Monitor shows:

  • The actual program that you installed
  • The impact a program has on startup performance

 

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Startup Monitor makes it easier to manage startup programs

By combining these with the usage information from the program list, it helps you conveniently decide whether something should run at startup.

Additional Benefits of Startup Monitor

If you start one of these programs from Install Monitor, it will make sure all disabled startup items are restarted so the application can run without any problems. It dynamically blocks the program from starting so the program does not get confused about whether it is installed properly.

Adding the Features of Program Process Viewer

Also with the new Program Process Viewer which I will discuss later it is really easy to shut the program down when you are finished using it. Startup Monitor is one of the ways Install monitor helps to improve system performance.

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