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5 Applications That Are Slowing Down Your PCs Boot Speed

May 19, 2014

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Computers these days should boot quickly and shut down even faster. If your Window’s PC has been experiencing some lag in the boot up sequence, there may be some things happening in the background that you can’t see. With all of these new applications we add to our computers for convenience sake, among other things, we may forget that many of them add themselves to the computer’s startup process. This means that they turn on when your computer does, but this can be a lot for your computer to do on the outset.

It is, therefore, a good idea to take control of these tasks in order to decrease the time it takes your computer to start up. This start up, clean up is especially important for people who use their work computer for some of these entertainment applications. When you need to log on quickly for a work emergency or to catch a video conference, it’s utterly important to have your computer in the best shape possible.

What’s Slowing My PC Down?

Here are 5 applications that tend to tack themselves onto the boot process on your PC. You can manage them by changing thatslow boot problems default so that the application opens when you want to use it.

1. iTunes

So many people use Windows as their PCs OS but still have an Apple device (often already connected to their computer upon startup). This is unnecessary. You can launch iTunes when you want to use it. It’s a program that takes up a lot of processing power and can easily slow a computer to a crawl.

2. Skype

Everyone loves Skype, and it’s the main way many employees communicate with each other. It is not a necessary application that needs to be open right away. Take the time to disable Skype startup when your computer does.

3. Quicktime

This product allows users to view some video content, but it’s not necessary to have it start up when your computer turns on. The player can launch when you come in contact with something that requires it.

4. Adobe Reader

This is the most popular, free PDF reader on the market today, but it’s not required all of the time. You can remove this program from the start up tasks. When you click a link to view a PDF, it will automatically launch.

5. Microsoft Office

Talk about a big program. You do not need to launch this when you start your computer. It’s a cumbersome program that WILL slow down your boot time. You can open documents normally without it opening right away.

What You Should Not Mess With

There are some programs that are better left untouched since they help your computer more than burden it. Generally, these include any programs you want to run automatically without asking your permission. Here are a few others:

  • Antivirus software
  • Applications and services for your devices (mouse, keyboard, etc.)
  • Cloud sync programs (Dropbox, GoogleDrive)
  • Microsoft services
  • Anything for Intel or AMD

This is just one easy way to improve your computer’s boot speed, but there are other more involved ways. If removing these applications from start up don’t make much of a change, you may have a more complex issue.

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10 Cool Things You Can Do With Gmail

February 4, 2014

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Gmail is one of the most popular free email clients in the world. It’s tools are advanced and make it a one-stop destination for all things communication. For Google newbies, many of Gmail’s features are easily overlooked. Here are 10 things Gmail can do for you:

1. Combine Multiple Email Accounts

Checking 2 or 3 email accounts is a waste of time. Even if your other email accounts are not Gmail, you can forward all of your mail to one Gmail account. This can streamline your work day and help you answer emails faster.

2. Send Event Notices

When you set something in your calendar and plan to invite people, you can add their names to the list. This is all done through the calendar function or you can add an event to an email. It will send an email to the recipient allowing them to RSVP for the event. It will then be added to your calendar and theirs if they reply “yes.” If your gmail tipsphone is connected to your Gmail account, you can set a reminder to tell you when the event takes place.

3. Utilize GTalk

The chat function allows you to see which of your contacts is online. That way, instead of sending an email, you can quickly ask them a question over the chat. The chat list will tell you who is active, away from their desk, or too busy to talk.

4. Vacation Responder

Vacation auto-replies aren’t just for work emails. When you are away from your desk for the day and don’t want to be bothered by emails, send out a vacation responder. You can set this for as many hours and days you need, and it will keep your friend and clients from thinking you are ignoring their emails.

5. Prioritize Emails

You can check the star next to each email to note ones of special importance. You will know that when you log on, those will be highlighted and take precedence. This tool is helpful if you have lots of emails.

6. Organize with Labels and Folders

You can move emails into folders or keep them in your inbox but label them. Labels can be thematic or indicate importance. This will keep you from forgetting to respond to emails and prioritize your tasks.

7. Manage Your Contacts

If you have your email attached to your phone, you can use it to organize your contacts. Whatever changes you make to one, impacts the other. This lets you edit phone numbers, emails, mailing addresses, and birthdays. You can also delete old contacts that no longer need to be in your list.

8. Integrate Your Mobile Device

You can set your phone so that when you receive emails, you are alerted. Your phone allows you to add a ringtone or vibration to let you know when you have an email.

9. Auto File Emails

You can set emails from certain senders to drop into different folders. Promos, social networking, and work emails can all be filtered into special folders for ease of organization. You never have to drag an drop into folders again.

10. Never Delete a Message Again

Unless you want to. Gmail gives users plenty of space so you never have to delete an email. You will be able to search for older, archived emails if you need to. If you never delete anything, you never lose anything.

Don’t forget, GMail isn’t the only free email client – check out some others.

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Free Web Based Email Clients for Everyone

February 4, 2014

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Having an email address is essential. Immediate transfer of information is part of what has made a global market possible. This is the business standard, but email is also a great way to communicate with friends and family all anywhere in the world.

Choosing the right email client can be like moving to a new home. You give your email address to all the people you correspond with and changing your email can be as difficult as forwarding your mail. It is, therefore, important to find the right email client for you. Email software such as Outlook are options, but for most people, a web based email client is more than sufficient. Below we offer break down the pros and cons of some popular email clients.

Gmail

Gmail is more than just an email client. Their GoogleDrive allows you to store photos, files, attachments, and other documents. Users can also manage multiple email addresses from one inbox. So, you can connect your work and personal email if you choose to do so. The 10GB of cloud storage is plenty for most users, but for some, it can be limiting. Built in chat and video calling also makes it a one-stop-shop for all your communication needs. Gmail does scan emails to tailor ads for you, and that raises red-flags with some users. Check here for some GMail tips.

AOL.com

AOL may seem like a relic of the 90’s, but it’s a perfectly adequate email clients for low-needs users. It’s simple to use and does not have any of the frills of many other popular clients. AOL email is definitely not suggested for people who are managing large quantities of emails. The organizational tools are seriously lacking.

Outlook.com

This is the new Hotmail.com with many improvements. Microsoft’s SkyDrive is cloud based storage with unlimited outlookcapacity for users (compared to Gmail’s 10GB). The social network integration is incomparable, as well. No other email client can boast this. Of course, it’s biggest competition is Gmail. Bottom line, Outlook.com is powerful, easy to use, and free.

Yahoo.com

Yahoo is very popular in the United States, even 15 years after its release. It has changed often over the years, and looks to change even more as it fights to compete with Gmail and Outlook.com. It’s very similar to the email clients everyone used in the 90’s except with a few more enhancements. This, like most of these clients, are available for Android and Apple devices.

That’s a few for you to look at – check them out and see what you think. Everyone seems to have a favorite!

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7 PC Software Troubleshooting Tips

February 4, 2014

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Computer crashes, slow programs, and other computer issues likely stem from software problems. Before calling tech support, there are things you can do to narrow down the issue. As always, document everything you do in case another problem arises or you need to pass the repair on to another person. They will want to know what steps you took. Even most computer novices can tackle some of these troubleshooting tips.

1. Close all other programs.

Free up RAM space by closing out of all your programs. If you are using Windows, open your Task Manager (by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete) to see what programs are eating up the most RAM. It will also tell you what program isslow-pc frozen. You can kill programs with this tool so that you can focus on the program that’s running slowly.

2. Shutdown Your Computer.

Sometimes, all your computer needs is to restart. Once rebooted, you can restart the program you were using – amazing, but it just works!

3. Use the Internet.

The internet is the best resource for troubleshooting software issues. Just use a search engine to find your problem. Forums, tech sites, and blogs have touched on most problems in one way or another. It’s just up to you to sift through the information to find what you need. In some cases, you may even be able to pose a question on a forum for people to help you.

4. Re-install Software.

If you have pinpointed which program is giving you a problem, uninstall the software. Once it is completely clean from your computer, you can reinstall it. Check with the manufacturer of the program to see if any new editions exist. It is possible there are fixes for bugs in the software. Patches may be available at their website for download for free. They will fix any known problems.

5. Boot Up in Safe Mode.

When starting your computer, enter Safe Mode. You can do this by pressing F8 while your computer is restarting. Safe Mode disables non-critical programs, making it safe to replicate the problem. Safe Mode is a great way to isolate issues so you can figure out what is happening and find a solution.

6. Use Anti-virus Software to Scan Your Computer.

Viruses can slow down your computer, so it’s a good idea to make sure a virus isn’t an issue before reinstalling your programs. If you do not already have an anti-virus program, be sure to download one. Then use it regularly to scan your computer for viruses. AVG Free antivirus is worth a look.

7. Check for Firewalls.

If you have any personal firewalls up, it may be blocking your program from installing properly. The firewall prompts users whether or not they want a program blocked. It’s possible you could have told it to block the program even though you did not mean to. Check for this if you know you have a personal firewall enabled.

Just a few to get you started and remember the web is your friend!

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