For many people, the one problem that seems to be common across the board is lack of memory while using a computer. The symptoms are clear; slow, sluggish reaction times, freezing/rebooting, programs not opening/closing and so forth. A lack of memory can make a computing experience more trouble than its worth and it happens far more frequently than most people like to admit. One thing that many people don’t realize is that quite a few programs like to run continuously in the background, constantly eating up memory so long as the program is open and the computer is on. Continually running processes aren’t inherently bad, but they are sometimes unnecessary.
Most people think that programs only run when they are opened up. Some programs, however, are set to run in the background as soon as the computer is powered on. For the most part, people don’t even realize that these are running because they don’t always “open up” on the screen. As these processes run in the background, it is not uncommon for them to take up valuable memory that could otherwise be used to run other, more necessary programs.
Many of the programs that run in the background should actually be left alone. For instance, firewalls and anti-virus software commonly run in the background so as to keep a computer protected at all times. Most people would agree that disabling this software would defeat the purpose of even having it installed. However, there are many programs that run in the background simply for the sake of it; many times, these programs are music or entertainment related, and basically sits hibernating in the background waiting to be used again.
The logic that comes behind letting applications run continuously in the background is that they will be faster and easier to open if one actually does want to use them. The fact is, however, the positives that may come from this are far outweighed by the negatives, such as the slow reaction time and freezing that can occur from insufficient memory.
Rather than leaving these types of programs running in the background at all times, it is best to disable them, and to only allow them to start on command. This can be done in two ways. Most applications will actually allow you to disable their “auto-run” capabilities simply by digging into their preferences. Others, however, are a bit trickier, and you must go into your computer’s control panel to indicate which programs you wish to allow auto-run and which you do not.
Continually running processes are sometimes necessary, but they can also be a huge waste of memory. For the most part, it is best to take inventory of which processes are necessary and which are not; by weeding out the latter, you can ensure that your computer runs as fast as possible.