16 PC mysteries solved!

Our digital detectives uncover the truth behind some of tech's most baffling questions.

By Alex Wawro, PC World |  Hardware, HDTV, PCs

In the long term, this is good news for PC owners, in part because the DisplayPort standard is open and royalty-free (which should en­­courage competition in the market and lower prices). Also, DisplayPort connectors are more powerful and easier to hook up than DVI or VGA cables; instead of fiddling with tiny thumbscrews or worrying about bending a bunch of minuscule pins, you can quickly plug a (significantly smaller) DisplayPort cable into the back of your devices.

Why do certain apps always run at startup?

You may have told them to­, or they may have assumed that you would have done so if you'd thought of it. Free programs such as iTunes, Spotify, and Steam are particularly aggressive about configuring themselves to launch automatically during startup; but some premium paid software suites (like Adobe's) are similarly presumptuous.

Of course, having apps for input devices, antivirus protection, and other critical functions run at startup is a good thing, even if they cause Windows to boot a little slower.

The setting for telling a program when to start up is usually located in the application's Preferences, Tools, or Options menu; consult your program manual for specific guidance.

If you can't stop a program from launching at startup from within the program itself, edit the Windows startup sequence. Click the Start button and type msconfig in the search box. This should open your PC's System Configuration utility, where you can change how your system boots and what applications and services it launches at startup. Select the Startup tab, scroll through the list of programs, and uncheck everything that you don't want to start automatically. If the program you want to halt doesn't appear in the System Configuration utility, don't panic; PCWorld Senior Editor Loyd Case points out that a few applications use the Windows Task Scheduler to launch themselves during startup, so you'll need to open the Windows Task Scheduler and disable them manually.

It's a good idea to let programs that you don't recognize (such as the Default Manager and Java Platform Updater) run automatically to keep your PC purring along smoothly. If you run into trouble, simply return to the System Configuration utility and let the troublesome application launch during startup.

Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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