PC users only: Have you noticed that your taskbar clock has a lot
more company lately? That area is called the System Tray, and programs
can tell Windows to load an icon there to give you status information
and let you right- or left-click to perform operations. This is
a handy thing, but it can be done to excess, and too many programs
are loading at start-up and slowing down your system.
Sometimes the program provides a friendly way to clean up the System
Tray. Right-click on the program's tray icon to see whether you
have the option of turning it off. If all you want to do is clean
the icons out of your System Tray (while still having the programs
load), check out this issue's PC Magazine Utility, TrayManager.
If you're running Windows 95:
Go to the Windows\Start Menu\Programs\ Startup folder in Windows
Explorer. You can add or remove programs here for start-up.
If you're running Windows 98/2000/ME:
Go to Start | Programs | Accessories | System Tools | System Information.
Then select Tools | System Configuration from the Menu. From that
dialog box, click on the Start-up tab. Now you can deselect those
programs you want to load at start-up.
If you're running Windows XP:
Go to Start | All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | System
Information. Then click on the "+" symbol in front of
Software Environment to open that menu, anc click on the Startup
Programs in the sub-menu that appears. Here are the programs to
be loaded at start-up. Note carefully which ones are for what user
If your program wasn't in the StartUp folder, check the Registry.
Go to Start | Run and type regedit. Go to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\
Software\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion section. Look for the
Run key, which contains a number of strings--programs Windows loads.
You can delete keys at your discretion.Restart Windows Without Restarting
When you need to restart Windows, here's how to cut short the sometimes
lengthy reboot process. Launch Notepad and type the following line:
Save the file as C:\Windows\Desktop\Restart.bat. An icon for the
file will show up on your desktop. Right-click on the icon; choose
Properties, then the Program tab. Make sure the "Close on Exit"
option is enabled. Click the Advanced button, and make sure that
the MS-DOS mode option is selected and that the "Warn before
entering MS-DOS mode"option is deselected. Click OK to close
both dialog boxes. A second icon (Restart.pif) will be created.
Double-click on this icon whenever you need to restart Windows.