Part 5 of Tweaking, Optimizing and Speeding-up your Computer. Using the Task Scheduler

Removing Things that load and start when you turn the computer on.
In Part 4 we went over using MSConfig to prevent items from loading in the background. Unfortunately, Microsoft allows stuff to self-load in several other places too. This week I want to go over the Task Scheduler.

To get into the Task Scheduler, click on the Windows icon in the lower left and start typing in “Task Scheduler.” Make sure you get the Scheduler and not the Manager.

I suggest you open to the full screen so you can see.
On the left side click on “Task Scheduler Library” and you will see all the programs and apps that load and you can see how often they check in (Triggers) with someone.

You can see in our example most are “Ready” one is “Running” and one is “Disabled.”
If you are unsure about an item, for example you don’t know if you use Dropbox, you can right-click on it and a list of choices will appear. They should be self-explanatory. If you are unsure, select “disable.” The program is still there but won’t run during its ‘Trigger.’ Let’s not choose “Delete” at this point. We will cover that at the end of this article.

Next you can click on the down arrow in the “Task Scheduler Library” on the left to expand more folders.
In our example below I clicked on “Agent Activation Runtime.” Here you can see a questionable or unknown “Name” circled in red and then all the other lower tabs circled in Blue.

The bottom tabs let you know more about who ’wrote’ the item trying to run, when it is trying to run (Triggers), What it tries to do (Actions), the Conditions, Settings, and History.

If you feel Froggy and want to explore, go ahead. In our example you can see the action is to run “AgentActivationRuntimeStarter.exe” If you don’t know what that is, open your browser and DuckDuckGo (search for) it. Be wary of unknown websites.

If this case, this is the Microsoft Cortana and its Voice Activation, so I disabled it.

You can continue your search and “Disable” by continuing down the left side column. For me, under “Apple” was the Apple software Update. I chose to remove it because Apple. You can see I selected the “Actions” tab this time and you can see that at 9:13am Every Tuesday the program ‘SoftwareUYpdate.exe -task’ was running.

A simple right-click and choosing “Delete” popped up an ‘Do you want to’ and I chose “Yes” because I was 100% sure I don’t want it.

Now it’s gone. Easy peasy. Feel free to repeat through folders on the left.

Be warned, The Microsoft Office ones will re-appear. Somewhere Microsoft has coded to put them back (Update? When an Office program runs?)

I have even gone, select “Properties” when I right-clicked, clicked on the “Triggers” tab of the new pop-up window and changed them. By Deleting some and Editing others. Magically they come back at some point in the future.

The same thing occurs with e “XblGameSave.” I have removed the task and then in the left column deleted the folder and after the next Windows major update it is back. I don’t have an Xbox so that’s not the reason, it is just Microsoft telling you what they will put on and back on your system.

Once you have gone through and disabled all you want to, exit Task Scheduler, restart your computer and get back to it. You may want to test some programs you may have disabled, like QuickBooks, Adobe et al, just to be sure they still work properly. If not, go back into Task Scheduler, navigate to the folder, right-click on the disabled item and select “Enable.”

If you chose “Delete,” oops, you’re screwed. That is why at the beginning I told you to disable what you didn’t know.

After a week of use and if your program and computer seem to work fine, you can leave things well enough alone. If you have OCD and can’t stand junk being there, just repeat the above steps and this time select “Delete.”

Until we meet again, have a virus free week.

One thought on “Part 5 of Tweaking, Optimizing and Speeding-up your Computer. Using the Task Scheduler

  1. Pingback: Part 6 of Tweaking, Optimizing and Speeding Up Your Computer – Cleaning the Startup Folder - The Weekly Geek

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