sysinternals

Why is Microsoft Word running so slow?

Hard Drive

Episode 1448

George from Palmdale, CA

George gets an error message in Microsoft Word that it's not responding as he's typing. After a while it wakes up and catches up. Leo says that the keyboard has a buffer and it will catch up as the buffer dumps out. But it won't catch everything. And George has Windows 10 with Office, so there's something going on in the background that's slowing George down. Windows could be background indexing. He should check the task manager. There may also be plugins from the browser that's slowing things down.

How can I stop programs from automatically starting when I boot up?

Autoruns

Episode 1448

Ron from California

Ron has noticed that some of his programs autostart when he boots up. How can he stop that? Leo says he doesn't like apps running in the background. There is a way to stop it, though. There's a power tool from Microsoft called Autoruns that will enables him to turn that stuff off. It's a part of their SysInternals Suite.

Why does Windows 7 keep saying it's preparing to delete files?

Episode 1361

Barbara from Los Angeles, CA

Barbara is getting a message that Windows 7 is preparing to delete her files as soon as she turns on her computer. Leo says that if Barbara has left files in the recycle bin, it may be that when she turns on the computer, it wants to delete the files in the recycle bin because it's full. She should try emptying the recycle bin, assuming she doesn't want anything in it, and then that should solve the popup. If she reboots and the message is still coming up, there could be something wrong with her system.

How can I tell if my computer has been hacked?

hacking

Episode 1359

Ryan from Los Angeles, CA

Ryan wants to know how would he know if his computer had been hacked. Leo says that he can always scan his computer with antivirus software and with Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool. In many cases, hackers are getting around that by moving their malware into routers and other "internet of things" devices. This is why updating the router's firmware is vital.

Why am I getting error messages in Windows?

Episode 1350

Mike from Calabassas, CA

Mike got an error message that something had stopped working when he installed DropBox. He uninstalled it, but the error is still popping up. Leo says it sounds like the uninstall didn't get rid of all the necessary files and so the Windows registry keeps referring to them. He should go to DropBox and see if they have a removal tool. He can check his services in Task Manager too. That will tell him what it is and he can at least disable it.

Why do I get a popup to open a file?

Episode 1319

Tim from LaHabra, CA

Tim has a message popping up that asks which app to open a file with. It happens automatically and he doesn't know what file it is. Leo says that's disconcerting. Leo suspects AdWare or worse! There's something on his system that is running in the background and the antivirus can't kill it. He'll have to figure out what the app is that's starting up. He'll have to expect that his system has been compromised, though, and the only real way to be sure he's gotten rid of the malware is to backup his data, wipe his hard drive, and reinstall Windows.

Why can't I use my laptop after it goes idle for a few minutes?

Episode 1279

Scott from Arlington, TX

Scott is having trouble accessing apps on his Lenovo running Windows 10. It usually happens after it sits idle for a few minutes. Then when he activates it, it just sits there like it's doing something else. Leo says that there's a good app by Microsoft called SysInternals Process Explorer, which will give him a breakdown of what processes are running in the background during that time. It's like Task Manager on steroids. It's very light weight and he can actually have it running in the background, so when it does happen, he'll be able to see what process is going wild.

How can I get rid of popups?

Episode 1242

Noah from Rockford, MI

Noah's computer has an annoying popup that says running in compatibility mode can cause problems. Leo says it sounds like it could be malware or a downloaded tool that causes it. It's auto starting, so he'll need to get into the auto start menu to remove it.

First, he should go into "Add/Remove Programs" or "Programs/Features" and see if he can remove it there. Then he can try going into his startup utility. Leo recommends downloading Microsoft's AutoRuns. He should also teach his mom to only download from safe places.

Use a Process Monitor to Diagnose Mac or PC Performance Issues

If you're experiencing a dramatic slowdown on your Mac or PC, you may be able to track down the culprit by using a process monitor. This will show you all of the programs and processes currently running on the computer, and how much of your system resources those processes are taking up. If you close out of all programs and still see a process taking up nearly 100% of the system resources, you'll know what's causing the issue. Then you can Google the name of that process and find out how to get it under control.