Whenever a PC is running,
there are many tasks that are executed "in the background". That is, you may not see
any evidence of their actions: There may be no window showing on the DeskTop, and no
Tab in the
Taskbar. There may also be no icon in the System Notification Area.
However, be assured, there are many such tasks executing or standing-by in your
Additionally, some programs, when first started, connect to databases on the internet
to ensure that they are up-to-date, or have up-to-date information, and thus perform
tasks which are not obvious.
A common example of this is some web browsers now have 'safe surfing' and/or 'anti-phishing' options
which, when turned on, must obtain current information before they are fully functional.
For a computer that is running all the time, and always connected to the web,
this is usually not a problem. If the tasks have been scheduled to begin at reasonable
times (very early in the morning), they will not interfere with your work.
As an example, many anti-virus facilities schedule a weekly full-scan of all local hard drives
to detect any problems. Typically, then, at the scheduled time, the program will
start, query some website for any pending updates, download the updates,
then scan the drives.
This may take anywhere from minutes to hours to complete, depending on the size of the drives, the
efficiency of the scanning program, etc., etc.
If the task is scheduled to begin at, say 4:00 am, then when you sit down to web-surf at 9:00 am,
everything will be fine.
However, let's say that your computer isn't always on (it's either off, sleeping, or
hibernating), or isn't always connected to the web: You only occasionally turn it on
and use it for relatively short periods of time...
So, you start the computer and experience annoyingly slow response.
Here's what might be happening:
In order to ensure that the scheduled tasks perform
their duty, they are often created with the options to:
What this means is, that while you're trying to do a quick Google search for a
pizza place, your computer is busy trying to catch up on it's maintenance tasks
for possibly many days, each time you restart it.
- Start as soon as possible after a scheduled start time is missed.
- Stay "activated" for a number of
hours (or even days) after the scheduled start time, until the
- Continue to execute/restart the task until it completes.
Then, when you're finished with your work
(but the scheduled task's work has not completed)
and you shutdown/sleep/hibernate
the computer, the scheduled process is set to pickup where it left off
(or even worse restart)
the next time the computer is started.
Therefore, if your computer usage is in the "infrequent" category,
the following is suggested:
- If possible, change the options on "scheduled" tasks to prompt you before they take action.
Refusing usually re-schedules at some later time.
- Alternatively, schedule them for a time when you purposefully leave
your computer running - say, every Monday night.
- If neither
of these is possible, then see if you can change the tasks such that they require
you to manually start them.
You can then do your desired work first, then start the
maintenance tasks, and walk away, letting them finish completely.
This may sound like "busy work", but the increased responsiveness will be rewarding.
Windows 10 Updates
Windows update has undergone several changes in the recent past, and seems to still
be in a state of flux.
There are various 'deferred updates' options.
You should investigate these, and ensure that you understand what's happening to your
Note that if you make any changes/choices to the standard Microsoft default update regimen,
you may receive 'warnings' about compromised security, etc., etc.
Just remember that you've made conscious modifications.
There are many software packages that install scheduled tasks: Adobe Reader, iTunes, Java, etc. If
you can determine which are active on your system, and tune them as described, you'll experience