Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

App of the week: Soluto

It’s been a while since the last App of the Week – August, in fact, but I’m trying to bring it back to a semi-regular schedule. Apps will be a mixture of Windows, Mac and iOS apps, but mostly the latter as, to be frank, I haven’t used that many new and interesting desktop apps lately.
This week’s app is Soluto – billed as ‘anti-frustration software’, it’s designed to make your Windows PC faster and less frustrating to use. It does this in two ways:

  1. Helping you prevent unnecessary programs from running in the background when Windows starts up, so that your computer loads up more quickly
  2. Identifying which programs hog your system resources and slow down your computer

It does this with a bit of knowledge called ‘The PC Genome’, essentially cloud data collected from other Soluto users. I haven’t had much experience with the second feature, so I’ll focus on the first.
Simply put, Soluto lets you see which applications and services run when Windows starts up, and lets you turn them off. There are many tools that do this, but what sets Soluto apart is that it actually advises you about what each process is called, what it does, and how important it is. It also shows you whether other users disabled it, or merely delayed it so that Soluto can start it after your computer has loaded up and is ready to use. And, it tracks the effect your changes have on boot time; in the screenshot I’ve only saved a small amount of time but that’s because I’m using Windows in a little-used virtual machine. On a real machine you could see much bigger time savings. Soluto can even show you a graph with startup times mapped over time, and when you installed or uninstalled software, in case it helps to pinpoint a specific event that caused your startup to slow down.
What’s best about Soluto is that it’s dead simple to use. I encouraged Christine to install it, who isn’t the most techy of people, and yet the app helped her shave off over a minute from her startup, and made the whole computer run more quickly too.
If your computer’s speed is acceptable, you probably don’t need this program. But if you think it could run faster, or want it start up more quickly, give Soluto a try. Technically it’s a beta but it seems to work really well, and makes noticeable improvements to performance.

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