6. Stop certain programs from starting up automatically
As mentioned, there are some programs that like to start up with Windows. Unfortunately, this means Windows can take an extremely long time to load up properly and may slow down overall performance. With the built-System Configuration utility, you can choose which programs can and cannot start up automatically.
To choose which programs can and cannot start up, hold down control, alt and delete simultaneously and select "Task Manager". From there, choose "Start-up" and right click on the program/s and select "Disable" to stop them starting up with windows. You can always re-enable them if needed.