Practical Tips to Optimize Your Computer for ProPresenter

Earlier this week on our ProPresenter Users Group on Facebook, people were asking about the best ways to set up their computer for ProPresenter. So I created a fast list of things they could do to improve their setup. Well, it gained some popularity and some asked for an official post they could share! So here it is.

Your presentation computer is mission-critical during live productions. It’s the reason you’re able to show videos, graphics, lyrics, presentations, announcements & more. With such a critical piece of software running like ProPresenter, not only do you want to make sure you’re running it on the correct hardware, but you also want to make sure that the computer you’re using is set up the best that it can be for your live productions.

Use a Dedicated Computer for ProPresenter

One of the best ways to optimize your computer is by not having to do much optimization at all! By dedicating one computer to only be used for ProPresenter you’re limiting any outside interference. If you use your presentation computer for other tasks like video editing, social media browsing, online studying, and research, etc. you run the risk of viruses or apps taking up valuable resources.

Disable Cloud Services

I get it. Using a cloud service like Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive is super convenient! If you need to make use of one of those services then absolutely make sure that when your live production is going that those apps are paused AND completely shut down. They take up significant CPU and RAM resources when they are syncing. They also can take up valuable network resources if you are live streaming your productions! You can make use of the cloud service during setup, then disable it before you go live.

Shut Down the Adobe Creative Cloud Desktop App

The Adobe Creative Cloud Desktop App isn’t just a cloud service like those listed in #2. It’s also the app that manages updates, your Adobe library, fonts, and more. While the app is running in the background it uses significant resources. At any point, it could choose to start syncing like any other cloud service making the situation worse! So if you have to use Adobe products on your presentation computer, make sure that the main Adobe app is completely shut down during your productions.

Use a Different Device for Browsing the Internet

Internet browsers can be some of the worst RAM and CPU hogs around. Regardless of which browser you use, it’s likely to use a significant amount of resources even with just one web page open. Okay, so you need to manage your live stream setup? Or maybe you want to be able to reply to comments on the organization’s Facebook page. That’s great! Just do it on a different computer or even a mobile device like an iPad! I know it’s tempting to open up that browser… just don’t do it!

Uninstall or Shutdown 3rd Party Music Playback Apps

Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Google Play, etc. Just about any music playback app out there makes a significant impact on your computer’s resources. ProPresenter has a built-in audio player. Instead of using Spotify or iTunes from your computer, consider using ProPresenter. That will make it easier for your presentation operator. Not only that but there are legalities behind using streaming services or even purchased music for playback. If you do need to use an app like Spotify or iTunes to control your music, consider offloading that to a different computer or mobile device. Keep in mind, apps like these often won’t shut down just by closing the main window. You’ll want to make sure they are fully shut down and not running in the background.

Disable Automatic Operating System Updates

Today we aren’t going to debate Mac vs. PC. Instead, we are going to note that on both Mac and PC you can disable automatic updates. It’s just about the worst thing to read stories of people’s presentation computers automatically updating because they kept pushing the remind me later button on Mac or PC, or just didn’t have automatic updates turned off. It’s always good to keep your device up to date so that you can get updates that help your computer stay protected and running smoothly. Just don’t let your device do that to you in the middle of your production!

Most Windows users who have a device capable of running ProPresenter are using Windows 10 Pro. Windows 10 Pro allows you to disable automatic updates; similarly, macOS allows this as well. If you’re running a device with Windows 10 Home edition you’ll want to look at workaround solutions to disable automatic updates.

Avoid 3rd Party Antivirus Software

While both Mac and Windows computers can get viruses (or any other malware), Apple and Microsoft are very proactive at releasing security updates to ensure these viruses aren’t widespread. There are a lot of 3rd party protection applications available, but many of them are little more than scams. If you are optimizing and using your presentation computer wisely then the extra virus protection is not needed. If you do run a 3rd party application, make sure it is from a reputable company, and disable the automatic checking — instead make a habit of regularly scanning your computer.

Shut Down Remote Desktop Software

Remote Desktop software can be convenient if you want to access a computer when you’re not in the same room or building. But, it certainly isn’t needed during a live production. You don’t want to have someone accidentally remote in not knowing that you’re in the middle of a production. Not only that, but those apps take up resources when they are sitting idle in the background waiting to be used. So, just make sure they are completely shut down.

Do you have other ideas for optimizing the performance of your computer for ProPresenter? Join our community’s conversation in the ProPresenter Users Group on Facebook.

Cody Patterson

Cody Patterson is the Marketing Director at Renewed Vision. He has a passion for connecting organizations to their people through relationships, technology, and marketing.

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