Modifying What is Started when You Start Windows

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 11, 2014)

3

When you start Windows, it goes through a booting process that loads all sorts of operating system files. That isn't all that is loaded, however. Windows can also load utility programs that you have installed on your system. The programs that are loaded necessary vary from system to system, as they are dependent on the software you have installed on your system.

To see what third-party programs are starting when you start Windows, you need to display the System Configuration dialog box. Display the Start menu and, in the Search Programs and Files box (at the bottom of the menu) type msconfig.exe, then press Enter. The program is executed, and very shortly you see the System Configuration program window. Make sure the Startup tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Startup tab of the System Configuration dialog box.

This tab lists programs that automatically run every time you start Windows. Most of these programs end up as icons in the Notification Area of the Taskbar, but some just run and leave no outward sign that they're active in memory.

Note that each item in the list of programs includes a manufacturer. I find this information helpful in determining whether I need the particular startup program or not. For instance, on my system (shown in the foregoing figure)

Each startup item has a check box next to it, so you can choose to "turn off" the program the next time you start Windows. The really helpful thing about the Startup tab is the Location column. Studying this column can disclose where the actual command to run a program is located.

Using the Startup tab of the System Configuration dialog box, you can select which programs should be started when you start Windows and which shouldn't. Clear the check box for any programs you don't want started, and then reboot. If problems crop up, you can also go back to msconfig, select the check box, and restart.

 This tip (11963) applies to Windows 7.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is 7 + 5?

2014-08-22 17:15:33

Jibran Ahmed

That is really great! Why use third party start-up managers when windows has its own.


2014-08-17 00:22:08

Peter Moran

Hi Mark,
Just Google the program name and you will most likely get lots of info on the program and you should be able to decide whether you need to use it.


2014-08-11 17:21:37

Mark

What you've described here is good information. But, where can I find guidance on what I don't want or need? Some things are obvious but what about the stuff/fluff installed when I bought the computer that may not be necessary?


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