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Windows 7 - How to Disable Services and Startup Programs

Disabling certain services and startup programs is a quick and easy way to boost the performance of your computer by freeing up memory and other system resources. Many programs set themselves by default to start automatically as soon as you log in to Windows, even though you probably don't want this to happen. Stopping some or all of these programs from automatically loading at login can greatly reduce the time it takes for Windows 7 to start up the computer and reach a workable desktop. Likewise, disabling services that you have no use for will speed up the overall performance of your computer.

You'll need to use the "System Configuration" utility included in all editions of Windows 7. Although there are other ways to disable services and startup programs, this utility provides one of the quickest and most straightforward solutions. To start System Configuration, type "msconfig" into your start menu search box and press Enter.

Click on the "Services" tab. Here you will see a list of all of the services on your computer. Removing the check mark from a box disables the service as soon as you click "Apply." Only disable services which you are familiar with and you are sure you want to disable. For the most part, you'll want to leave the Microsoft Services alone. You can order the installed services by manufacturer by clicking the top of the "Manufacturer" column. When you've specified your settings, click "Apply" and go to the "Startup" tab.

If you have never organized your startup programs before, you'll likely find this list full of programs and services set to launch automatically when you log in to Windows. This greatly increases the time it takes for Windows 7 to start up. You can safely disable all of these services simply by removing the check marks from each box or clicking "Disable all." You may, however, want to keep certain things running at all times, such as instant messaging programs which you use very frequently or things such as your audio settings manager. One more thing which you should avoid disabling is your virus scanner, which should ideally be running at all times. When you're done changing the settings, click "OK" to save them. Restart your computer for the changes to take effect.


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