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Windows 7 - How to Find and Disable Startup Programs

There are many programs and services which Windows needs to load when your computer starts up. These include core operating system components and drivers. However, there are often many things which don't need to automatically start up when you log in to Windows. Preventing unwanted programs from starting up every time you log in can be a highly effective way of optimizing your computer's performance. It decreases the amount of time it takes to reach a workable desktop, it decreases system resources used and it makes the computer far more responsive. There are three fairly easy ways to disable startup programs, as explained below.

1 - Use the System Configuration Utility
To access the Microsoft System Configuration Utility, type "msconfig" into the start menu search box and click on the shortcut which appears in the results. Click on the "Startup" tab to view a list of all of the programs configured to start up when you log in to Windows. If you haven't done anything to prevent programs from starting up before, you'll no doubt notice many programs here. Using the system configuration utility to disable startup programs is ideal, since you can easily enable them again in the future simply by checking the relevant box. Deselect the programs which you don't want starting up automatically and click "OK" to close the configurator and save the changes. You can safely disable all startup programs in most cases, though you probably won't want to.

2 - Use the Windows Registry
This method is best if you want to permanently prevent a program from starting up on log in. When you delete an entry from the registry, it won't appear in the System Configuration Utility either, so it won't be easy to enable it again. Before you edit the registry, it's a good idea to set a system restore point first. When you're ready, type "regedit" in your start menu search box and press Enter. Navigate to the following keys and delete any entries within them for programs which you don't want:

3 - Delete Entries in the Start Menu
Open your start menu and click "All Programs." Look for the folder called "Startup." Any shortcuts contained within this folder will start as soon as you log into Windows. Simply delete the ones that you don't want by right-clicking on the shortcut and clicking "Delete."

4 - Startup List Manager
You can also use the "Startup List Manager" of our software to remove programs that start automatically when windows starts, reducing the time it takes for your computer to boot up. The less application you have that starts up with your windows, the faster the boot up time will be. You can always start a program when you need to use it from your shortcuts that were created when the program was installed or from the program list accessible from the computer start menu.


Microsoft Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries. Speed improvements vary based on your system configuration. ErrorTeck is not endorsed or affiliated with either Microsoft or the third party applications it supports.