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Windows 7 - How to Prevent Programs from Starting Up with Windows

Having multiple programs starting up automatically every time you log in to Windows can greatly increase the time it takes for your desktop to become usable. Many programs such as media players and instant messengers set themselves by default to launch automatically as soon as you log in.

New computers are particularly guilty when it comes to programs automatically starting up. Many new computers come with what is often known as "bloatware" by consumers. Many of these preinstalled programs, such as manufacturer's utilities and trial versions of software are set to start up with your computer by default.

Not only does this make it take a lot longer to start up your computer; it also takes up system resources for the whole time you're using the machine, unless you manually close the programs down.

One of the key ways to optimize your computer's performance quickly and for free is to prevent unwanted programs from starting up. Follow the tips below to learn how to do this.
1 – Remove Unwanted Programs
The best way to prevent unwanted programs from starting up is simply to uninstall them. However, there will also be many programs which you still want to use, but without them starting up automatically with the system.
To remove unwanted programs, click on the "Uninstall a program" link under the "Programs" section in the Control Panel. Be sure that you are uninstalling the correct program and do not uninstall anything that you are not familiar with.

2 – Remove Programs from the "Startup" Folder
When you open the start menu, you will notice a folder called "Startup." Most programs do not use this folder to configure their automatic start-up options, but those which do will place a shortcut here. To stop that program from automatically starting up, simply right-click on the shortcut icon and click "delete."

3 – Using the System Configuration
The System Configuration utility is the most powerful tool for preventing unwanted programs from starting up when you log on. It is important to be careful when using this utility, since modifying certain system settings can cause your computer to stop working correctly.
To access the System Configuration program, type "msconfig" into the start menu search box and press Enter. Click the "Startup" tab to see a list of programs set to start up automatically. All of these can be deselected safely, but there will most likely be some which you want to keep. If you haven't done this before, you'll probably have a whole list of things which you can disable.
Scroll through the list and uncheck any boxes beside programs which you don't want running automatically. You can always change your settings back to how they were later on. When you're done, click "OK." There's no need to restart your computer now, so ignore the on-screen prompt.


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