How To Disable Startup Programs In Windows 7, XP and Vista?

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Many software today want to run some of their components at all times, whether the programs are being used or not. These components will be inserted into Windows Startup System so that they can be run every time you turn on your computer without your permission. All these programs take up memory, CPU time, and other resources and can significantly slow up or even crash your system. These programs are one of computing’s big annoyances. In order to speed up computer, you must disallow unnecessary programs from running at startup.

How Can I Disable These Programs From Running At Startup?

There are many different ways to prevent programs from running at startup. Some common methods are listed below.

Method 1: Configuring Windows Startup Folders for Windows 95/98/Me/XP/Vista/7

You may find a number of program shortcuts if you go to (Start –> Programs –> Startup) or (Start –> All Programs –> Startup). Programs of these shortcuts will run at startup. Just delete the shortcuts that you don’t want to run at startup.

  • Win9x/98/Me – C:\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp
  • WinNT/2K – C:\Winnt\Profiles\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp
  • WinXP – C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

Method 2: Using System Configuration Utility (MSCONFIG)

For Windows 7 or Vista:

startupThe easiest way to access MSCONFIG is by going to the “Start”, then type the msconfig and wait for a second for the windows to search for the utility, finally click on the MSCONFIG shown on top of the menu.

vista-run-msconfig

For Windows XP and Other Windows

Access MSCONFIG by going to the Start –> Run, then type msconfig and press enter.

run-xp-msconfig

What Next?

Under the Startup tab there is a list of all the programs that start in the Windows Registry. Just uncheck the programs you don’t want to load and leave the rest alone. After you’ve made your selections, click Apply and Ok.

vista-msconfig

xp-msconfig

My advice:
Some of the startup programs are important. If you are not sure, you better leave the item untouched, but you are free to experiment (you can always turn them on again). If you find the above instructions are too complicated, you should ask your friends who are good in computing to help you out. You can also leave your question in the comments section below and I’ll do my best to answer it for you. Subscribe to Us for more useful tips and interesting tricks!

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  • jon

    this issue is the mouse hides behind the screen on about 50% of the programs loaded on this vista machine. gateway tech suggested i contact you regarding a fix that had to do with disabling startup programs. do you think that disabling such programs will fix this apparant vista problem.

  • http://www.alvinlife.com Alvin Nyau

    Dear my lovely reader Jon,
    There might be many reasons for this. You can try disabling such programs but I’m not sure it will be fixed. I personally think that you should recall what you’ve installed to your vista machine that caused you these problems, and then disable or uninstall these programs immediately.

    I hope this would help you out. Best of Luck!
    Alvin Nyau. [haha]

  • don

    hi
    taking your advice to disable certain programs from start-up I did what you said, oh my OS is winxp pro, when I hit apply for changes to take efect, the following appeared…
    an access denied error while attempting to change a service,you may need to log on using an administrator account to make the specified changes.
    There is only one admin and thats me so any ideas why I cant do this
    cheers
    don

  • frank

    Don… u have to go to the main start up menu the press ctrl, alt, delete… type in Administrator as a user name and click okay it will log u on as the computer Admin,, this certin Admin never shows up on the start up menu unless all accounts are deleted,, but You cannot delete the main Admin account….

  • Elois Cable

    What start up programs should be checked in windows vista? Thanks Elois

  • Finaoc

    hi alvin,

    just wondering if a printer hp its a new cheap one, eats into system resources at the start up,
    my laptop is a 256mb ram toshiba satellite, m35x s111, using xp, i dont have many files on it, a few pics and a few excel files, i use mozilla firefox, forget about pdf files, when i browse i just go to html version of pdf…..
    Its just that im getting in every session of using, virtual memory to low, pop up,
    Its basically slowing to a crawl ne advice??
    finaoc

  • Spencer Christie

    Thank you so much! I recently installed a programme and i wanted to uninstall it but it wouldn’t let me. At every sartup it would come up configuring itself then say it doesn’t have the required information. Thishas annoyed myself and my dad a lot! This has also stopped other annoying startup programmes that I have!

  • Marsguy

    Thanks it helped very much……. :D [curious] ;) :D :) :D

  • http://www.alvinlife.com Alvin Nyau

    @Marsguy

    You are extreeeeemely welcome! [haha] :D

  • Luke

    hi i got a toshiba laptop and it wont let me use the webcam on msn and i called toshiba and they said it would cost me $66 to fix it and then he said i can google it on google so i did and i found how to di it so i disabled it and then i restarted it and it is still not work i dont no what to do HELP please.

  • Tom

    That’s why I will not buy Toshiba products. They seem to always include something proprietary that’ll be a cash grab later…..perfectly good vcr collecting dust because can’t change tv/vcr without buying “their” replacement remote (none of the universal remotes work, and the vcr doesn’t have a button to do this like all my other vcr’s. Which all are now collecting dust anyways, but the Toshiba was the first….)

  • Luke

    THANK YOU TOM. well my laptop is all good now my webcam work all the time now i blocked the site that was blocking it from working on msn. i didn’t have to pay $66 wich is good ha ha. but other then that the laptop is really good :D

  • nicholas turo

    If I use MSCONFIG to dissable some programs so they won’t load and run at start up. Am I permanently disabling these programs. Or is this just a temporary disabling. I mean should I manually restart these temporarily disabled programs shortly after start up. And if so how do I do that? Thank you

  • http://www.groovypost.com/ Baxter

    @nicholas
    You are not permanently disabling them, you can go back in at any time and just re-check them to enable them again!
    Great article for vista and xp!

    Here is a look at how to do it in Windows 7:
    http://www.groovypost.com/howto/microsoft/performance-disable-startup-programs-windows-7-vista/

    Thanks!

  • Angi

    Can someone please explain how I get Internet explorer to run on my XP Home Edition DELL laptop WITHOUT it attempting to come up under the previous owner’s “Microsoft Internet Explorer provided by AT&T WorldNet Service”?? It is keeping me from accessing the internet ALTOGETHER. All I keep getting is the ‘Cannot find server’/’The page cannot be displayed’ (Cannot find server or DNS error) messages. ANY advice would be greatly appreciated!! [?] [?] [?]

  • http://www.alvinlife.com Alvin Nyau

    @Angi
    From what you’ve written up there, it seems like you don’t have a stable internet connection for your laptop. You’ve mentioned about AT&T which I think it should be the cause of the problem. You should contact with your service provider for the solution of your problem.
    Thank you for leaving us your comment.

    Alvin Nyau.

  • Abdul

    Thanks. It really helped ;;)

  • http://www.alvinlife.com Alvin Nyau

    You’re welcome, Addul!

  • wugate

    It is very easy to disable startup without third party software. How to disable startup and remove startup record

  • http://www.alvinlife.com Alvin Nyau

    @wugate
    I don’t really get what you meant. You are very welcome to send me an email if you are facing any problem that perhaps I can help you out.

  • Barry

    I need to disable my security system so I am able to install a wireless printer on my computer running XP. After I install the printer I need to enable the security. How do I do this with out losing the security program.. Thank you

  • http://www.alvinlife.com Alvin Nyau

    @Barry
    Your question is totally off topic, but we’ll answer the best way we can. You don’t have to uninstall your security system just to install a printer. There might be an option for you to exclude your printer from extra security check. We don’t know what securty system you’re using, therefore we are unable to point you the steps to exclude it. Feel free to email us with extra details and we will try our best to help you out. :D

  • wilma

    How do I know which programs are deletable and which ones are not in my startup folder?

  • http://www.alvinlife.com Alvin Nyau

    @wilma
    In that case, you will have to do searches for all processes to see if they are deletable or not. There’re some common programs which appear in most computer but there’re also some processes uniquely required to run some of your important programs. Take your time and eventually you will get familiar with all processes you have. Hope this will somehow help you out.

    Thank you for visitting!

  • http://- Emma

    Hi everybody,

    My laptop has been crushed a couple of times. It all started with disabling some Vaio content analyzer as it was interrupting and slowing down my computer’s speed every time it was on. So I went to internet searching for some information if it’s ok to uninstall it and found that it could be disabled in msconfig. I found it in service section of msconfig and disabled it, but after a couple of hours my laptop crushed, and any of my attempt to restart it wouldn’t help. It would turn off even before getting the main start window. Then I went to save mode, opened msconfig and enabled evth back as it was before. It helped, I was able to work as usual, but at night it crashed again, went to msconfig, and what I saw was that all the files that I enabled stated as disabled. I enabled them again, but seems like the pc is going to crush again. SO , PLEASE, Help me to solve this problem.

    Thank you in advance,
    Emma

  • http://www.alvinlife.com Alvin Nyau

    Dear Emma,
    The very first mistake you’ve made in your situation is that you went to touch the things in the “Services” tab. They are extremely sensitive and shouldn’t be touched.
    To solve your problem, you have to first identify what services have been disabled and try to re-enable them. There’re several options when handling a service. You can choose to enable it immediately, or enable it automatically whenever you start your computer, or disable it. Select the Automatic option. If this can’t help you out. Search the name of the services on the internet and try to get some info about them such as whether or not they should be enabled.
    If your problem is yet to be solved after doing all above, then your problem might be caused by another unknown problem. You have to seek for a professional to fix it for you.
    Good luck to you!
    :) :)

  • http://- Emma

    Hi Alvin,

    Thanks a lot for your time and advice. I remember the files I disabled, and after enabling everything back second time, that disabled file is stated as running, but some of the files related to Vaio like Vaio Entertainment Content, etc. are stated as “stopped”. Alvin I didn’t quite understand how to do this part of your advice: <>. I mean how to select it automatically? I went to msconfig and didn’t see “automatic” enabling box.

    Thanks again,
    Emma

  • http://www.alvinlife.com Alvin Nyau

    Dear Emma, [ok]

    These options appear in Control Panel –> System and Security –> Administrative Tools –> Services. Find the processes you’re looking for, right click and select properties. Choose the startup type for the process.

    Feel free to leave msg here again if you have further problems. I’m more than happy to help you :D

    Alvin Nyau
    Administrator

  • http://- Emma

    Hi Alvin,

    Thanks for the email and advice, but I was able to fix it thanks to a site which gave the detailed information which was very similar to my situation. So it was pretty easy and safe to follow the instruction. I am very happy to get everything back.

    Thanks again. [lol]

  • brian

    items i want to remove from start up are not listed i have tried deleteing short cut does not help

  • Sendiansmail

    Hi Alvin,

    I have logged on as admin and for good reason, disabled all start up menu using msconfig. However, as soon as I reboot, the startup items are all ticked again. Any suggestions?

    Thanks, Ian

  • Thelcr04

    this website is very helpful. thanks, keep the good work!

  • http://www.computertipsfree.com/ Alvin Nyau

    Thanks for your lovely comment. =)

  • Plipz

    how do you permanently delete them so it wont be on startup anymore?

  • Ytjr1

    Thanks. Forgot the command, piece of cake.

  • Maxy

    Are the following important for startup?: In other words which ones can i do without, to improve my startup speed?
    1. Synoptics pointing device driver
    2. HP tone control
    3. Java Platform
    4.Microsoft intellipoint
    5.Catalyst control center
    6. Hpwuschd application
    7.Kaspersky
    8. HpqSRmon application

  • http://www.facebook.com/fredmcwatt Fred Mcwatt

    how to uninatall a currupt uninstall

  • TapiocaTea

    I can’t find the webcam software in the startup list (not in any recognizable form – only Eset, Google Toolbar, and several Intel Common User Interfaces, whatever that is).  I have Windows 7 on a Sony VAIO laptop, and I can’t figure out how to make the webcam stop flashing every time I start up the computer (which unnerves me even though it is likely standard).  Please help!  Thanks!

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