Thursday, June 15, 2006

Removing Startup Items

Many of the bothersome issues that we have are caused by unwanted programs running at startup. Many applications would automatically configure itself to run whenever you turn on your system, and they are not just annoying, but they also take up memory that should be allocated somewhere else. Also, malware or spyware could also insert their own startup entry so that they could run together with your other startup items. Here are the ways to remove startup items in Windows.

1. Removing Programs in the Windows Startup Folder

Click on Start > All Programs > Startup Folder

Simply delete the items or programs that you want to prevent from starting up. You can also manually find the folder, just to be sure nothing is hidden. To open the folder, got to C: (or where your OS is installed) > Documents and Settings > All Users > Start Menu > Programs > Startup .

Look at the contents and delete what you know is unnecessary.


The Systems Configuration Utility is another place you need to visit make sure that the only programs running at startup are the ones you know acknowledge.

Again click on Start > Run. Type MSCONFIG at the Run box and press ENTER. The System Configuration Utility should open up. Select the STARTUP tab, and go throughout the list of Startup items. Uncheck those that you don't want to run at startup.

The entries in MSCONFIG may differ from the real names of applications. You might want to open and use their knowledgebase to search for the different startup items that you have.

Simply uncheck those unwanted entries and click on Apply and OK out of MSCONFIG. A restart would be asked for, if you're not doing anything else, just say Yes.


The last resort would be to manually find the programs' entries on the registry. To access the Registry, just open another RUN box and type REGEDIT. On the Registry Editor, click on the plus (+) sign next to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > MICROSOFT > WINDOWS > CURRENTVERSION > RUN. On the right panel, select the entry for the program and just delete it. Also look at the following location : HKEY_CURRENT_USER > SOFTWARE > MICROSOFT > WINDOWS > CURRENTVERSION > RUN.

Reminder: Be careful in editing or modifying the registy as it may cause you OS to be inoperable or other weird things to happen.

Happy Hunting!