Msconfig Command Line Options


The "msconfig" command opens the System Configuration Utility in Windows, which gives users access to startup options for troubleshooting, as well as quick links to other support tools and utilities. Use the command by typing it into the Run dialog box and pressing "Enter." Users of Windows 7 and Vista can also use the Start menu search bar. Some configuration options are available at the command line before opening the program. To use these options, add the text of the option to the command before submitting it, preceded by a single space.


  • Add "/cleanup" to the command to auto-launch the cleanup tool, which can also be accessed via the Startup tab on some versions of the utility. The tool will run in the background, with no user interface or other options displayed onscreen.

File Path

  • The System Configuration Utility uses a set of system files dealing with how the system starts. Normally, the utility uses the default Windows system files, but entering a file path tells the application to use the system files located in that specific folder instead. For example, "msconfig C:/User/Administrator/Documents" instructs the utility to use any system files in the "Documents" folder.

Tab Choices

  • Follow the command with a "-" symbol and a number to automatically open a specific tab of the utility. Use "1" for the General tab, "2" for Boot, "3" for Services, "4" for Startup and "5" for Tools. For example, typing "msconfig -3" will display the Services tab. While this only saves the user a single mouse click, it is useful when troubleshooting cursor operation or if the mouse is otherwise malfunctioning.


  • The "/?" option, commonly used to open a program's help file, does not function with the "msconfig" command. Unfortunately, the System Configuration Utility does not have a help file, and using this option will either result in an error code or open the Utility as normal, depending on the version of the operating system.

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