How Do I Change My Computer Startup Programs?


Improve the performance of your computer by deleting non-essential programs that run when Windows starts up. Some programs need to start running early because other programs rely upon those first programs. However, some software designers code their programs to run when the computer starts simply as way to gain a foothold over their competitors. In the worst cases, malicious programmers install programs that will harm your computer and hide them among legitimate programs.

Individual Program Control

  • Review the programs you have installed on your computer. Many programs allow you to set whether the program will begin to run automatically each time you start Windows. Use the program’s interface because it will be the safest way to alter the startup settings.


  • Use the Windows System Configuration Utility to identify programs that are set to run when you start Windows. Access the utility by clicking “Start,” on the lower left-hand portion of your screen. Choose the "Run" command and type “msconfig” into the input box. A new screen will open with several tabs. Click the “Startup” tab.

    Under the Startup tab, Windows lists the programs that initiate when you start Windows. There are check boxes in the first column. If there is a check in the box, it means that the program is set to run at startup. If the box is unchecked, it means that, at one time, the program had been scheduled to run at startup. The next column is the name of the program. It tends to be short and hard to decipher. The entry under the “Command” column provides more information by identifying the place on your computer that instructs the program to run. This location may or may not contain the actual program. The final column is the entry in the system registry that controls the program’s start options.

    If you cannot identify the program from the information in msconfig, type the exact name into an online search engine. There are many sites online where you can learn which program is running. To modify startup through msconfig, uncheck any programs that you wish to prevent from running when your computer starts. Check any programs that you want to run at startup.

Make Changes Methodically

  • Make changes one by one, whether you are working through msconfig or the individual programs. Restart your computer after each change and confirm that your computer operates as you would like. After making changes to msconfig, a window will open to remind you that you have made changes to your system configuration. Allow this message to pop up each time until you are certain you have your system running to your specifications. When you have everything set up as you would like it, choose the option to not display the message again.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

Related Searches

Check It Out

Geek Vs Geek: Robot battles, hoverboard drag race, and more

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!