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How To Disable Startup Programs In Windows 7 and Vista

Groovy Windows  News, Tutorials, Tips, Tricks, Questions, and AnswersOver time as you install more and more software you may start to notice that it takes longer and longer for your computer to startup.  More likely than not, this is probably because many applications these days hook into your Windows Startup process and automatically load up each time you start your computer.   For some applications, that’s a good thing (Anti-Virus, Firewall, etc…) and I’m OK with it, however for the majority of apps out there it’s just a resource SUCK which are doing nothing more than taking up memory, cpu and extending my startup times.  BAD MONKEY!

As always, we have a solution for our groovyReaders out there!  By using the Microsoft Configuration tool (msconfig.exe) we can quickly and easily audit what’s running at startup and disable the things we would prefer to just start manually after boot.

“What is the MSConfig Utility?”

MsConfig.exe has been around for awhile.  It’s a Microsoft built utility so you can trust it as well.  Essentially it’s used to reconfigure your startup items within all Windows 7, Vista, or XP as well as several other things so you need to be careful (I thought of the spiderman reference here “With great power comes great responsibility”) as you play around with it.  If you stick to the Step-by-Step How-To below, you should be fine.

How To Disable Startup Applications In Windows

Step 1

Click the Start Menu Orb then in the search box Type msconfig and Press Enter or Click the msconfig.exe program link.

launch msconfig.exe from the start menu in windows 7

Step 2

From within the System Configuration tool, Click Startup tab and then Uncheck the program boxes that you would like to prevent from starting when Windows starts.  Click OK to save changes when you are done.

manually select  which programs you would like to disable from auto-start

Step 3

Now that you’ve saved changes Restart Windows and the selected programs should no longer automatically start up.

restart windows 7 to save msconfig changes

That’s all there is to it!  If you’re still confused, drop a comment below and if this How-To raised another question in your head, feel free to drop your question in our new Q&A Community site.

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53 Responses to How To Disable Startup Programs In Windows 7 and Vista

  1. DW96 May 15, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    I am not 100% sure about this, but if you do Run > msconfig.exe in Windows XP you might be able to do this in XP as well. Anyway, great article – this is one of the most recommended things to do to speed up your start up time…

    • MrGroove May 15, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

      I think MSConfig.exe was available after Windows XP SP2. Anyone else? I actually don’t have XP running anywhere to test this anymore… ;)

      • mavourneen s May 15, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

        yep, always available to XP users. And that’s alot of start up items lol. I am so picky on my start ups, I only have 4 start up items and only two of them appear in msconfig. Seems Malwarebyte’s and Tune up utilities 2011 are automatic; but I wouldn’t shut them off anyway…much needed. great post though for those that don’t know about it!

  2. Alex May 16, 2011 at 5:02 am #

    What about the Microsoft tool “autoruns”, available from the ms sysinternals site? It displays everything related to a system startup.

  3. RobertD May 16, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    Forget about the nasty MSConfig and switch over to Soluto ( http://www.soluto.com ). You will be amazed by the result.

    • MrGroove May 16, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

      Great reminder Robert – We talked about Soluto back when it was beta – http://gpo.st/15n. Might need to do a refresher!

      • RobertD May 17, 2011 at 12:03 am #

        You’re right. I remember it now as it was my start using it. I still think it’s a great tool to keep your startup items under control. What I very much like about it is the short explanation (when available) given for each separate item, including a pie chart showing what other users decided.

  4. Xhi May 16, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    For those who do not know which items to delete you can look them up easily at Sysinfo.org. Just type in the program name. My rule of thumb is no more than 10 items in Startup.

    • MrGroove May 16, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

      @Xhi – Great tip Xhi. You do need to be careful so getting educated before you start blowing things away is a great idea.

  5. johnl May 16, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

    For some reason it appears thousands and thousands of people download CCleaner and never try out any of the other functions other than cleaning crap. If you click on the “Tools” button you will not only find a very fast way to access the programmes installed so you can uninstall any you no longer want, which is miles faster than the Windows programme manager, but also a “Startup” manager that will enable you to disable or even remove startup items. You can obviously view this in full screen mode rather that that pathetic little box that you get in XP. CCleaner appears to work on anything Windows, is free and works fantastic.

    • MrGroove May 16, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

      @Johnl – Agreed! CCleaner is a great tool and the price is RIGHT! Honestly, all the tools over at piriform.com are great. If you’ve not taken a look at Recurva, take a look at our review and give it a shot. That’s another great tool for file recovery.

      • johnl May 17, 2011 at 6:41 am #

        @MrGroove – I fully agree. I have used Recuva for several years and install that along with CCleaner on every computer I work on. Unbeatable products at an unbeatable price. Download.com states nearly 19 million downloads for CCleaner alone and there must be a similar number on Filehippo.com. That many people can’t be wrong.

  6. Justin October 27, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    Thats great to know but I have an ASUS computer with norton anti virus …. And I have no idea which start up programs to disable and which ones I don’t need

    • Steve Krause October 27, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

      Hi Justin – If that’s the case — you should probably just leave things as they are. The performance gain you get from it isn’t worth screwing something up on your computer long-term…..

  7. Justin October 27, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

    Okay thanks for the Info

    • Xhi October 29, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

      @Justin see my post above on how to find out which to delete.

      “For those who do not know which items to delete you can look them up easily at Sysinfo.org. Just type in the program name. My rule of thumb is no more than 10 items in Startup.”

  8. matnez November 18, 2011 at 11:20 pm #

    thanks. i knew it but forgotten. The microsoft website really annoying with difficult steps and yours really helpful.

  9. Nasiru December 20, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

    Thanks pal for this simple steps. the MS website is so confusing and annoying

  10. logan March 9, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    Thanks 4 this! helpful!

    • Kellyjdrummer March 9, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

      For. Capital “H” on helpful. You’re welcome.

      • annoyed April 3, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

        Seriously? Who is this troll Kelly? What a moron. Or to make sure he reads this, what a more on. Get a life you tool. These are informal posts, not job applications. People write these comments in two seconds and don’t proof-read. It’s not like a single person in this universe is going to read your idiotic posts and think “wow, there’s a contraction you’re that is used for ‘you are?’ I never knew that!!”

        • thehatekellyjclub June 27, 2012 at 7:29 am #

          +1
          You idiot kellyjdrummer. Hang on, that username is grammatically incorrect. Ur a complete tosser. My bad, YOU ARE (I could have also used “You’re” but not “your”), but do ya know what… neither I nor the rest of the world cares! I bet you live alone.

          • JessePaws21 February 27, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

            Wow…we have a grammar Nazi in here.

  11. mura March 16, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    If u want to disable startup program which some program that require startup by the system u cant disable in “msconfig”

    program like “Ad Aware” U can disativate the service itself….in “Services.msc” type it at Startup tab

  12. Seraj April 4, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    thank you so much

  13. Daljit Dodd April 14, 2012 at 4:19 am #

    I tried as suggested. Got No items match your search. Have windows 7 home premium. computer is HP i3 processor

  14. Bob Brode April 21, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    Thank you for the tips (from all of you that helped). I have Windows 7 Home premium and it went much faster than I expected. I also have CCleaner and forgot about that tip. Great site.

  15. AKSHAY May 7, 2012 at 1:21 am #

    Wow, its a great “madar chod” article !

    All the best and keep writing such harami stuff…….

  16. Siva T June 16, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    Good, succinct and up to the point.

    Am storing your site in my favourites…

  17. Mike July 23, 2012 at 1:03 am #

    Thanks Buddy , it was so helpful I was looking for it for a long time!

  18. Betsy Arneill August 13, 2012 at 7:16 am #

    Quick follow up question – what if the program you are trying to stop from starting automatically isn’t listed? I’m trying to disable Spotify from starting automatically and sure can’t seem to figure out how to do it! Thanks!

    • Hamed Bazgoneh December 16, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

      Maybe you should go into spotify settings from the app and uncheck the option from there. :)

  19. Damon G. August 27, 2012 at 2:29 am #

    Exactly what programs should be turned off w/ out any serious change to my comp

    • Steve Krause August 27, 2012 at 7:35 am #

      Well… that really differs from person to person…

      If you want to post a screenshot of your list of apps or write them out here, I can help ya identify the ones that won’t nuke your system.

      Most however should be fine to disable (usually)….

      • yvonneFarnsworth March 24, 2013 at 9:37 pm #

        I can’t copy and paste the list , was wondering if I can delete any of these…I have C windows XP I am a tech challenged Grandma so please be kind ;-)

        hkcmd

        p_981116

        Adobe Arm

        ctfmon

    • TimTech August 29, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

      Under Startup, definitely MicroUpdate, a virus, and iufdvw dosk yyblgv, an anooying program. (If you have them, like I did. You probably don’t though… )

  20. TimTech August 29, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    I can’t believe I didn’t know about this! Adobe Reader was hacked and lagging my computer so bad, and luckily this program could start in Safe Mode and I could get my computer working :D It was epic :D

    • Austin Krause August 29, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

      I’m glad it helped you TimTech! Welcome to groovy!

  21. nav August 31, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

    I hve tried it bt in my pc I didn’t got msconfig.exe , I got only msconfig and when I opened it then some notepad coding opened….. what to do????????

  22. andi September 2, 2012 at 2:11 am #

    Thanks ;)

  23. ishaq October 5, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

    Thanks It worked

  24. Joe October 16, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    Hello. When I click the startup tab in the above msconfig program, the list is empty. Just blank, no programs listed. So I opened the startup manager in my anti-virus software just to see, and sure enough, that’s blank as well. Do you have any insights? Thank you, Joe.

  25. Steve Gillam November 17, 2012 at 8:06 am #

    Kellyjdrummer is a stupid little small minded fool

  26. Wa March 24, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

    I am not sure that by unclicking the box will stop a program from restarting. I did that to a program and it rechecked itself when I restarted the computer. By the way, I am using Vista.

    • Steve Krause June 6, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

      Well…. It should. Which App are we talking about?

  27. Fredy March 25, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

    Thanks the post. It is useful. It saves me time.

    • Steve Krause June 6, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

      Awesome Fredy! Glad it helped ya out. It’s the old ones I love. ;)

  28. Paul April 30, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    Thanks – good post. Now can let my 86 year old Mum loose on her laptop without her worrying about what turns up when she switches it on :-)

    • Austin Krause April 30, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

      Haha, good one Paul. You know, that’s actually why I suggest people buying Chromebooks for their elderly parents – but if she already has a Windows laptop then this is perfect! I never thought of using it for 86 year old mothers.

  29. Prutha Tester July 30, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

    Good Post. It worked. Thanks for good article.

  30. chaithanya July 31, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

    Thanks…Its of great help

  31. suman November 21, 2013 at 9:13 pm #

    “system config” and “ms config” are same? or not? because when i search in search box there is no result about ms config it shows system config…

    and i have a doubt that by disabling startup programs is there any affect cause to system please leave a reply bro….

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