How-To

How to Disable Startup Apps on Windows 10

Windows 10 is a fast and responsive operating system. But if you have a lot of apps set to start up when you log in, it can bog down the boot process substantially. Many apps you install will add themselves to the boot process. Let’s review how to disable startup programs/apps on Windows 10 and make the boot process fast again.

How to Disable Startup Apps on Windows 10

Click the Start button and choose Settings or you can use the keyboard shortcut Windows Key + I to open Settings.

Once Settings has opened, click on Apps.

On the next screen click on Startup in the left panel. And on the right, all of the installed apps that are set to startup during boot will be listed. You can scroll through the list and turn off the ones you don’t want to run.

Next to each one, you will see the app’s impact on the startup process. For example, here you can see Microsoft OneDrive has a high impact. That can help you in determining which apps you allow to run or not during startup.

It’s also worth noting that there is an option to sort apps by name, startup impact, or status.

Disable Startup Apps via Task Manager

You can also use the old school method of disabling startup apps as you can on older versions of Windows. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Right-click on an empty area on the taskbar and select Task Manager.

Open Task Manager Windows 10

Step 2: When Task Manager comes up, click the Startup tab, and look through the list of programs and apps that are enabled to run during startup. Then to stop them from running, either highlight the app and click the Disable button or right-click on one, and select Disable from the menu.

Task Manager

Task Manager in Windows 10 also provides a few more options in determining if you want to disable an app from startup or not. Like in Settings, you can sort by startup impact, name, or status; but you can also sort by publisher. And if you want to add more columns to sort by you can right-click a column header and check what you want to add. For example, here I added a “CPU at startup” column.

Over time you might install so many programs you forget what they’re for. And Task Manager allows you to open an app’s file location and properties. And if that doesn’t help, you can search for the app online. Just right-click on an app and choose the information you need.

After setting up a new computer I will disable all but a few programs. Another thing to remember after installing a new app is to go in see if it added itself to startup. Then you can disable it if it’s something you need to access quickly. Or if you notice your PC isn’t starting up as fast as it used to, this is a good place to look first. Run through the list and disable anything that isn’t necessary – especially apps that have a high startup impact.

I often get the question: “Which apps need to be enabled?” and the answer is simple: None! You can disable them all and Windows will start up normally. However, some things you want at the ready, won’t be. You’ll need to start them up manually.

It’s not a perfect science, but you can experiment and see which apps are delaying the startup process when you log in.

Not on Windows 10 yet? Check out our articles on how to disable startup programs on Windows 7 (which is no longer supported) or Windows 8.1.

36 Comments

36 Comments

  1. Valery

    So what is everyone doing for antivirus on Windows 10? This tip reminds me that I don’t have antivirus running on my windows tenant stone

  2. Valery

    Typo… I meant windows 10 install

  3. Paul Hogan

    Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender, and I also use Malwarebytes. I find this combination works very well. I have used these on window 7 and 8, and never had a problem with them.

  4. Brian Burgess

    @Valery — Just like Paul said, Windows Defender comes built-in. It’s all I use and have never had an issue.

  5. Ziggy

    I haven’t migrated to Win 10 yet, but has anyone used Ccleaner and, if so, can it disable/delete start-up items as in Win 7 and Win 8.1?

  6. BernieC

    Thank you your infor re start up menu it was very clear and easy to follow. However there are so many things in start-up I don’t know what is required and what is not is there an article about this?

    • john drake

      very helpful if you can read no problems thnx.

    • chris

      When I right click there is no option to “Disable”. ???

  7. Dennis McCartney

    Very helpful. I just got my first 8.1 machines and went ahead and installed 10 while I was at it. I appreciate learning where the Startup menu is. Now I’m wondering how to disable Microsoft Office. It is not opening in startup but when I try to install 365 I keep running into a halt that says I have to remove Office 2013 first . When I try to remove Office 2013 I get a message that says there are folders open in it and there are not. Very frustrating!

  8. Rahul

    Great post, you have explained it very well. Thanks

  9. chris

    MY Windows 10 does not have “Disaable” to choose from.

    • Zeekeman

      At the bottom of the task manager click more details.

    • Jan De Bee

      I am running Windows 10 with Classic Task Manager. How can I disable a program or process at startup? I want to disable “Windows Shell Experience Host.exe” as it is eating up memory and causes my computer to freeze up after several minutes. Also it often steals focus from whatever window I am on, even while entering data!
      Please tell me how to get to the complete Startup programs list so I can disable this program. I am the Administrator of this, my home computer. It is a Lenovo ThinkPad laptop.

  10. Kallie

    I tried this but the “Disable” button is not active. therfore when select disable; nothing happens.

    • dee

      Yes, frustrating…….. some of these trouble shooting blog folks have little knowledge other than the obvious, and they EXPOUND the obvious, even though our question states that the “DISABLE” button doesn’t work.
      The “disable” button is ‘GREYED OUT” and not functional ! !

      I have searched high and low on the net and everyone states the OLD OBVIOUS…..”right click to enable or disable”……..
      Good Luck….try posting with a picture of you….there seems to be a pattern there.

    • Lisa

      Check that you are in an ‘administrator’ user account – the ‘Disable’ button seems to be inactive in ‘standard’ accounts.

  11. miffed

    I have disambled a vpn in windows startup section as you described and it still loads in, where is the config.sys or autoexec files. Win 10 is crap, i only just got my start menu button back lol, and you know the cool options you get from right clicking the start button, none of those work either

  12. jay

    thanks for the answer

  13. holdum333

    Hi there! Hears a new freeware from MBAM That will help the startup problem and help you decide which ones to disable.
    https://www.malwarebytes.com/startuplite/

  14. Van

    This doesn’t even touch 99 percent of the programs launched on Startup…. How do I disable the bloat-ware that isn’t on the ‘startup’ list?

  15. Dave Cardillo

    Many thanks for this useful post!

  16. holdum333

    Hey Van! Have a look here at another blog by Brian. In this blog Brian mentions the PC decrapifier !
    I have personally used that software and it works well. There are other good tips in this blog.
    Give it a look and let me know what you think. I follow Brian every where! Brian knows his stuff!!
    https://www.groovypost.com/howto/make-windows-10-run-faster/

  17. Chellie

    Great article and tips – I updated and really did not check much –until now. I use Comodo firewall and antivirus. I did notice that the update kept the majority of my privacy setting and they did not sneak anything in.

  18. Sweshwar

    In case i disable the “Realtek audio manager” in the startup program list, Will it disable my audio system?

  19. Tia

    Thank you! :) Helped a lot

  20. Susan

    Repairing the Program stopped Word from opening when booting computer: Control Panel, Programs and Features, Right click on Microsoft Office, Change, Quick Repair.

    • Steve Krause

      That’s a good tip Susan. Thnx for the comment.

  21. Defiant Lion

    Ccleaner will let u disable/delete/uninstall some apps that you couldn’t do regularly with just windows 10.

  22. Vanessa

    This article was very easy to understand and very helpful. Thanks for posting.

  23. Mark

    Hello, the program that has auto startup isnt on the list, is there any other way to disable it?

    • Steve Krause

      You can look to see if a Service is starting on Windows 10. Tap the Windows Key + R. Type in Servies.msc. From there you can check to see if it’s a service that’s auto-starting.

  24. Ziggy

    9 January 2021. Since commenting here some years ago there are quite a few good third party programs that do a pretty good job of managing start-up items. One that I’ve really come to like is HiBit Startup Manager. Just google it – have never had a problem with it and there is also HiBit Uninstaller to help you uninstall programs. Happy new year to all at GroovyPost and its readers!

    • Steve Krause

      HiBit – Will have to check it out. Thnx Ziggy.

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