How To Disable Startup Programs In Windows 7 and Vista

How to disable startup programs in Windows 7 by removing them the easy way and improve your PC startup time and performance.

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 that. However, for the majority of apps out there, it’s just a resource suck which is doing nothing more than taking up memory, CPU, and extending my startup times.

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 just to start manually after boot.

Editor’s Note: See Disabling Startup Programs for Windows 10 and Windows 8.1. Those articles contain more detailed information for the latest Microsoft operating systems.

“What is the MSConfig Utility?”

MsConfig.exe has been around for a while. 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 okay.

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 finished.

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

How to disable startup programs with CCleaner

CCleaner is another free app for Windows or Mac you can use to disable startup programs.

ccleaner disable startup programs

Take a look at our full tutorial which outlines how to disable apps using CCleaner.



  1. DW96

    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

      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

        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!

      • kevin

        msconfig has been around since windows 95, maybe before that,
        it also will work in window 8, 8.1 &10
        you can take my word for that. I have recently disabled skype, starting up in 8.1 and 10 Been using a windows pc for 30 plus years, as a toy.
        after typing “msconfig” in search, and is found right click and run as admin

  2. Alex

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

  3. RobertD

    Forget about the nasty MSConfig and switch over to Soluto ( ). You will be amazed by the result.

    • MrGroove

      Great reminder Robert – We talked about Soluto back when it was beta – Might need to do a refresher!

      • RobertD

        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

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

    • MrGroove

      @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

    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

      @Johnl – Agreed! CCleaner is a great tool and the price is RIGHT! Honestly, all the tools over at 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

        @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. states nearly 19 million downloads for CCleaner alone and there must be a similar number on That many people can’t be wrong.

    • John

      I tried Ccleaner on my Vista laptop to reduce the very long startup time, but found it now takes approx HALF AS LONG AGAIN TO STARTUP! CCleaner is crap itself.

  6. Justin

    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

      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

    Okay thanks for the Info

    • Xhi

      @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 Just type in the program name. My rule of thumb is no more than 10 items in Startup.”

  8. matnez

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

  9. Nasiru

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

  10. logan

    Thanks 4 this! helpful!

    • Kellyjdrummer

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

      • annoyed

        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

          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

            Wow…we have a grammar Nazi in here.

  11. mura

    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

    thank you so much

  13. Daljit Dodd

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

  14. Bob Brode

    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

    Wow, its a great “madar chod” article !

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

  16. Siva T

    Good, succinct and up to the point.

    Am storing your site in my favourites…

  17. Mike

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

  18. Betsy Arneill

    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

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

  19. Damon G.

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

    • Steve Krause

      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

        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 ;-)



        Adobe Arm


    • TimTech

      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

    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

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

  21. nav

    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

    Thanks ;)

  23. Joe

    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.

  24. Steve Gillam

    Kellyjdrummer is a stupid little small minded fool

  25. Wa

    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

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

  26. Fredy

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

    • Steve Krause

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

  27. Paul

    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

      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.

  28. Prutha Tester

    Good Post. It worked. Thanks for good article.

  29. chaithanya

    Thanks…Its of great help

  30. suman

    “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….

  31. C.J

    Hi Mate,

    I have both Google Chrome and Microsoft Office 2010 launching at startup. I configured them to do so quite some time ago. However, now that I want to disable them, they don’t appear in the MSCONFIG Startup list, or the start menu startup folder. Any Ideas?

  32. yudistira

    Tanks. Its verhy usefull.. Iam indonesi

  33. wallz

    Great work here but I get no responses but just a notepad icon when I type in MSCONFIG. I still do need help please.


  34. Alwx

    very useful

  35. annubari

    great site, I have removed unnecessary startup programs but my laptop still performs slower and specially while using internet messege for unresponsive page appears again and again .I have win 7 on lenovo laptop with 2.00 GHz speed and it was very fast earlier, pl help me

  36. lahiru

    THANKS it is useful(y)

  37. Rob

    @annubari, Format it works every time :)

  38. Malik Muhammad

    thank you, Its really helpful

  39. Bernard

    Was really useful ‘n easy command…… Thanks alot

  40. Swapnil Alani

    Thanks For this

  41. DHa

    Almost every search on Google says basically what you said.
    I have just used Autoruns in an attempt to get some ‘bottom line’ information but no go. I get lists, but don’t know what to do with them. I don’t need explanations of what it does [not at this point, maybe later].
    I really, really would like to know what programs are safe to unchecked. Yeah! I know you CAN do it. But SHOULD you do it?
    All I want is a simple list that says if this ‘blank blank blank’ is in your startup list you can safely uncheck it because you don’t need it until you use it.
    Sure, that won’t cover everything but it would be a great start to getting the actual question answered. Or maybe no one knows the real answer? I sure don’t. Or maybe I am just not asking the question in the correct way.
    Thanks for any help.

  42. Joyus

    Thanks for your great article, “How To Disable Startup Programs In Windows 7 and Vista” – very helpful.

    And I, like DHa, would just like to know WHAT PROGRAMS and Services need to be enabled to run my computer, I know how to turn off all the MS programs but that still doesn’t tell me what I have to keep on and what is SAVE to uncheck. And what service is connected to what program.

    Then I will have ONLY services and the programs of 3rd party vendors and can tell what I no longer want or need on my computer without causing problems for myself rather than complicating things and harming my computer and its proper operation.

    Is this possible?

    Thanks again – take care.

  43. koa

    iCloud was/is “Unchecked” and has been for sometime. That and the Official Apple (HA-HA!) Support Site “” has the same Instructions.
    I would Contact THEM, but I don’t enjoy repeating myself and I rather not get a Bull-Ends “Link” that doesn’t have the answers and wastes my time.
    This iCloud garbage just Popped Up when I Started this PC Today. I’ve Never used it.
    I think I should just Delete from this machine. Would Deleting it mess anything else up?

  44. Syed Rizwan

    Please note that we are facing an issue in Windows 7. We have 2 users (Admin and Operator).
    We are running a HMI software(Zenon from Copa Data) on this PC. Requirement is, HMI Software has to start automatically once the System is restarted. During the restart, if we log in as Admin, this HMI Software runs automatically. If we log in as Operator, we get a message: “”The Service ‘ZenAdminSrv’ is not running! Due to this startup tool will be closed now! Please start the Service manager ‘services.msc’and ensure that startup type of service is ‘Automatic’ and start the service” ”

    Note: In services, the startup type of this service is already automatic.

    Please help and guide how to remove this Error Message.

    Thanks in advance!

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