If you find that Windows is taking far too long to startup, or maybe you're getting some annoying system tray alerts from mysterious programs that you've never installed, a good place to start is by looking at the Windows startup programs. Here are some techniques that I like to use to find and disable those unwanted startup programs:


Note: Some startup programs may run as part of your company's corporate policy. If you're not sure whether to disable a startup program you should check with your local I.T. department.



  • Check the Startup folder in your Windows Start Menu:




  • Most of the other startup program entries can be found in the Windows Registry; better to use MSConfig
    • Given the risks of editing the Windows registry, it's safer to use the Microsoft MSConfig program to disable these entries. You even access the above mentioned startup entries at the same time
    • To start MSConfig just go to the Start>Run area and type in msconfig






  • Another option is a freeware utility from Microsoft called Autoruns
    • Be warned it is not for the novice user (there are MANY options!)
    • For most users the Logon tab is where you will go to find and disable startup entries