Over time, as you install more and more programs, you notice that it takes longer and longer for your computer to start up. This is probably because many applications today are integrated into the Windows startup process and load automatically each time you start your computer.
For some applications, this is fine (antivirus, firewall, etc.), and have no problem with it. However, for most applications, it’s just a resource monster that does nothing but takes up memory and CPU and increases boot time.
With Microsoft’s configuration tool (msconfig.exe), we can quickly and easily check what is running at startup and disable what we prefer to run manually after startup.
MsConfig.exe has been around for a long time. It is a utility developed by Microsoft, so we can trust it. It is mainly used to change the configuration of Windows 7, Vista, or XP startup items, but also other items.
So you have to be careful (the Spider-Man reference “With great power comes great responsibility” comes to mind) when you play with it. If you follow the step-by-step instructions below, you’ll be fine.
Why do users want to prevent programs from launching when Windows 7 is running
Windows users sometimes need to prevent certain programs from launching at startup for various reasons (because the target program is malicious or dangerous, it consumes a lot of computer resources after launching at startup, etc.)
Some users had their computers stop working and could not even move the cursor when starting the computer because a certain program paralyzed the operating system and caused it to freeze.
Fortunately, preventing a program from running at startup on a Windows 7 computer is quite easy. However, there are several methods that a Windows 7 user can use to prevent a program or application from running on a computer at startup.
How to prevent programs from launching at startup in Windows 7
Use the MSConfig utility
Most Windows users can use the MSConfig utility to disable bootable programs by following these steps.
- Click Start, then click Run.
- Type MSConfig in the text box, then press Enter.
- In the System Configuration window that appears (see below), click the Startup tab.
- Uncheck each program that you don’t want to load at startup.
The Windows Startup folder is another place where startup programs are stored. To view this folder, do the following.
- Click Start, Programs, Startup, and then find the program you want to remove.
- Then right-click on the program and select Uninstall from the drop-down menu that appears.
- This action will prevent the program from loading automatically at startup.
- If you see the program you want to uninstall, but you have Windows 95, click Start, Settings, and then the Taskbar and Start menu.
- Click the Programs tab on the Start menu, click Advanced, select the Programs folder, and then the Run folder.
- Highlight the program you don’t want to run automatically and press the Delete key on your keyboard.
The Windows Registry is another common place for programs to run automatically. If you’re not familiar with the registry and its potential dangers, check out the registry help page. Once you’re familiar with the registry, follow these steps.
- Click Start, Run, type Regedit, then press Enter.
- Click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.
- Click Add or Remove Programs.
- Click on Microsoft.
- Click on Windows.
- Click Current Version.
- Click Run.
- In the Run folder, find the program or programs that you don’t want to run at startup.
- When you find the file, highlight it and press the Del key.
- Exit the registry and restart your computer.
Microsoft Windows can also load the program automatically using Windows services. To check which services are currently configured on your computer, follow these steps.
Please note that the user must have administrator privileges to perform the following steps.
- Click Start, select Settings, and then select Control Panel.
- Open Administrative Tools, and then click Services.
- Find the service you want to disable and double-click it.
- Change the automatic startup type to disabled.
Frequently Asked Questions
On most Windows computers, you can access the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc and then clicking the Run tab. Select a program from the list and click Disable if you don't want it to run at startup.
Open the control panel.
To open the panel, try one of the following methods: Open Task Manager and select the Startup tab. Open the Windows Start menu and type "Autorun" to find the program.
You can often disable automatic program startup in its settings window. For example, in common programs such as uTorrent, Skype, and Steam, you can disable the autorun feature in the settings window. However, for many programs, you cannot simply disable their automatic launch in Windows.
Just open the Task Manager by right-clicking on the taskbar or using CTRL + SHIFT + ESC, click "Details", go to the "Autorun" tab, then use the "Disable" button. It really is that easy.
Mark Ginter is a tech blogger with a passion for all things gadgets and gizmos. A self-proclaimed "geek", Mark has been blogging about technology for over 15 years. His blog, techquack.com, covers a wide range of topics including new product releases, industry news, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of your devices. If you're looking for someone who can keep you up-to-date with all the latest tech news and developments, then be sure to follow him over at Microsoft.