Prevent Startup Programs from Running

The simplest method for controlling the programs that start with Windows has to do with modifying the "Startup" folder in your Start menu. You can find the "Startup" folder by choosing "Start", "All Programs" (or "Programs" in Windows 98SE/2000), then "Startup". Inspect the Startup folder and note any programs present there that you feel are unnecessary. To clean your Startup folder, take the following steps:

Using the Microsoft System Configuration Utility

If these steps did not get rid of the nuisance programs, you need to take further steps to prevent the programs from starting. Many programs that start with your computer do so by creating a registry entry that tells Windows to call a certain executable file when you start your computer. You can modify these registry entries using a Windows tool called "MSConfig", or the Microsoft System Configuration Utility. Access the Microsoft System Configuration Utility by choosing "Start", then "Run", and then entering "msconfig" and pressing "OK". The Microsoft System Configuration Utility will appear.

The "Startup" tab of the System Configuration Utility will show a list of programs that are starting (or attempting to start, in the case of programs causing startup errors) with Windows. Each row in the list shows the name of the item, the command that is calling the item, and the location on your hard drive or in your registry where the item is stored.

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To use the System Configuration Utility, or MSConfig, to change the items starting with your computer, take the following steps:

If the nuisance program still starts with Windows, the program may be installed as a Service. Services are background tasks that Windows runs to help programs communicate with each other and with the hardware components of your computer. Some services, when installed incorrectly, can cause an error on startup. Take the following steps to see if there are any unnecessary services running on your computer:

By this point, if the nuisance programs are still starting up with Windows and causing errors when you turn on your computer, you will need to install a third-party utility to manage your startup applications.

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