How to configure your startup programs

Lots of people have the tendency to install their applications using the default installation options. When they have to choose between a “Typical” installation and a “Custom” one, they always choose the first option. Typical installations are easy and require less input from the user but they also install lots of additional modules and settings that are not needed.

The most common problem caused by the use of typical installation options is the fact that you have a big chance of having a bloated system that loads lots of useless programs at every startup. Even if you have powerful hardware, your system will become slower and less responsive with each new program added to the startup list.

However, this problem can be solved easily. If you look carefully in the configuration options of your installed applications, you might find an option that enables you to remove them from the programs startup list. If you don’t, all you need to do is to edit the startup list manually using the System Configuration utility.

There are several ways to find the System Configuration utility. You can go to Control Panel, turn on the Classic View and then go to Administrative Tools.

Alternatively, you can type system configuration or msconfig in the Start Menu search field. If you are using Windows 10 type “system configuration” in the search box that opens when you click that little search icon in the bottom-left corner of the screen.

Start Menu

Open System Configuration by clicking on the search result or by pressing the Enter key. You will see several tabs: General, Boot, Services, Startup and Tools.

Click on the Startup tab and you will see the programs that are loaded at each Windows startup.

System Configuration

You can choose to disable some of these programs but before you do that please make sure you do not disable any important system components or drivers. You might damage the functionality of the operating system. If you are not sure on what you are doing it is better not to disable any startup programs.

If you know what you are doing and which programs you want to disable, just uncheck the small box from the left side of the appropriate programs. When you have finished, click Apply and/or OK.

System Configuration

A new window will appear asking if you want to restart the computer. Choose the option you prefer.

System Configuration

After you reboot you will be warned that Windows blocked some start-up programs.

System Configuration

In order to remove this warning, click on the icon and then, from the pop-up menu, select Run blocked program and then click on System Configuration Utility. You will see a pop-up window, where you are warned once again that you have changed the way Windows starts. Select the option that says Don’t show this message or start System Configuration when Windows starts and then click on OK.

System Configuration

From now on, if you make other changes in the System Configuration utility, you won’t be bothered by warnings anymore.

Related articles:
Streamline your Startup Applications & Improve Windows Performance
How To Disable Sync Center From Running At Startup
How to boot in safe mode
The 9 commandments for an enjoyable computing experience

39 thoughts on “How to configure your startup programs”

    • remove items(not unselect)from the system configuration startup
      is there a way to remove items(not unselect)from the system configuration utility startup list, maybe using registry editor. would this work on xp pro as well? (i hav 2 computers)

      • Yes there is…
        Yes there is: you need to manually edit the Windows Registry or to use a registry editor such as RegCleaner.
        And yes… it works on Windows Vista and Windows XP.

      • Yes. After you have
        Yes. After you have unchecked the item and rebooted, open REGEDIT and navigate to:

        You will see the list under the STARTUPREG folder of your unchecked entries. Simply delete those folders. To check success rerun MSCONFIG.

        • Thanks!
          Perfect…this was EXACTLY what I wanted also, though I never asked the question!….also under MSCONFIG/ SERVICES there were some entries I wished to delete (found that folder as I was navigating to the one you mentioned)

        • MSCONFIG Missing
          When I go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftShared Tools I only see Msinfo and Stationary folders. There is no Msconfig folder. Any idea why?

  1. vista premium home edition
    What programs loaded on my computer (that were all factory installed) can I safely remove please? Vista is a hog and I’d like to do this soon and properly.

    Basically, all I do is surf the Internet, get some feeds and newsletters and play my own store bought games, so I’m looking to completely uninstall as much as possible safely and need instructions. Please advise.

    I have ESET Smart Security suite for my protection and hope that is sufficient, or do I also need Windows Defender? I hope not as I haven’t read one good thing about it and have heard it’s not good to run more than one anti-spyware program on a computer.

    Thanks and happy new year!!! And a happy and prosperous one at that. : ^ )

    • vista premium home edition – reply to question
      Did you ever receive a reply to your question? I have looked all over for this information & would appreciate any help you can offer.

      Thank you.

    • Windows Defender is optional
      If you have a complete security suite such ESET Smart Security or Kaspersky Internet Security, you don’t need to leave Windows Defender turned on. It can help, but it will also eat additional resources.
      If you leave UAC enabled and you have a professional security suite, Windows Defender is completely optional.

  2. RE: Using this option to Rid myself of dual boot?
    I have in some way managed to install both Vista Home Prem & Ultimate. They both come up on the screen from start up. With selections for either. Vista Prem excuese me sucks on this m8120n. With all of its Hp programs that refuse to run or hang there.
    If I use this option to remove the Prem. version from drives shown:
    Microsoft Windows E:Windows: Current O/S: Default OS which is the Ultimate version

    Microsoft Windows C:Windows:

    Will I kill this machine? Have no clue what happened to D: Recovery. It only shows a last back-up. Which appears to be the Vista Transfer Files.

    Any help is appreciated. A Newbie lost in Windows.

  3. “windows has blocked some programs”
    “windows has blocked some programs” – I get this message constantly now and I can’t turn it off because I wasn’t ready to check the box for “don’t show this message or start system configuration when windows starts” until I had tested my changes. How can I now turn off the annoying message?

    Thank you.


  4. Startup Options not working anymore

    I un-checked some of the options in the Startup Options tab, but I can not get them checked again. All the services can be checked and un-checked and if I click Apply those settings are stored, but as soon as I check or un-check a Startup Option and click Apply the setting is going back to as it was before.

    Someone familiar with this problem ?


  5. How do i delete startup programs from the system configuration?
    How do i delete startup programs from the system configuration? I got a virus a few months ago and it installed something called Smart AntiVirus 2009 and gave me hell. I’ve deleted all other things it has but no matter what i delete it’s still in the system configuration and wont move no matter what i do, ive tried Mcafee and went into my registry editor and deleted its file, it attached itself to adobe, and then rebooted and it was still there. Is there any way to get rid of this program ive been trying forever! I have windows vista home premium and am running it in what comes preinstalled, the high resolution one. Please help!

  6. Removing Vaio care from Startup
    Hi, could you tell me how to remove Sony Vaio care from popping up when i start my laptop. I have Vista and I have tried msconfig, but Sony care does not show as an option to uncheck in startup. I have also checked “Run” and “Run Once” in Regedit, but Sony Vaio care does not show there either.
    Thanks in Advance.

    • Disable service
      It might be installed as a Windows Vista service. In this case, the only way for it not to start is to disable the service or remove the software entirely.

  7. good article but not what we need
    I find tons of articles how to get rid of unneeded files, and I know how to do that, but what we need is a list of
    what we actually need at start up and what we can safely get rid of.

  8. Hiya,
    Thanks for that! Great

    Thanks for that! Great help.
    Also i went to my system configuration to remove some startup applications and there was one app that really confused me!! Not too sure how it got there but its all in japanese or chinese writing???? Could it be a virus or something????

  9. adding programs
    Thanks, but how do you actually add a program to the list, rather than just deselecting a box? I wanted to get firefox in there because it loads slowly.

    • It will not work
      If you add Firefox there it will launch the program at Windows start-up. In this case it will load even slower because other programs/services are loaded at the same time.
      Wait for Firefox v3.5. It will be launched soon and it will seriously improve loading times and memory consumption.

  10. Vista startup options
    Is there anyway of having multiple startup options, ie one set of startup programs for normal use and another list for gaming.

    Seems a bit naff to have to go and deselect a number of programs you don’t want to run in the background everytime you ant to play a game.

  11. Urgent Help Reqired
    Its a very good artical for the vista beginners. But unfortunately I read it after I have made a mistake and of course I am beginner.

    You quoted in your artical:

    ” You can choose to disable some of these programs but before you do that please make sure you do not disable any important system components or drivers. You might damage the functionality of the operating system. If you are not sure on what you are doing it is better not to disable any startup programs. ”

    And I disabled some of the programms that were required for the correct functionality. Now, when I plug-in my microphone knob into its respective slott, there is no pop up window indicating that a microphone has been detected. Furthermore, my voice is not being transmitted into the microphone probably due to the fact that i have disabled some of the important start-up programms.

    Can you please tell me how I can get myself out of this big trouble.

    Thanks Alot.

    Take Care.

  12. b.exe how can i remove this from windows explorer
    Problem signature:
    Problem Event Name: BEX
    Application Name: b.exe
    Application Version:
    Application Timestamp: 45dd10a5
    Fault Module Name: b.exe
    Fault Module Version:
    Fault Module Timestamp: 45dd10a5
    Exception Offset: 0000821b
    Exception Code: c0000005
    Exception Data: 00000008
    OS Version: 6.0.6001.
    Locale ID: 16393
    Additional Information 1: 7cec
    Additional Information 2: bf8e8f60e722e92c7ed8303916591ab4
    Additional Information 3: f52c
    Additional Information 4: 1f2049078c96a6d5be095394f9e59d30

  13. more than one anti-Virus, malware etc.
    A month ago my system got infected with Packed.Hidden malware. It infected many processes and windows explorer, and then pretty much every file I opened. I had AVG free installed but all it could do was identify. Then I obtained avast 4.8, and it did some better, eventually managing to clear it, but I found some more viruses with AVG that avast had not been able to catch. And yet again when I ran spybot, it too caught some more that both AVG and avast had not been able to catch.

    Many months ago I had the same experience with Windows Defender. I had it turned off when I was running McAfee, but when I turned it on, it caught some extra viruses.

    Looks like one antiVirus does not do the trick. Can I leave all the AVG, avast, Defender, and spybot on?

  14. I have followed your
    I have followed your instructions and unchecked some useless programs but an error message opens warning me that i do not have administrator account to make changes?
    I checked and rechecked, and I am the only administrator of my pc.
    I have built my pc from bare bone system and installed xp and all the new updates.

    how can resolve this denial log to administrator resources?

  15. Adding?
    Nice info! How do you add apps to your startup-list then?
    I’ve made some own stuff that I want to have started in the same go as windows starts. I’m working on an own explorer and stuff.
    Btw, I’m using XP atm.

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