5 Ways to Disable Startup Programs in Windows

Many programs are set to start with Windows when you install them, and usually without your permission. Skype, CCleaner, and uTorrent are some of the popular examples. However, not always you may need services of such programs as soon as Windows starts. These programs will slow down boot time, open in your face as soon as your desktop shows up and force you to close them every time you restart the PC.

So yes, unnecessary startup programs are really bad for your overall Windows experience. Fortunately, you can easily disable Startup programs in Windows using different methods and in this post, we will show each one of them.

Related: Top 10 Tips to Speed Up Slow Windows 10 PC

1. Disable Startup Programs in Windows 7, Vista, and XP

In older versions of Windows, system configuration windows is the best place to locate and disable startup items. To access system configuration, press Windows+R keys and type “msconfig” in the “Run” dialog.

msconfig-in-run-box

System configuration will open up when you will press the Enter key. Here move to the “Startup” tab and you will see all your startup items listed. Simply uncheck the checkbox next to all the startup programs that you don’t want to start with Windows. After that, click on “OK” to apply the settings. Now all the startup programs that you unchecked will not start with Windows.

Disable Startup Programs in Windows-msconfig

2. Disable Startup Programs in Windows 8, 8.1 and 10

In the newer versions of Windows, the startup programs manager has been moved to the task manager. To open the task manager, press Ctrl+Shift+Esc keys.

In the Task Manager, move to the “Startup” tab and you will see all the programs that can be set to launch at Windows startup. Programs that are set to open at startup will have a status of “Enabled”. Right-click on those programs and select “Disable” to disable them.

disable-startup-programs-task-manager

3. Disable Startup Programs From Windows Registry

Above are the easiest ways to disable startup programs in Windows, but if you are looking for other options with different use cases; here are some.

Similar to the other things, startup items also create an entry in Windows registry. You can remove this entry to stop that program from starting at startup.

Warning: Before making any tweaks in the Windows Registry, make sure you create a backup of it. Any wrong tweak in the Registry could lead to corrupting Windows.

Press Windows+R keys to open Run dialog and enter “regedit” to launch Windows registry. Here you will find startup items in the below-mentioned locations:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

Move to these locations and look for the program that keeps starting up with Windows. Once found, double click on it and remove all the text written in its “Value data” section. You can also delete the entry to stop that program from starting up.

disable-startup-programs-disable-from-registry

Why It’s Useful: Disabling startup programs from Windows Registry is a good option for programs that keep enabling themselves to start with Windows every time you use them, such as CCleaner. This will disable their entry in the Registry and stop them from adding it again automatically in the future.

4. Use a Third-party App to Disable Startup Programs

There are many third-party apps available that will let you manage startup programs. Ironically, CCleaner is one of the best tools to disable startup items with just a click of a button. Download and install CCleaner and run the program.

Move to the “Tools” section on the left-hand side and then click on “Startup”. You should see all of the startup programs here. Simply select any of the programs you would like to disable and select “Disable” on the right side to disable it.

disable-startup-programs-ccleaner

Why It’s Useful: A third-party program like CCleaner loads all types of startup programs, both from the registry and Windows startup folder. The built-in Windows startup manager may skip on some of the programs.

5. Disable Startup Programs from Windows Startup Folder

This is not one of the best ways to disable startup programs, but it is definitely the quickest and sometimes necessary. Programs added in the Windows startup folder are automatically set to launch when Windows start. Although many programs create a registry entry instead of adding their shortcut in Windows startup folder, but there are still programs that add a shortcut in the startup folder.

Furthermore, if you have manually added a program or script in the startup folder to make it start with Windows, then you will have to disable it from here instead of the built-in Startup manager.

To open the Windows startup folder, press Windows+R keys and type “shell:startup” in the Run dialog. This command will open the startup folder with all the startup programs/files listed. Simply delete the shortcut of the program to stop it from starting up with Windows.

disable-startup-programs-startup-folder

Why It’s Useful: As pointed above, some programs do make an entry in the startup folder; you can quickly disable them from here. Additionally, manually added programs will also need to be handled from here.

Wrapping Up

If you are looking to speed up boot time and stop programs from eating your PC’s precious resources, then you should disable unnecessary startup programs. However do keep in mind that disabling all of the startup programs isn’t necessary, some programs are helpful (and sometimes compulsory) when starting up with Windows. For example, your antivirus program must start with Windows to ensure you are always protected or may be you can enable a program like Skype if you use it heavily.

Also Read: 5 Ways To Monitor Broadband Usage in Windows

About Karrar Haider

Karrar has a bad habit of calling technology “Killer”, and doesn't feel bad about spending too much time in front of the PC. If he is not writing about technology, you will find him spending quality time with his little family.