How to Clean Up Windows Autorun List

How to Clean Up Windows Autorun List

You might have noticed that, at some point, your computer starts booting slower than before and there are multiple applications that start along with your Windows operating system, even if you don't want them to. Well, there are several ways to deal with that problem. In case you don't know, Windows Start-up is a feature that all Windows operating systems come with and it dictates your computer what programs and services it should automatically start the moment your OS starts up. There are many applications that, when installed, add themselves to the Windows Start-up list, making your computer take longer to boot, especially when dealing with a large number of programs. However, there are some pieces of software that are recommended to  be left in the start-up list, such as antiviruses, firewalls or driver managers.

Advanced computer users might already know all of this, but, in case you don't, then I will show you how to clean up the list of programs that start up along with Windows.

First of all, you should know that various versions of Windows use different methods of cleaning the start-up list (or autorun list).

How to Remove Start-up Applications from Windows XP, Vista or 7

If your computer is running Windows XP, Vista or 7, then the tool you are looking for is called MSConfig. This application, that comes with your Windows operating system, gives you the possibility to modify the configuration of your system as you see fit.

You can use MSConfig to change several other settings, such as what services to start with Windows or change boot options, not just deciding which applications should start with your Windows. In this guide we will stick to the start-up cleaning section of this tool.

OK, now let's open MSConfig. In order to do that, simply click on the Start button (or orb) to bring up the Start menu, type msconfig in the search area and either click on the tool and press Enter to launch it. This works for Windows Vista and 7. If you are using Windows XP, then you need to open the Start menu, access the Run box, type msconfig.exe and click OK (or hit Enter).

MSConfig Search ResultMSConfig Search Result

Now, the MSConfig window should appear and, once that happens, click on the "Startup" tab in order to access the program list (as you can see in the image below). There, you can easily decide which applications will start along with Windows by checking the box next to each of them (or unchecking if you want to remove them from Startup).

MSConfig WindowMSConfig Window

After you finished selecting the programs which will start with Windows, click on the OK button to save the changes and close MSConfig. You will probably be asked to restart your system in order to apply the changes, but that will happen anyway since you are modifying the Windows Startup list, so you can click on the "Exit without restart" button and continue your work.

How to Remove Start-up Programs on Windows 8, 8.1 and 10.

These newer versions of the Windows operating system provide you with a much easier way to can remove applications from Start-up. All you need is to open the Task Manager either by right-clicking on the taskbar and selecting "Start Task Manager" or by using the CTRL+SHIFT+ESC key combination.  

Normally, the Task Manager starts in a compact mode (see image) and, in order to access the start-up program list, you need to click on "More details" and select the "Startup" tab.

After accessing the "Startup" window, all you need is right-click on the application you want to remove and select the "Disable" option. You can also select each program and click on the "Disable" button found on the bottom-right part of the window, but it will take longer. 

How to Remove Start-up Applications using Third-party Software

There are also several pieces of software, such as the freeware YAC (Yet Another Cleaner) that will help you remove start-up items. If you want to use this efficient cleaner to remove unwanted programs from start-up, then all need to do is click on the "Speedup" option on the left side of the interface and then select "Startup items" from the top list. Once you have done that, all the applications will be displayed and you can easily disable them by clicking on the ON/OFF button next to them. In addition, compared to the standard tools for removing start-up items, YAC will also help you out by letting you know if it is safe to disable a specific program or whether it will affect your system's performance.

YAC Startup CleanerYAC Startup Cleaner

There are many other applications to help you remove unwanted items from your Windows Start-up, all of them can be downloades from the Internet. If you don't want to try YAC, then maybe you'd like to take a look at other freeware such as StartUpLITEAutorunsStarter or WinPatrol.

Conclusion

Well, these some of the easiest and fastest ways to prevent unwanted applications to start when you turn on your computer. You might notice, at some point, that some programs keep reappearing in the Windows Start-up list, even after you remove them. In this case, you need to open those apps, as they surely have a setting that will stop them from popping into the Start-up list.

Alternative downloads

  • Autoruns Autoruns is the best program to manage Windows startup entries. It lists all... FREE DOWNLOAD
  • WinPatrol WinPatrol is a collection of system optimization utilities for Windows. It can... $24.95 DOWNLOAD

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