Get rid of those pesky Windows startup programs

Numerous companies over the years have joined the computer-industry bandwagon and have added their own quick launch and/or startup shortcuts of their applications in Windows.  

Though their intent is good, it most of the time results in system slowdowns and user unproductivity.  What happens is system resources, i.e., memory, are used unnecessarily that could otherwise be used in some other, more efficient, way like playing graphic-intensive games.  =0)

So in this post, I’ll show you techniques I implement to get rid of the pesky startup programs.

  1. Startup folder – Check what’s in this folder; anything in here “starts up” whenever Windows boots. 
    1. In Windows XP, simply right-click the Start button and go to Explore All UsersNote: You must be an administrator to do this.
    2. Then go to Programs > Startup.
    3. Delete or move out the applications that you believe you don’t need, since these are normally shortcuts to the actual application only. 
  2. MSConfig – This built-in Windows boot configuration utility allows you to modify what programs should startup, edit configuration files, and modify Windows Services. 
    1. To access, go to Run.
    2. Type msconfig then OK.
    3. In this post, we only want to modify anything/everything only in the Startup tab.
    4. So navigate to the Start tab and uncheck what you don’t need.  Again, search Google to find out if it’s needed.
  3. Windows Registry‘s RUN subfolder – Some programs add their executable in here too.  You only want to go in here if the MSConfig steps above don’t resolve your problem.  Be warned that modifying the registry is not recommended unless you know what you are doing.
    1. To access, go to Run like step #1 in MSConfig.
    2. Type regedit then OK.
    3. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Run.
    4. Before deleting anything in here, search Google to make sure you don’t need it.  Also, backup the whole Run subfolder just in case.
  4. Preferences or Properties of the app – If all else fails, you can access and disable the system startup options through the application itself; for example, Yahoo! Messenger.
    1. Login into Yahoo! Messenger.
    2. Then go to Messenger > Preferences > General.
    3. Uncheck the Automatically start Yahoo! Messenger option, which is under When I start up my computer.

That’s pretty much it.  There are tools out there that you can also use, but I’d rather try the steps above first, as they might install their own quick launch or startup to their program themselves.  =0)

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