How To Change Windows Startup Programs

One simple way to make Windows run quicker is to modify your startup programs. By default, many programs that you have installed on Windows are set to start running each time your computer is powered on.

Thus, these programs remain running in the background the entire time you are using the computer. Often times, this will make Windows run slow and take up a lot of your computer’s RAM memory. The good thing is, it’s very easy to change these startup programs to regain speed and resources.


*This method of changing Windows startup programs will work for XP, Vista, and 7.*

Start by accessing your computer’s Run menu. For XP, navigate the path Start > Run. For Vista and 7, click the start menu and type “run” into the search box. This should automatically find the Run menu. You can also navigate the path Start > All Programs > Accessories > Run.

After you have the Run menu open, type the word “msconfig” into the text box and click OK.

run menu

You should now have the System Configuration window opened up on your desktop. Under the first tab, General, select the option titled “Selective startup”. Be sure that Load system services and Load startup items are both checked.

system configuration

Click the Startup tab. This will bring you to a list of all programs that are currently set to startup with your computer. Browse through the list of programs and uncheck any programs that don’t need to be running at all times. For example, you could uncheck items like Google talk, AIM, Adobe Reader, etc…

*You should leave all Microsoft programs checked unless you know specifically what they do.*

startup config

After you are done unchecking all programs that you don’t need, click the Apply button, than the OK button. This should bring up a restart computer prompt. Click Restart to restart your computer. After your computer restarts, you will have successfully changed your computer’s startup programs.

restart prompt

Quick Tip:

You can also modify which Windows features are used. To do this, navigate the path Start > Control Panel. From the Control Panel, click the icon labeled Programs and Features.

windows components

Click the text that say’s Turn Windows features on or off, located along the left hand side of the Programs and Features window. This should open up the Windows Features box, where you can select or deselect Windows components that you would like to remain active.

Comments [2]

  1. Wow, I had a whole slew of programs in my startup list! I was wondering why my computer was running so slow. It has significantly speeded up my boot time! Good post.

  2. Couldn’t remember the start up program. This was exactly what I needed. Thanks!

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