How to Disable a Startup Item on Win7/Win8

Posted by Britt Duncan - April 4, 2014

There are several programs running on the Windows startup when you launch the computer. Among of them, some are necessary processes, like antivirus programs or Windows update. Also, some applications are supposed to run when you need to use them but they still run automatically on system boot-up, which consumes system memory and increases boot-up time. Therefore, you shall have a check on the startup list and tick off those unnecessary ones. The post here introduces five methods to disable a startup item.

Method one: Delete unwanted shortcuts from Startup folder

For Windows 7 users:
1. Click Start menu, select All Programs and then Startup.


2. The Startup folder will now open. Right click the programs you don’t want to open at startup and click Delete.


For Windows 8 users:

1. Press Win + R key together to open Run box, and put in %AppData%\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup and tap Enter.


2. At the opening Startup folder, all programs running on Windows boot-up will be listed here. Search for the programs that you want to remove from the startup list, right click on them and click Delete from the menu.


Method Two: Cancel auto start option within a program

Most programs provide auto start option in settings section which may locate under Options, Tools or Preferences menu for different programs. You can click Options/Tools/ Preferences menu, look for options similar to Run program when Windows Starts and tick off the checkbox before it. Thus, the program will not run automatically alongside with Windows.

Let’s have a look at how to cancel auto start at AOL AIM client application.

1. Click Options on the top right window of AIM and select settings from the list.


2. Select Sign in/Sign out session on the left panel. At General section, uncheck Start AIM when Windows starts option. Click Save to apply the change.


Method Three: Disable a startup item using Task Scheduler

For Windows 7 users:

1. Click Start menu, type C:\Windows\tasks and hit Enter.


2. After the Task folder appears, right click on the unwanted auto start programs icons and select Delete from the menu.


Method Four: Disable a startup item using System Configuration Utility/Task Manager

For Windows 7 users:

1. Click Start and then Run. Put in msconfig in the Run box and hit Enter.

2. At the opening System Configuration window, navigate to Startup tab where you can see the detailed list of start-up programs.

3. The checked box before a program indicates that it is set to run automatically. Go through the list and tick off all items that you don’t want to run without your operation.

4. Click OK. Then restart the computer to take effect the changes.

Note:If you want to reverse the changes or disable more items, you can always return to this interface and make changes.

For Windows 8 users:

The system configuration function has been optimized in Win 8. So, to disable a startup item in Windows 8 is a piece of cake even for computer newbies.

1. Right click Taskbar and select Task Manager from the list. Or, tap CTRL + SHIFT + ESC keys at the same time.

2. Click More Details, move to Startup tab. To prevent a program from launching automatically, left click on it to select and click Disable button.

3. Examine the listed programs one by one and repeat above actions to kick off all unnecessary items.

Method Five: Disable a startup item from Registry Editor

It is highly risky to edit a registry file as any slight mistake made during this stage may result in system malfunction. Hence, you are suggested to back up the registry files beforehand.

1. Press Win + R together to get Run box, put in regedit and hit Enter.

2. Click HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion\ Run folder orderly.

3. Under the Run folder, all auto start programs are listed on the right panel, select unwanted items and tap Delete key on the keyboard.

Attention: The Run folder houses all applications running on system startup including antivirus programs. It is encouraged not to making any changes unless you recognize the items. Additionally, many users may notice that some unfamiliar items on the list. If so, you should be alert as it may be a malicious program like Trojan virus or spyware. If so, it is recommended to check your system with this powerful Automatic Virus Removal Tool for hidden malware.

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Note: SpyHunter is a powerful anti-malware tool. Its malware scanner checks to see if your computer is infected with malware for free. If you want to remove the detected malware, you will need to purchase it. More information about the program can be found in SpyHunter review. If you do not want to use it, uninstall SpyHunter here.

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TESTED:  15 Jul