Stop Unwanted Programs from Loading at Startup

stopWhen you first turn on your PC and load your Windows system, several applications are set to start automatically. Besides essential system files, they can include antivirus programs, communicators, media players and file sharing programs. You can find these programs or taskbar icons in the lower right corner. Usually you want them there, especially the antivirus program, messenger or volume icon, because you use them all the time or it’s just the way they work. Some programs, however, don’t need to be there as they can take up resources (RAM) and slow down your computer.

This is why you should inspect all your taskbar icons and decide if you really need them there. Once you do this, you can use the System Configuration Utility and untick these programs from the startup menu. This is how it’s done: Go to the Start menu, click on Run, type msconfig and when the next window opens, go to the Startup tab. In the list you will see programs that you will recognise and some that you may not. If you know which program you are after, simply untick it and it won’t run at startup after the next reboot. If you are not sure, leave it or type the file name in Google and find out what it does first.

I have removed numerous icons from my taskbar this way, for example the QuickTime player icon, Winamp agent, torrent clients and virtual CD/DVD drives. This method is pretty harmless and completely reversible.

At the same time, viruses and spyware could intrude into your PC and install files that can harm your computer or block your daily activities on the Internet. This has happened to me recently and I found out that most of them were activated during startup. Once I opened msconfig, I reviewed all items on the list and I unticked the suspicious ones. This stopped them at startup, but they weren’t deleted yet. I still had to scan my hard drive with an antivirus program and remove threats.

Note: This procedure does not uninstall the programs. You can still run the programs from the Start menu. This only prevents them from starting automatically.

Post a Comment