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How To Remove Startup Programs

George from Illinois writes:

When I use “Startup” on the System Configuration Utility, it is cluttered with many programs that I no longer have or will never use. Is there some way to delete these?


Startup programs can be a significant drain on system performance and increase the time it takes your computer to completely start up. Removing some of these startup programs that are no longer in use or no longer needed can be helpful, but you should do it cautiously. Some startup programs are key to proper function of hardware (such as buttons on a scanner or transfer programs).  I’ll go through how to disable these programs temporarily, test, then delete them.

Open the system configuration tool by clicking Start, then click Run and type msconfig and press enter (You can also hold Windows Key on keyboard down and press R to open run.) In the system configuration too,l go to the Startup tab and inspect the list.

For programs you believe are unneeded or you no longer have installed, uncheck the box next to the startup item and click OK. Write down the name of the program you unchecked for future reference. Only uncheck one item at a time, and reboot to test for unintended changes that may have caused any program/hardware not to function correctly. Repeat this process until you’re comfortable with all the programs you’ve removed from the startup.

The next step is to download and install CCleaner from Piriform by clicking here [1]. This utility includes a cleaner to remove temp files, browswer cache and registry problems.  We’re interested in the Startup section of the Tools menu in this software. Once you’ve installed CCleaner, open the program and click on the Tools menu on the left-hand side and click Startup.

Scroll through the list to locate the Startup program you would like to remove, click on the name then click Delete. You will see a pop-up advising you that this will permanently delete the entry, press OK to confirm the deletion.

The next time you reboot your computer, the startup processes you removed should be permanently gone. Keep in mind though, some processes can be reinstalled when you update a program (for example if you delete the Google updater. but then reinstall or update Chrome) so it’s a good idea to do this every few months.