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Weekly Download: Windows Startup list

Weekly Download: Windows Startup List

Everybody wants their system to operate responsively, boot quickly, and run applications immediately with no errors. Pruning your Startup List can be one of the greatest ways to help your system run without the burden of unnecessary programs.

Startup items are the programs that run when the PC first starts, using up system resources (usually unnecessarily). A couple of examples would be QuickTime, camera software, or Nero’s update service. I don’t need these running at startup, so I shut them down. I personally only like to run my anti-virus automatically at startup. I don’t use my instant messenger constantly, and I don’t need my Nero update running constantly to catch that once or twice a year update. These programs use up system resources and bog your PC down. They can also create conflicts between other programs, causing corrupt installs or malfunctioning applications. So many programs today try to attach themselves to your startup list. These services should be disabled if they are unimportant to your system and programs.

We have previously written instructions for shutting down your startup items, but they’re really more for advanced computer users. Doing this manually can be tedious and more than a little confusing. Searching for information on the startup items can be a long and tedious job, and it should be done regularly. Then there’s the issue of troubleshooting. One of the first things in my troubleshooting model is to reboot the PC without the 3rd party programs running. This can quickly eliminate any obvious conflicts, but when you’re finished and want to boot normally again, you have to go back into the msconfig and reconfigure your Startup List to run what you want.

Well, that’s all in the past, thanks to another of WorldStart’s thoughtful readers (thanks, Eliot!). I have been to the top of the mountain and have seen the other side. Windows Startup Inspector (WSI) comes from the makers of Startup Monitor that I ran some while back. Both of these programs can be run together on your system to take out any program or service that tries to get on your Startup list.

Windows Startup Inspector (WSI) gives you an informative list of what’s in your startup list and recommends what you should do with them. WSI will give you the name of each process, the filename, location, rating, and how much memory it is using.

You can get more information on a particular service by highlighting it and choosing the Consult button. WSI’s database has 4,900 program entries and is constantly being updated, so WSI will probably know what a particular services does or if it’s essential to your favorite program to run correctly. If a program isn’t in the WSI database, you can search Google from within the WSI interface. If you can’t find it there, then it should probably be shut down and removed from the list. You might also want to clean your hard drive(s) and do a virus and anti-spyware scan.


WSI can create different profiles that allow you to save your Startup Items Configuration. This way, if it ever changes through some action taken, you can quickly and easily revert back to the previous configuration.

With the use of WSI and the Startup Monitor, you should have your startup list completely under control, which directly translates into better system performance and fewer software conflicts.

The site has a donation link if you want to show your appreciation, but the download is free, as are all of WorldStart’s Downloads of the Week. I hope you find it useful.

~Chad Stelnicki