How to Stop Programs From Running At Startup On Windows

man working on windows 11 laptop

With so much to do and so little time, getting your computer to boot and run faster has become an ultimate goal today. In the chase, many have opted to get new computer systems with seemingly faster and better processors. I did that too. However, the speed declined with more apps running on the system each time.

How do you stop programs from running at startup on Windows computers? To stop programs from running at startup on Windows, go to the task manager and click the Startup tab. Afterward, choose any program on the list and click on the Disable button.

As my computer experience grew, I learned that apps running on startup are hugely responsible for delays, especially in warm booting. Still, determining the cause of a problem is one thing and preventing it is another. Thus, after researching for various versions of windows, I prepared this article to help you prevent programs from running on startup.

How To Stop Programs From Running At Startup On Windows

Since 1985, numerous versions of windows have been released over the years, with about six versions currently in use. With the different versions come different methods of barring programs from running at startup in windows with improvements in the later versions. Let’s now consider how to stop a programs from running at startup in some widely used windows versions.

Windows 10 (April 2018 Update)

Working generally got easier with the 2018 update in Windows 10 version. With this update barring apps from running at startup is simply the easiest. Using window 10, follow the steps below to stop a program from running at startup.

  1. Open the settings panel.
  2. Select and open Apps
  3. Click on startup 
  4. From the list of programs, toggle the switch beside the app you desire to disable.

You can also use the task manager, as was done in the previous versions. This process is discussed below. The change is put into effect when the device restarts.

Windows 10, 8 and 8.1

If you are using Windows 8, 8.1, or Windows 10 without the April 2018 update, disabling startup programs remain a simple task that you can do on your own using the Task Manager. The following steps will guide you in these versions.

  1. Click Ctrl+shift+Esc to open the Task Manager or search for it on the taskbar.
  2. Open up the Startup Tab.
  3. From the list of programs, highlight the desired program(s) you wish to disable.
  4. Click on ‘Disable,’ which appears on the bottom right corner of the screen.

Note: if this option does not appear on the screen, expand by clicking ‘More Details’ on the bottom left corner of the page. The changes go into effect after the device restarts.

Windows 7, Vista, and XP

With Windows 7, Vista, and XP comes MSConfig, a tool that assists users to make changes and configure settings, especially to speed up a system. Thus, it allows you to monitor and control programs that run at startup. Using MSConfig, you can use the following steps to stop a program from running at startup in any of these versions.

  1. On the Start Menu, search and select MSConfig.exe.

In Windows XP, use the Run Dialogue Box from the Start Menu and search in the Open Edit box.

  1. Open the Startup Tab.

A list of all the Startup Programs displays with a check box beside each one.

  1. Click on the check box beside the programs you want to disable and ensure that the box becomes unmarked.
  2. Do this for all the programs you wish to disable.
  3. Click on ‘OK’ once all desired programs have been selected.

Note: A system configuration dialogue box appears requesting you to restart your computer. You can select the option to exit without restarting. However, the change will only take effect after restarting.

Why Do Programs Run On Startup?

Startup programs are known to run mostly in the background, ensuring the proper functioning of applications. Some startup programs are installed to monitor devices such as printers and scanners. The startup programs embedded in operating systems are usually beyond the reach of even administrators, so this article focuses on third-party programs running at startups.

Furthermore, some third-party programs such as antivirus and firewall software are essential to run on startup to keep a system safe and running smoothly from scratch. Still, some programs installed on your computer have been designed with the ability to fight their way into your startup routine. 

This is mostly an attempt by program designers to keep their programs in use; however, more programs on startup use up even more resources. As an administrator, you can disable these programs from running on startup, but should you?

Should I Disable The Program?

An important factor to consider when contemplating stopping a program from running at a startup is its impact. Once you open your Task Manager, you can determine its impact right there on the Startup Tab. A program on windows is classified as having high, medium, or low impact.

Remember, the higher the impact, the more resources a program consumes and the more effect it has on the speed of a computer. Therefore, it is more advantageous to disable programs with higher impact, provided they have only negligible effects on your computer. So, which programs are not necessary to run at startup?

Third-party programs can be very useful depending on what they do for your computer. Even if you want your computer to be fast, you should not disable a program from startup unless you are convinced it will have no negative effects. 

So, how can you identify apps that are necessary at startup? Follow the steps below. 

  1. Search Task Manager on the empty area of the taskbar. Or press Ctrl+Shift+Esc keys to open the Task Manager.
  1. Once opened, the Processes Tab automatically comes up. Select the Startup Tab. A complete list of programs running on startup displays beneath the startup tab.
  1. Right-click on the target program and select Properties to see more details of the program and its relevance in a startup.

If these additional details do not completely enlighten you, take the next step.

  1. Right-click on the target program and select Search Online.

Here you will obtain information and advice on whether or not to disable an app from startup depending on your needs.

  1. Do this individually for all programs you desire to disable from startup.

From this, you will surely know what to and what not to disable from your startup.

What If The Program Keeps Running?

As we have established, many programs have been designed to add themselves as startup programs on windows. In addition, others maintain the capacity to add themselves to startup routines even after being disabled severally.

When this is the case, the program needs to be configured to prevent it from running at startup. You can do this using the setting option of the program. After this, the program will stop running at startup once disabled.

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