Prevent Programs from Starting when Windows 7 Boots Up

Speed up Windows 7 by using the msconfig tool to stop programs from starting when Windows 7 boots up.

The most common complaint people come to me with about their computer is that their computer slows down over time. They all ask, “How can I speed up my computer?

I explain to them that as they use their computers over time and install programs, some of those programs set themselves to automatically start when Windows boots up for various reasons. Some brands of computers come with lots of programs pre-installed with all kinds of useless junk that starts when Windows boots up. This is one of my pet-peeves.

There is no easy way for a non-technical person to figure out what is slowing their computer down. IT people have been using a tool called msconfig for years that does a great job at stopping any unwanted programs from starting when Windows boots up.

Using MSCONFIG to Stop Programs from Starting at Boot Up

Note: Although this is a Windows 7 guide, this works on Windows XP and Vista too.

  1. Click the Start orb, type run in the search box and press Enter on your keyboard.

    Tip: Quickly launch the run box by pressing Win + R (Windows logo on the key at the bottom left of your keyboard + R)

  2. Type msconfig in the Open box and click the OK button.

  3. Select the Startup tab in the System Configuration window.

  4. An almost complete list of programs that start up when Windows boots will be listed. Simply uncheck each program you don’t want to start when Windows boots up.

    Note: I uncheck everything except the antivirus software on computers I work on. If you are squeamish about doing this, stop just the programs you know you don’t need and then stop the others one-by-one and see what happens. You can always run the msconfig tool again and set programs you stopped to start again.

  5. Click the OK button and then restart your computer.

Still need help? Ask your computer question now.

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