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How to disable unnecessary startup programs in Windows 7 ?

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Is your computer slow and kind enough to allow you to make coffee while it starts up in the morning?

Does your computer take ages to startup? Are you one of those who make coffee while your computer is starting up every morning? Well, unfortunately my computer does not give me enough time to make coffee while its starting up! This article will help you in reducing computer startup delays caused by loading of unnecessary programs every time you start your computer.

Why is it important to disable unnecessary startup programs in Windows?

There could be many reasons for a computer to startup slow, but the most common cause is the loading time taken for dozens of programs or applications that start along with your computer. Many of these startup programs are totally unnecessary and can be disabled safely to reduce your computers startup time. In this guide, we will look at fixing the above mentioned most common reason for a computer to startup slow. If you notice completely unknown programs starting up with your computer, then read this article: How to avoid installing unwanted toolbars and softwares? & download Unchecky( to prevent these programs from self installing on your computer.

How to disable unwanted & unnecessary startup programs in Windows 7 ?

So, lets take a look at steps required to reduce spare time given by your computer to make a cup of coffee by disabling unwanted & unnecessary startup programs from your computer:

This guide to disable unwanted & unnecessary startup programs to reduce computer startup time was written for Windows 7, Windows 8.x specific guide is now online. To find which version of Windows you are running press (the Windows flag key + r) together to get the run box, type winver and hit enter.

Also open google.com and Startup Search Database (opens in a new tab)

We can search for what is a necessary and what is an unnecessary startup program from the above two websites. My primary choice of knowing more about an unknown startup program will be Startup Search Database at pacs-portal.co.uk

Step 1: Open msconfig utility by clicking the Start button (Microsoft logo) on the bottom left corner of your computer screen & click on the Search programs and files box:

Click Start & Click on Search programs and files

Click Start & Click on Search programs and files

 

Step 2: Type msconfig in the Search programs and files box, you will see the msconfig listed on the top. Click on msconfig and click Continue on Windows security prompt that may pop up:

Type msconfig, click on msconfig and click continue if windows asks for your permission

Type msconfig, click on msconfig on the top and click continue if windows asks for your permission

 

Step 3: You will get the msconfig utility window on your screen, click on the Startup tab:

the msconfig utility window

The msconfig utility window

click on the startup tab

Click on the startup tab

 

Step 4: You can freely drag the column dividers to expand or contract each column to read the names of startup items, their manufacturers and the installation path with name of the main executable file:

go through the list of startup programs, resize columns to read the name of the programs

Go through the list of startup programs, resize columns to read the name of the programs

 

Step 5: Go to Startup Search Database (opens in a new tab) and search for the name of startup item in the search box at the center of the web page:

Type the name of the startup item that you are not sure about; For e,g I typed CursorMania Home Page Guard. Press search to get results

(Click to Enlarge) Type the name of the startup item that you are not sure about; For e,g I typed CursorMania Home Page Guard. Press search to get results

 

You will either get matching results or you wont, if you don’t get results – search the program name on google.com. You should get results most of the times:

In search results: 1) Confirm the starup item name, 2) Check Status and 3) Check description and recommendation

(Click to Enlarge) In search results: 1) Confirm the startup item name, 2) Check Status and 3) Check description and recommendation

Once you find the matching item name in the search results, check the status of the startup item – whether it is normally good to leave it on, whether if it is not required, or if it is your choice to leave it on or disable it.

“Status” key:

  • “Y” – Normally leave to run at start-up
  • “N” – Not required or not recommended – typically infrequently used tasks that can be started manually if necessary
  • “U” – User’s choice – depends whether a user deems it necessary
  • “X” – Definitely not required – typically viruses, spyware, adware and “resource hogs”
  • “?” – Unknown

“Y” is self-explanatory, leave that startup item on, “N” – I would recommend unchecking this to disable it from starting up with the computer unless you are aware of the program and want it start with computer, for “U” – Uncheck these programs unless you are aware of the program and do want it to startup with your computer. But most of the “U” programs would be unnecessary while computer is booting up. If you find “X”, uncheck it immediately and run a good antivirus/spyware scan on your computer because “X” is typically rated for viruses, spyware & adware. For “?” programs, research a bit more on google.com before deciding to leave them checked or unchecking them.

Most of the programs in your startup list would be “U” or “User’s choice – depends whether a user deems it necessary”

I would give you some decision-making tips on deciding on “U” programs:

a) Firstly, decide whether you use that program or you don’t? If you don’t, then uncheck it from startup items list. If you do use that particular program in startup items list then proceed to step b)

b) If you do use a program listed on the startup item’s list then decide whether you need that program to start and run in the background as soon as you start your computer? Few programs might not need to start as soon as you start your computer – you can uncheck them from the startup items list to prevent them from starting up with your computer. You can manually launch most of such programs when you need them by clicking on the program shortcut icon on your desktop, quick launch bar or start menu.

Example: “uTorrent” a popular torrent / P2P files downloading program , you can disable uTorrent to start automatically with your computer to save few extra seconds off your computer’s startup time. You can start uTorrent manually by clicking on its icon when you need to download a legally available movie/ music or other files from a torrent website.

This way, although you have disabled a particular program to start along with your computer, you can still use the program when you need it by clicking its icon.

If you do not find a program in the startup items database, research it on google or other search engines to decide its fate.

Step 6: So once you have researched and decided on what you need to start with your computer and what you don’t, simply uncheck the items that you do not need to start with your computer:

uncheck unwanted programs

Uncheck unwanted programs

 

Step 7: Go to Services tab and check Hide all Microsoft services to narrow down the list to 3rd party services running in your computer’s memory:

go to services tab and check hide all microsoft services

Go to services tab and check Hide all Microsoft services

 

What are these services? Services are just like the programs that run on your computer, but services run in the background and you cannot see them on the screen. Most of the non windows services link to a program or programs that you run on your computer. For example – Google Update Service silently and automatically updates all the Google developed programs in your computer – like Google Chrome, Google Drive, Google Earth, etc.. Some programs need the services to run in the background for them to work properly.

I would recommend you to research on Google before disabling any services from startup.

Step 8: Once you have researched and decided on the what services you do not need, uncheck them and press Apply and Ok:

Uncheck all unwanted services and press Apply and Ok

Uncheck all unwanted services and press Apply and Ok

 

Step 9: Press Exit without restart if you have any open programs with unsaved work. Or simply press restart to restart the computer immediately if you do not have any unsaved work:

Press restart after saving all of your work or press restart later if you wish to save your work first

Press restart after saving all of your work or press restart later if you wish to save your work first

 

That’s all what we need to cut unnecessary time spent on loading unnecessary programs every time you start your Windows 7 computer.

As a preventive measure, download and install Unchecky and leave its service running in the background as it automatically prevents you from unknowingly installing unwanted programs bundled with most of the free applications these days. You can read my Unchecky review here.

I hope this guide helps you in cutting down the startup time of your computer.

Please give your valuable feedback, tips, comments below:

 

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