How to Stop Programs that Start Up Automatically on Windows XP

by Tom Harrison in windows

There’s a lot of software out there that insists on starting itself every time you boot your computer. But you can stop these programs from starting up by removing them from your system’s Startup List.

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Whenever I start up my computer, there are a ton of programs that open up right away. It takes forever before I’m able to use my computer, because I have to wait for all these programs. Before I can even get to work, I need to close them all down to free up some space. How can I stop programs from starting up automatically with my computer?

This is a problem that plagues many computer users. As time goes by and you install more software, things start to get bogged down. There’s a lot of software out there that seems to think so highly of itself that it must start up every time you boot your computer. Shouldn’t you be making decisions about your software, instead of letting your software make decisions for you?

You can stop programs from starting automatically by removing them from your system’s Startup List. You can access and edit the Startup List through a program called “System Configuration Utility”, or “msconfig”. To get into msconfig, do the following:

  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Run.
  3. Type msconfig.
  4. Click OK.
Running the msconfig tool
Screenshot of the msconfig tool being run from the Start menu.

When the System Configuration Utility window opens, look at the set of tabs across the top of the window. Find the last tab, labeled “Startup”, and click it. This will show you the Startup List, which contains all of the items that start automatically when you boot your computer and Windows begins to load.

Screenshot of the msconfig interface
Screenshot of the msconfig tool’s interface.

Now, you can freely comb through this list and remove programs that don’t necessarily need to load when your computer boots up. When finished, you’ll need to reboot before your changes can take effect.

Warning! You should decide beforehand which programs you want to remove from the startup list. If you blindly remove programs from the startup list, you may lose some system functionality. If you’re not sure what a program does, try searching Google for that program’s name.

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