How to Shut Down Start-up Programs

By Alexis Lawrence

Start-up programs are those that begin running automatically each time your computer is powered on. Sometimes this automatic start-up is essential, as in the case of antivirus software and other defense programs; other times, the automatic start-up is not necessary, as in the case of instant messengers and media programs. Eliminating the programs that you do not need to start up automatically from the start-up program list can decrease the amount of time it takes your computer to boot.

Step 1

Click the “Start” orb to open the Start menu of your computer. If your computer is running Vista or Windows 7, type “msconfig” into the search box at the bottom of the Start menu and press “Enter.” If your computer is running Windows XP or an older version of Windows, hover over “All Programs,” click “Run,” type “msconfig” into the Run box and then press “Enter.”

Step 2

Click on the tab labeled “Startup” in the System Configuration Utility window that comes up. A list of all of the programs that are set to start up each time the computer is booted displays in the window.

Step 3

Uncheck the box next to any program in the start-up program list that you do not want to start up automatically each time the computer loads, then click “OK.” The change goes into effect the next time you reboot your computer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Uncheck only the names of programs that you recognize. Otherwise, you might shut down an essential start-up program.
  • When you remove a start-up program from the start-up program list, it only prevents the automatic launching of the program. It does not remove the program from the computer. You can still access the program through All Programs in the Start menu.