How to Stop a Program From Starting Up

By Nicolas Poague

A start-up program is a program that automatically opens when your computer starts. Having many programs starting up can become a problem for performance. According to computer expert Paul Collins, when a lot of these programs run at start-up, they each use part of your system's memory, causing many of the programs to be virtually unusable. If your computer has been running slower than normal, you may have be using too much memory with these start-up programs. Stopping a program from starting up may give you a little boost in performance.

Things You'll Need

  • CCleaner (optional; see "Tips")

Step 1

Click the "Start" button on your Windows taskbar.

Step 2

In Windows XP, click "Run." In the "Open" box, type "msconfig.exe" and press Enter. In Vista, simply type "msconfig.exe" in the "Start Search" box in the Start menu.

Step 3

Click the "Startup" tab in the System Configuration utility. You will see a list of all the programs that start up when your computer starts (the names with a checked box means they start up).

Step 4

Uncheck the program in question or any other potentially unnecessary programs.

Step 5

Click "OK" and restart your computer. If you wanted one specific program to stop from starting up, you should now notice that it does not.

Tips & Warnings

  • CCleaner is a free program that can be used to control what programs start up as well as to clean up your computer's temporary and other unnecessary files (see Resources).Visit computer expert Paul Collins' site (see Resources) for a more comprehensive look at start-up programs. Collins recommends stopping programs such as application updaters (i.e. SunJavaUpdateSched) and mobile phone applications. These applications can be started manually if needed.
  • Be cautious in which programs you choose to stop from starting up. For example, you will want to continue to have your anti-virus and important operating system applications to run at startup. If you are unsure, leave them alone or do research or check with a professional to be certain.