Adjust Your Windows Startup Programs

Is there a program you never use that runs every time your computer turns on and you wish it wouldn’t? Is there a program you use a ton for your job and wish it would start up whenever you started your computer? There is a fix for both of those items. Here’s what you need to do.

Stop Things From Starting Up

First off, a warning on this. If you disable a program from starting up that your system needs to run properly, you could render your system unusable or unprotected. Be careful in here with what you disable if you don’t know what you’re doing.

There is the simple way and the more advanced but more powerful way.

The Simple Way
In Windows 10, run Task Manager. You can right-click on the taskbar and select “Task Manager” or you can press “Ctrl-Shift-Esc” on your keyboard to launch Task Manage. The Windows 10 task manager has a StartUp tab. There, you can see the system startup programs and their impact to your system. You can right-click on a process and learn more about it as well as disable it from running on startup:

Task Manager Startup

As you can see, I have a few programs disabled that in my brief experimentation haven’t had a noticeable affect on how my system runs, but your results may vary and our warning above applies.

The Advanced Way
If you want to look into tweaking every single hook and trigger an installed program has in your system, download and install Autoruns for Windows. This is a very powerful program that can mess up your system horribly if you use it wrong. However, it will allow you to disable anything that starts up on your system or has a system trigger that starts it up.

Be warned: this is a great tool, built for advanced users, but can totally mess up your system if you do something wrong. 99% of what you see on that window that pops up is needed to run your system properly. But if you’re trying to track down a process that keeps starting up and you’re not sure where it’s coming from, this should be able to find it.

Add Your Own Programs to Startup

If there is a program that you need running all the time when you’re logged into your computer? Many programs that are built for that sort of thing have an option to “Run on Startup” somewhere in their settings. However, if a program doesn’t have that option, you can add a shortcut to the Windows Startup folder.

To get a program to run on startup:

  • Find the program in the Start menu. Once you’ve found it, right-click on it and select “More.”
  • Select “Open file location” to open up a folder that contains that shortcut.
  • Leave that folder open. Open up the handy-dandy run dialog by pressing “Windows + R” on your keyboard. Enter “shell:startup” and hit Enter. This will open the Startup folder.
  • Copy the app shortcut from the original file location into the Startup folder (right-click and select copy/paste). Make sure you copy it (and not move it) otherwise you’ll have a hard-time finding it again.

This will cause the program to run when you’re starting up your computer. It will obviously slow down the start up of your computer to get that program to run. But if you’re already going to click on that program to run it anyway, this might help.

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