How to stop programs from opening on startup in Windows

Windows lets any program add itself to startup. Anything you install onto your computer can set itself to automatically load when you first boot your computer. This is fine if it’s one or two but if you install lots of programs it can slow your computer down. Lots of customers who come to our New Jersey computer repair store complain of slow boot times. Of those, I would say 70-80% of them were down to too many programs running in the background or starting at boot.

Let’s do something about that.

Chances are, you may not notice most of these programs starting up or running in the background. If an app has a splash screen, uses a lot of memory or slows down the boot time then you might but otherwise it can be an invisible menace.

When you install a new program, you may be prompted with a request to add it as a startup program. If you get this option, select no or just uncheck the box. Otherwise, we can turn them all of from within Task Manager.

To remove programs from startup in Windows:

  1. Right click an empty part of your Windows Task Bar.
  2. Select Task Manager and then the Startup tab.
  3. Select the Status tab to sort Enabled at the top. Enabled are those programs allowed to start with Windows.
  4. Right click a program and select Disable.
  5. Repeat for any program you don’t want to automatically start with Windows.

Should it stay or should it go?

It would be best to remove as many programs as you can from the startup list to keep your computer running smoothly. Make sure to keep your antivirus, firewall, security apps and any drivers enabled. These need to start with Windows to provide adequate protection and to allow system devices to function properly.

Everything else listed in that window is optional. I would suggest disabling any program you don’t use regularly. It doesn’t stop you opening the program and using it when you need it. It only stops the program loading itself into memory ‘just in case’. It does not interfere with how Windows or the program works either. Everything will work as expected, you’re just taking a little control over how your computer works.

Go ahead and try it. If you have lots of programs set to start with your computer, disable just a few of them. I bet you’ll see a big difference in how quickly your computer starts!

If you have computer problems of any kind, the computer repair guys at Dave’s Computers in New Jersey can help. Bring your computer to our store and we will see how we can help!