Stop Windows Applications from Opening on Startup

Edited by Derekkandler, Eng, Lynn, Alma

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When you first get a new Windows computer, its startup time is fantastic. After you begin downloading and installing software, however, the startup process begins to slow down. The reason for this is many applications start running as soon as you turn on your computer. While this is sometimes ideal, it is usually not necessary. These steps help you find the applications that run at startup, and show you how to disable them from doing so.

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  1. 1
    From your main desktop screen, press Ctrl, Alt and Delete at the same time
    This brings up a set of options to choose from. If you are using Windows 7 or older, a dialog box pops up. If you are using Windows 8 or newer, the dialog window covers the entire screen.
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  2. 2
    Select "Task Manager" from the list of options
    The default view of the Task Manager window is the "Process" tab. This tab is very useful for when your computer is freezing or running very slow after the startup process. It shows you which applications are running, as well as how much CPU, memory and disk space is being used by each application.
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  3. 3
    Click on the "Startup" tab
    The Startup tab contains a list of applications that have the capabilities of running automatically when you start your machine. The Status column shows whether a program is enabled to run on startup.

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  4. 4
    Select an application and disable
    Any application that you do not use regularly needs to be disabled from running on startup. Select the row of an application you wish to disable, and then click the "Disable" button on the bottom right of the window. Repeat this step for all applications that do not need to run at startup.
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  • If you do not know what an application in the list does, look at the Publisher column. If the application is from Microsoft, for example, there is a good chance that the application needs to run on startup for your computer to function correctly. Only disable applications that you are familiar with.
  • Check this list regularly. Some applications ask you specifically whether to run on startup during the installation process. Other applications do not give you this option and are added to the list automatically. Check this list every few weeks to optimize your computer's startup time.


  • Unless you are an experienced user, never disable applications that are published by hardware component manufactures, such as Intel or Realtek. These applications control the audio and visual aspects of your computer, and they need to run at startup for your computer to run properly.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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Article Info

Categories : Windows

Recent edits by: Lynn, Eng, Derekkandler

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