|How to load fewer programs as Startup programs as Windows loads.|
Start - Run - type: msconfig (click OK or press Enter)
Click on the Startup tab.
The short version.......
- Disable everything listed there you do not need to load by clicking on the small square box to remove the checkmark at the beginning of the lines.
- You can disable anything listed in the Startup list, and still have the option of enabling it again.
- In 2000 and XP, when you have made a change with msconfig, after you reboot, you will see two System Configuration Utility windows pop up as Windows is loading the desktop.
- If you click on the small square box in the first window to insert a checkmark there, the second window will not pop up, and neither window will pop up as Windows loads the desktop while booting after that.
- If you don't insert the checkmark in the first window, both windows will appear every time you boot, until you undo the changes you made with msconfig so the situation is the same as it was before you made the change, or until you enable ALL the entries listed under Startup, or until you DO insert the checkmark in the first window.
- If you're not sure whether you want to insert the checkmark yet, close both windows, e.g. by clicking on the large X top right in each window.
In Win 98SE and previous back to Win 95, and probably ME too, you do NOT get the two System Configuration Utility windows popping up after you reboot after you use msconfig to disable something from loading. If you need to enable something you disabled, you have to remember to use msconfig again to do that.
Msconfig does not come with Win 95, but it can be copied from a Win 98, 98SE, or a ME? Windows installation and it works fine in Win 95.
The long version - the details and explanations........
All the lines listed there that are enabled load programs as Startup programs every time Windows loads.
Most of the entries there are placed there when you install software that was not included with Windows, or in a few cases, when you use software that was not included with Windows.
How do the ones installed by a software installation get there?
You sometimes have the option of not loading some of the entries for programs when you install the software, but they're often enabled by default and many people don't change the default settings while installing the software, or you may only have the option to not load them if you choose the Custom install or similar rather than the default Express or whatever one, or sometimes you are not given the option in any case and they are placed there are automatically without you being aware of that.
Do you need all the enabled lines to load?
Many people have way too many things loading there. You certainly do NOT need to load most of them.
Most of them merely allow you to access something a tiny bit faster, and/or some place an icon in your taskbar on the bottom right of your screen that allows you to access something from there or show you the status of something, or something is loaded that is a feature of the software that is useful but you may have no need to use that or load that feature all the time.
Most if not all of the things loaded listed under Startup can also be easily accessed somewhere else in Windows.
How does what is loaded affect the performance of Windows?
They directly affect how long it takes Windows to load the desktop when you boot into Windows, and how long it initially takes Windows to get to a state where nothing further is loading, such that the system is in an idle state.
Some of them only use resources while loading and then don't use any resources after that, so they only have an effect on how long it takes the desktop to load intially, some use resources while loading and also use resources for a short time while doing something after that (such as updating software), then use far less resources or no resources, but many of them use resources including the memory available to Windows continuously all the time Windows is running after they have been loaded.
If you don't have enough available physical ram capacity left when those programs are loaded, that will slow down Windows some, all the time.
(ponnalgu - that is NOT your case regarding your ram - you have a lot more than enough available physical memory.)
What can be disabled from loading?
You can disable anything listed in the Startup list, and still have the option of enabling it again, e.g. if you find an icon in your taskbar you often use or need to see (e.g. a status icon, such as for anti-malware software, e.g. AVG, or Avast! has two of them) is missing.
Why do some entries appear again and enabled on their own?
A few of the entries you can disable from loading there will enable themselves automatically eventually if Windows continues to be used without rebooting - e.g. ctfmon - because they're actually loaded elsewhere, and a few will stay disabled until after you reboot, then will enable themselves automatically for a similar reason, and a few will appear there again on their own whenever you use a program or access a file associated by default with the program (the program is associatied with the file extension the file has) - e.g. Quicktime, Real Player.
What do I do when there is more than one identical line for loading a program, one enabled, one or more disabled, listed?
If there are more than one identical lines (including the location of where the program is) that load something, if you enable all of them, there will be only one enabled entry for that same line after you reboot.
Is it necessary to load some of the lines?
A few of the Startup entries may be necessary.
- anti-malware programs may have a line or lines there that enable it to automatically check for updates as Windows is loaded, and if available, load them in the background when Windows first loads. E.g. AVG 8.x, Avast!
- many anti-malware programs may have a line there that places a status icon in your toolbar bottom right of your screen that shows whether the program is up to date or whether it has a problem -- e.g. AVG 7.5, AVG 8.x, Avast! ?
- a few anti-malware programs may have a line there that loads the resident scanner module for the program - the part than scans for suspicious activity or questionable files all the time - e.g. Avast! ?, but NOT AVG 7.5 or 8.x. Most anti-malware programs must be accessed in the program configuration itself in order to enable/disable the resident scanners module(s).
A few of the Startup entries may be optional, but you may want to enable them.
A few of the Startup entries may NOT be necessary, but you regularly use the feature that is loaded, so you want it to be enabled e.g. Microsoft Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, or similar (you can usually access all of those elsewhere as well anyway, so it's not mandatory to load the Startup entry for it).
Other than the entries you may need to load, or that load on their own no matter what you do, you can disable EVERYTHING else from loading, and benefit from it taking less time for the desktop to load intially, and probably from having more memory available for other things all the time Windows is running.
Glitches when you use msconfig.
The two System Configuration Utility windows that pop up.
See the part at the beginning of this after
The short version.......
- in 2000 and XP, when you have made a change with msconfig, etc.
Why do some entries appear again and enabled on their own?
What do I do when there is more than one identical line for loading a program, one enabled, one or more disabled?
Msconfig disabled entries are not removed when you un-install the software that installed the disabled lines.
Msconfig often does it's disabing by removing, or by changing the state of, entries in the Registry. In the case of Startup entries, they're removed from the registry when you disable them, after you reboot.
If you remember to enable the disabled entries before you un-install the software that installed it, the related entries in the Registry are usually un-installed too.
If you didn't remember to do that, you can......
- ignore the disabled entry - it has no effect on your computer anymore .
or - if you can't stand it being there.....
enable the now useless entry in msconfig, reboot the computer,and either...
- use some registry cleanup program such as ccleaner to remove the useless registry entry for the entry in msconfig - Startup.
- if you're careful - use Regedit and search the registry for the exact text of the useless line in msconfig - Startup, or a chunk of it, and delete the useless line from the registry.
Normally, enabled entries in Startup are NOT more or less in alphabetical or numerical order - they're in the order in which they were added to the Startup list.
Windows XP (and 2000?) has this stupid tendancy of re-arranging disabled entries so they're more or less in alphabetical or numerical order, so the disabled entries are often NOT in the same order as they were when they were enabled.
If you want to re-enable entries that are disabled, that can be confusing as to just what you disabled.
The only workaround for that is to write down the entries you disabled BEFORE you disable them, and to keep that list handy for a while.
The same applies when you choose to disable all entries when not all of them were enabled, and you later want to enable only the ones that were enabled before again. Usually the list you need to make is shorter if you just list what was enabled.
Win 98SE and previous back to Win 95, and probably ME too, do NOT re-arrange disabled entries so they're more or less in alphabetical or numerical order. They're in the same order they were in before they were disabled.
It's a good idea to have a shortcut to msconfig on your desktop screen all the time, to remind you it's there and can be used to ...
- check whether you have too many things loading as Startup programs, especially after you, or something else, installed software you didn't have installed before.
- temporarily disable everything in Startup from loading whenever you install software, especially larger more complicated programs or suites of programs, to prevent anything normally loaded in the list from interfering with the proper installation of the software.
It's recommended you also disable the resident module(s) of your anti-malware software when you do that as well, to prevent the loaded module(s) from interfering with the proper installation of the software.
If you do both of those things, you'll rarely have problems caused because of software not installing properly - it often isn't obvious why it didn't install properly otherwise.