Many of the programs installed on your PC may have, by default, set themselves to run each time your PC starts. These programs will take up system resources (memory, processor cycles etc) even though you’re not using them. Check your system tray right after your PC starts and see how many icons are showing – this can be a good (but not definitive) indication of what’s starting each time you turn on your computer.
For each of these programs, check the settings or configuration screen for a box labeled “Run at Windows Startup” (or similar). By manually starting programs as you need them, rather than having them start automatically when you turn your PC on, your start time will decrease and your system will run much faster. It is important to note that not all programs that start on their own will have an icon in the system tray. Stopping these programs from running at start up can be a bit more difficult. Microsoft has built a program into Windows 98, 98SE, ME and XP called msconfig. This program allows you to change which programs will run when your PC starts. It is very important to note that using msconfig can cause serious problems with your PC if the wrong things are changed. It is strongly recommended that only users who are very comfortable using some of the more advanced aspects of their PC should attempt to alter settings via the msconfig utility. Some sites that will guide you in using msconfig have been provided below.
How to prevent programs from automatically starting when Windows starts
- Click Start and choose Run
- In the Open field, type msconfig
- Click OK
- Click on the Startup
- Uncheck the box next to any programs you wish to disable from starting when Windows starts
- Click OK
Note: You must restart Windows before the changes will take effect