How to Manage Windows Startup Programs with Autoruns
As your computer ages, it may begin to take longer to start up. This could be because it has more software installed, or because some of the programs set themselves to launch automatically when your computer starts up- and some of them might not be necessary.
Fortunately, Windows has a built-in tool that lets you manage which applications start up with your computer. It’s called Autoruns, and it’s a powerful tool that can help you speed up your computer by preventing unnecessary programs from starting up.
In this article, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to use Autoruns to manage your Windows startup programs.
Step 1: Download Autoruns
Autoruns is a free utility from Microsoft, and you can download it from the Microsoft website. Once downloaded and installed, run the program as an administrator (right-click on the program and select “Run as administrator”).
Step 2: Navigate to the Startup tab
Once Autoruns is open, click on the “Startup” tab. Here, you’ll find a list of all the programs that start up automatically when your computer boots. This list can be quite long and intimidating, and not all of the entries may be familiar to you. That’s okay- we’ll go through it together.
Step 3: Disable unnecessary programs
Disable any unnecessary programs by unchecking the box next to the program name. Not all programs should be disabled- some are necessary for your computer to run smoothly. For example, your antivirus software must start up with your computer to protect it from malware.
Some examples of unnecessary programs include outdated software that you no longer use, programs that you’ve installed but don’t need to start with your computer, or programs that are part of a larger suite but aren’t essential.
Step 4: Investigate unfamiliar programs
Some of the programs on the list may be unfamiliar to you. To investigate further, you can right-click on the program and select “Search Online”. This will launch your browser and show you a search result for that program.
Alternatively, you can use a service like Process Library or Bleeping Computer to look up the program and determine whether it’s necessary or not. If you’re unsure, it’s better to leave the program running just to be on the safe side.
Step 5: Save your settings
Once you’re satisfied with your changes, click on the “File” menu and select “Save”. This will save your preferences for the next time you run Autoruns.
Autoruns is a powerful utility that can help you speed up your computer by preventing unnecessary programs from starting up with Windows. By following the steps outlined above, you can disable unnecessary programs and investigate unfamiliar ones to make informed decisions about which programs should start up with your computer. Happy computing!