Computer-Help.Net

Windows Startup Items

Friday, November 10, 2006

Every time your system boots there are a number of programs which get loaded automatically. Some of them are needed by Windows; others, such as your antivirus software and printer controls, you want; but, many are junk that were automatically installed with a program or are downright bad things, like spyware or trojans.

The problem is that these programs use up your memory, system resources, slow down your computer significantly, and often become the source of freeze ups or crashes. The spyware or trojan varieties can also be the reason why you are inundated with popups and some will send everything you type on your keyboard to the authors.

Controlling what starts automatically on your computer is important. Historically; though, the only good method for removing them was by using the registry editor (not for the fainthearted) or MSConfig, which is only suitable for temporary troubleshooting.

Recently, I came across two excellent pieces of software that make the task much simpler.StartupCPL Screenshot

The first, StartupCPL, adds a new icon to your control panel which will display all of the items being started and allow you to uncheck those you don't need, or want. It was written by Mike Lin and it is Freeware. You can visit his website or download an installable version by clicking here.

Once it has downloaded, either Open it or go to the folder you downloaded it to install it. Then, go to your control panel (Start -> Settings -> Control Panel in Windows 95,98, or ME; Start -> Control Panel in 2K or XP) and double click on the Startup icon. You should leave Scanreg, Systray, and Load Power Profile, along with your antivirus and any printer handlers alone; but, almost anything else is fair game and you can always put it back if you discover that it is needed.

An extensive listing of startup items, their purpose, and whether they are necessary is available at SysInfo.Org. Use it while you are choosing what to stop.

Once you are finished, reboot, and I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the difference.

The second, also by Mike Lin and freeware, is Startup Monitor. It becomes a running task that notifies you whenever anything tries to add a new item to startup and lets you choose whether you want to allow it to, or not. Again, click here for an installable version.

Both programs are extremely small, use almost no memory or resources, and are must have's for anyone using a computer. StartupCPL can make your system run much faster and StartupMonitor will help you to keep it running that way.


As always, should you have any questions or problems, please feel free to contact me by Email or by phone.

Sincerely,

Davis M McCarn
Computer-Help.Net
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