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How to access the Startup file in Windows 7

Posted on 2014-12-19
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Last Modified: 2014-12-21
Hi, I would like to know the following;

1 How do you access the Startup Folder to see what programs are automatically loaded on startup

2 If I see programs that I seldom use, can I exclude them and if so, would it unclutter the operating system in a significant way

3 If I exclude them, would I still be able to open them if I needed them

My purpose is to speed up the rebooting proses and to minimize programs that are not used on regular basis
Thank you
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Question by:camtz
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7 Comments
 
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Gabriel Clifton
ID: 40510192
Two things you can safely use are Microsoft's Sysinternals Autoruns. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902.aspx. Go into filter and hide Microsoft programs and uncheck anything you do not want to run, or you can use msconfig http://netsquirrel.com/msconfig/msconfig_win7.html
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LVL 98

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40510198
For Windows 7, MSConfig is a very good tool for both stopping programs from starting and for selective startups. I recommend MSConfig as I have used it a number of times.
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Expert Comment

by:Kimputer
ID: 40510211
Programs in the Startup folder can be removed (either way described above will do). Since it's just a link (and usually a copy from another item in the All Programs folders), removing them has no influence on functionality (i.e. it's the same as if you start it later).
Since I almost always know what I'm doing, I just remove it from the Start> All Programs > Startup (rightmouseclick) > Open / Open All Users and delete it from there (2 locations, 2 behaviours, one is personal, one is systemwide, needs admin access).
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Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 40510250
camtz --
You have already gotten good answers, but here are my comments.
1)  As you can see, msconfig is perhaps the closest thing to a Startup folder in Windows.  But there are lots of other programs that start automatically at boot.  You have little control over some of them--specifically Windows programs (explorer.exe, winlogon.exe, etc.).  There are very few third party programs (most of the ones you see in msconfig) that you really need to have start at boot. This would be things like your antivirus, router, keyboard/ mouse controls, etc.  You can see what is running by looking at TaskManager  (Control+Shift+Esc) or from Autoruns as already suggested.

2) and 3) Yes, you can certainly disable the start of a program you seldom use.  You can always start it manually when you need it.  You can always re-enable it in msconfig if you find you do need it at boot.  Note you are NOT disabling the program when you disable the start using msconfig.
The time it takes to reach Desktop should be faster the fewer programs you have start at boot.  How significant that time will be depends on how bloated msconfig is now.  And the more programs you have running during a day's operation can slow things down, too.
You can also delay the start of a Service which will further speed up boot.  But Windows is pretty good about choosing what Service should start at boot and what can be delayed or wait to be started until a program calls on that Service.  It is probably best to not fool around with Services until you know exactly what you are doing.

Windows loves to confuse things.  Here is the location of the Start Menu in Win 7.  
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
But this the list of programs you have installed.  They do not "start" at boot.  They are what you see when you click Start|All Programs and what  you can start manually.
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Accepted Solution

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Merete earned 2000 total points
ID: 40510386
My 2 cents, if there is a program associated with the start-up group check the programs settings first look for start with windows in the program where possible.
I find disabling only the start-up group wont work with all as the host program just adds it back in again as per the settings.
Slow boot times could also be an indicator that HDD is ageing.
The registry is getting bloated with old reg keys that were not removed
Ccleaner can aid you here the free version is just fine.
https://www.piriform.com/ccleaner
 I recommend you read the guide to using it as it will offer to delete a lot of stuff..CCleaner
with pictures
http://obrienpc.net/recommended-programs-ccleaner/
User Guide
http://www.piriform.com/docs/ccleaner

Uninstall programs you nolonger need.
You can decrease boot time by checking if your AV has a scan at boot.
Defrag the HDD
rightclick computer properties>advanced>start-up and recovery>settings>time to display operating system reduce the 30 secs to 10 secs
time to display OS
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Author Closing Comment

by:camtz
ID: 40511956
Many thanks
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 40512107
Cheers :)
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