A startup program is software that opens when Windows opens. Over time, as you install more and more software programs, the number of small icons on the notification area increases (usually these icons are in the lower-right corner, next to the time). Each of these small pictures represents a program running in the background, and each one uses valuable system resources. Move the mouse pointer over each icon to identify what software it is. Common programs that load and run in the background are security software, Windows Update, instant messaging software, and multimedia programs. You can increase system resources by stopping some of these tasks from loading, or by changing their settings. This can be achieved in a variety of ways because these programs open from various different places.
This section describes how to remove unwanted startup programs using System Configuration and the Startup folder.
Using System Configuration to prevent programs from launching in Windows 7
The System Configuration tool can be used to make Windows use Selective Startup. This means that Windows prevents selected programs from loading when the system starts, thus freeing resources that can improve system performance.
Perform the following steps to selectively prevent items from starting when Windows launches.
Disable only those items that are known and unwanted. Disabling system-critical items might cause problems.
, and type msconfig
into the Search box. Click msconfig
If you are prompted for an Administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
Figure : Opening the System Configuration tool
The System Configuration tool displays.
Click the General tab, and then click Selective startup.
Figure : General tab
Select the Startup tab, and uncheck any tasks that do not contribute to the system and are unwanted.
If you are unsure about a task, write the name down and research it on the Internet. Do not remove a checkmark if you do not know what the task is. For a list of files that are recommended not to remove, review the HP support document: Using Microsoft System Configuration in Windows 7
Figure : Startup tab
Click Apply, and then click OK to accept the changes.
When prompted, click Restart.
Figure : Restart the computer
If Windows or other software stops working after a checkmark is removed from a task, restart the computer and reverse these procedures to replace the checkmark. If needed, you can press F8 after the first blue HP startup screen (after the computer has been turned on) to open safe mode. For more information, see Windows 7 Safe Mode
By completing these steps, Windows runs using Selective Startup. If Selective Startup is disabled in the future, all the selected software programs will start again.
Removing icons from the Startup folder in Windows 7
The Startup folder contains icons for programs that will automatically run when the system is started. Each of these programs slows down the startup process and uses system resources. Removing unwanted icons from this folder will prevent these programs from loading when the system starts, and will improve system performance.
Use the following steps to prevent unwanted items from loading when starting up your computer:
Right-click anywhere in an open area on the Windows desktop, and select New and Folder. Name the folder Notstartup. This folder will be used later.
, click All Programs
, right-click Startup
, and then click Open
The Startup folder opens.
Figure : Startup folder
Any icons in the list indicate programs that load when Windows opens. Right-click any of these icons and select Properties to reveal more information about the icon.
Right-click any one icon you do not want, and then select Cut.
Double-click the Notstartup folder on the desktop that was created earlier.
Right-click inside the Notstartup folder, and then click Paste. The icon that was cut from the Startup folder is now placed in the Notstartup folder.
Repeat steps 4-6 for other programs that you do not want to run at startup.
Restart the computer.
Any items removed from Startup no longer open when Windows opens. You can open the programs by double-clicking the desired item in the Notstartup folder.