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Preventing Programs from Opening When Windows 7 Starts

This document applies to HP computers with Microsoft Windows 7.
Many software programs can open automatically. Some are not apparent while working in Windows. Some of these programs are necessary and cannot be changed or removed. Some should be opened only as needed. Others might not be needed at all. However, all software programs take up processor time and space in the computer's memory. This document explains how to determine which software programs might not be needed and how to prevent them from starting up.
Stopping unnecessary programs from automatically opening by uninstalling them
Removing unnecessary software programs prevents them from starting automatically and frees space on the hard drive. Do the following to remove unwanted programs:
  1. Click Start , and then click Control Panel.
  2. Under Programs, click Uninstall a program.
  3. Examine closely the items that appear inside the Uninstall or change a program window. The items listed are programs currently installed on the computer.
    Figure : Uninstall or change a program window
    Uninstall or change a program window
  4. Click to highlight any program you want to uninstall or change.
  5. Click Uninstall or Change at the top of the program list.
     note:
    Do not remove items in the list that you are unsure about. The table at the end of this document contains a list of common software programs to help you decide whether or not to remove an item.
  6. Read and respond to any messages that might open while the software is being removed from your computer.
  7. Repeat for all programs you want to uninstall.
  8. After all items have been removed, close all open windows and restart the computer.
Preventing programs from starting when opening Windows 7
The following sections provide different ways that software can be prevented from opening automatically when Windows 7 opens.
Using Windows 7 system tray icons to prevent programs from automatically starting
Each of the small icons on the system tray, next to the time, represents software that runs in the background. Hovering the mouse cursor over any of these icons reveals the software program name or function. You can increase system resources and prevent possible conflicts by reducing the number of these programs that open with Windows.
Figure : HP Advisor system tray icon
HP Advisor system tray icon
Sometimes a software program provides a feature that can be used to prevent the program from opening with Windows. To see if a program has such a feature, do the following:
  1. Double-click or right-click on an icon in the tray to bring up more options.
  2. Look for options or selections in menus that will prevent the software program from starting, such as Open, Options, or Preferences. Look for anything related to starting up. If you find a setting that enables the program to start automatically when Windows starts, disable it. If the feature is not available, try removing the icons from the Startup folder.
Removing Windows 7 program icons from the startup folder to stop automatic starting
Some programs open with a shortcut icon in the startup folder (startup icons). Use the following steps to show any startup icons that are hidden and remove startup icons from the startup folder:
 note:
Removing items from the Startup folder does not uninstall the software application.
  1. 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.
  2. Click Start
    , then click All Programs. Right-click Startup, and then click Open.
    The Startup folder opens.
    Figure : Startup folder
    Startup folder
  3. Any icons present indicate programs that load when Windows opens. Right-click any of these icons and select Properties to reveal more information about the program.
  4. Right-click any icon you do not want, and then click Cut.
  5. Double-click the Notstartup folder on the desktop that was created earlier.
  6. Right-click inside the Notstartup, and then click Paste. The icons that were cut from the Startup folder are now placed in the Notstartup folder.
  7. Restart the computer.
    Any items removed from Startup will no longer open when Windows opens. You can open the programs by double-clicking the desired item in the Notstartup folder.
Using Windows 7 System Configuration to prevent automatically starting programs
Perform the following steps to selectively prevent items from starting when Windows launches.
 caution:
Disable only those items that are known and unwanted. Disabling system critical items might cause problems.
  1. Click Start , 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 : System Configuration tool in Search results
    System Configuration tool in Search results
    The System Configuration tool displays.
  2. Click the General tab and make sure Selective startup is selected.
    Figure : General tab
    General tab
  3. Select the Startup tab and remove the checks from any tasks that do not contribute to the system and are unwanted.
    If 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
    Startup tab
  4. Click Apply, and then click OK to accept the changes. Restart the computer.
  5. When prompted, click Restart.
    Figure : Restart the computer
    Restart the computer
  6. 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. This means that Windows prevents the selected programs from starting. If Selective startup is disabled in the future, all the selected software programs will open again.
Disabling Windows 7 HP TouchSmart software from automatic starting
Items that begin with HPTS or HP TouchSmart are related to the HP TouchSmart software. Consult the table at the end of this document. If you do not use the HP TouchSmart software, you can prevent it from opening with Windows by using Personalize or Settings in the TouchSmart software.
Checking the necessity of Windows 7 automatically-starting software
The software programs in the following table are some of the most common software programs that open with Windows on HP and Compaq desktop computers. It does not list every possible software program that can be loaded onto the computer. If a software program is not on this list, write the name down and research it on the Internet.
 caution:
A name in the following list might also be the name of virus or Trojan. Many viruses and Trojans copy a system file name so that unsuspecting people delete a system file that prevents Windows from opening. Use virus scanning and removal software to find and remove viruses and Trojans. Do not rely on this list to determine if a file is a virus or Trojan.
Information on automatically starting programs
For more information about software programs that start automatically and what they do, see the following:
Uniblue's Process Library Web site - ProcessLibrary.com (in English)
 note:
One or more of the links above will take you outside the Hewlett-Packard Web site. HP does not control and is not responsible for information outside the HP Web site.

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