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HP PCs - Preventing Software Programs from Opening When Windows Starts (Windows 8)

This document applies to HP and Compaq desktop and notebook computers with Microsoft Windows 8.
Many software programs can open automatically. Some are not apparent while working in Windows. Some of these software programs are necessary and cannot be changed or removed. Some should be opened only as needed. Others might not be needed at all. One thing all software programs have in common is that they take up processor time and space in memory. This document explains how to determine which software programs might not be needed and how to prevent them from starting up.
If you are not using the latest version of Windows 8, some graphics and information in this document may vary. You can get the latest version from the Microsoft Store.

Uninstalling unnecessary software programs in Windows 8

Removing nonessential, unnecessary software programs prevents them from starting and frees space on the hard drive. Do the following to remove unwanted programs:
  1. At the Start screen, type control panel to open the Search charm, and then select Control Panel in the Search results.
    Figure : Opening Control panel
    Opening control panel
  2. Under Programs, click Uninstall a program.
    Figure : Control Panel
    Control Panel with Programs, Uninstall a program selected
  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.
    Click to highlight any software program you want to uninstall.
    Click Uninstall at the top of the program list. Uninstall, Change, and Repair are options you might see, depending on the selected program.
    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 to remove an item or not.
    Figure : Uninstall
    Uninstall  Change or Repair options
  4. Read and respond to any messages that might open while the software is being removed from your computer.
  5. Repeat for all software programs you want to uninstall.
  6. After all items have been removed, close all open windows, restart the computer and go to the next step.

Using system tray icons to prevent software programs from 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 automatically with Windows.
Figure : System tray icons
System tray icons
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, use the next section and the table at the bottom of this page to prevent the software program from loading.

Removing icons from the Startup folder in Windows 8

Some software programs open automatically when Windows starts up by using a shortcut icon in the startup tab of msconfig. Follow these steps to show any startup icons that are hidden and remove startup icons from the startup folder:
Removing items from the Startup tab does not uninstall the software application.
  1. At the Start screen, type msconfig to open the Search charm, and then select msconfig in the Search results.
    Figure : Opening msconfig
    Opening msconfig
  2. Click the Startup tab.
    Figure : Start up tab
    Selecting the startup tab
  3. Click Open Task Manager.
    Figure : System Configuration
    Selecting Open Task Manager
  4. Task Manager opens.
    Right-click on any software program you do not want to start with Windows and click Disable in the lower right corner.
    Figure : Task Manager Startup tab
    The disable button

Disabling HP TouchSmart Software

Items that begin with HPTS or HP TouchSmart are related to the HP TouchSmart software. Consult the table at the end of this document for a list of automatically-starting software. If you do not use the HP TouchSmart software, you can prevent it from opening and running in the background by performing the following steps:
  1. Open the TouchSmart software.
  2. Click Personalize.
  3. Select any tile you do not use, and then click Delete.

Check software programs that start automatically to determine if they are necessary

The software programs in the following table are some of the most common 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 using an Internet search site.
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.

Related information

For more information about software programs that start automatically and what they do, see Uniblue's Process Library Web site (in English)






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