How to Remove Startup Programs

Microsoft© Windows© has a feature that allows you to select programs to start automatically whenever your computer powers on and to be available in the background. These Windows startup programs can be valuable for programs you always use. Unfortunately, programs can be installed in the Startup folder when the computer is manufactured, or added without your knowledge, or are no longer needed to start automatically.

How apps in the Startup folder affect your computer

If there are a lot of programs in your Startup folder, they can slow down your computer's initial power on. Having a number of apps running in the background also fills up your computer's memory. This can cause slow downs when switching between programs. Learn more about how memory works.

How to disable programs in Windows 7 and earlier

To remove programs from the Startup folder for Windows 7 and earlier, you might need to show your hidden files first.

1.    Open Windows Explorer and click the drop-down menu next to Organize

2.    Select Folder and search options

3.    Click the View tab

4.    Under Hidden files and folders, select Show hidden files, folders, and drives

How to show and remove hidden files in on your computer.

To remove the programs, follow these steps:

1.    Open Windows Explorer and select your drive, usually C:

2.    Under Users, expand the folders under  your user name

3.    Select AppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsStart MenuProgramsStartup

4.    The programs that are set to start automatically will be listed. If there are apps that you don't want to start when you turn on the computer, right-click on the program and click Delete to remove the shortcut (this will not completely delete the program).

If you have removed apps from your Startup folder that you don't want at all, such as adware, go to Control Panel, select Programs, and Uninstall a program. You can then remove any apps you don't want on your computer.

How to uninstall programs from your computer.

How to disable Startup programs in Windows 8 and later

In Windows 8 and later, use the following procedure to remove programs in the Startup folder.

1.   Go to Task Manager by clicking the Windows icon, select the settings icon (gear symbol), then type Task Manager in the search box.

2.    Select the Startup tab. Highlight any progam you don't want to start automatically, then click Disable.

This will only prevent programs from starting automatically. To remove the programs entirely, go to Control Panel, select Programs, and Uninstall a program. You can then permanently delete any apps you no longer want.

You should see a performance improvement if you remove many programs. If you don't, check our guide for other actions to speed up your computer.

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