Windows

Poll: Which of the following reasons most often leads you to prevent programs from running when Windows starts?

Have you prevented programs from running when Windows starts? In your experience, which reason is most-often behind your efforts? Take our Windows Vista startup programs poll and let us know.

In the video, "Stop programs from running when Windows Vista starts," I discuss several methods to find and disable programs and services that run when Windows Vista starts. Although preventing programs and services from running when Windows starts is a common performance-enhancing technique, many other reasons exist.

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

18 comments
greg.dargiewicz
greg.dargiewicz

My reasons went beyond "improving system performance." My system had bogged down to the point where opening a folder window took minutes. Disabled many unnecessary services and now it performs normally.

rrusson
rrusson

Quicktime is a perfect example of an annoying program that thinks it needs to be running constantly. The only way to prevent it from re-corrupting your registry, thus forcing a load at start-up every boot, is to never run Quicktime while logged in as Admin.

Mr. Tinker
Mr. Tinker

Not just MS programs, but many others as well! I DON'T have my ZUNE, and/or iPod attached to my system 24/7 so why is the garbage always running? I'm not viewing PDF's 24/7, what is the reader_sl doing for me? MS-ActiveSync: I don't "sync"-EVER, and the phone gets plugged in maybe once a week-what is the memory-hog doing for me? Security wise NO instant messenger should be allowed to startup/run when a system is booted-EVER! Why should camera software always be running-I'm no photomat or Walgreens who does nothing but pictures. MS's Windows Media Player Network service is another: "should not be running by default" program. And I'm DAMN-SURE there are those of 'us' that can add to the list of: "WTF-IS-THAT running on my system for??" Been saying this for years now: "I'm the Human, and I CONTROL THE MACHINE-NOT the other way around!"

replytoaghar
replytoaghar

Both: Preventing an annoying program from always running and, the endless efforts to improve system performance "Which may sometimes not apply on Vista". Vista such a disapointment

melekali
melekali

Vista is too needy and gives very little in return unless you have enough system specs to run this boated monster. Eliminating unneeded processes and startups is a great way to get better system performance until we can get 7.

pjboyles
pjboyles

Turning off everything that wants to emulate Microsoft Office and preload their application at boot, INCLUDING Microsoft Office, is a great way to make a system run much better. Also, removing all the applets that want to load in SYSTRAY just so you can open the application from there is another great cleanup.

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

I hate when someone I know brings me a laptop that "got slow all of a sudden" and I see that the sys tray is so big when expanded that it takes up the whole task bar. I'm a security freak at work and at home. No one gets admin rights, even if she's sleeping with me. :) If I didn't install it then you either don't need it or you need my advice before it is installed. Otherwise people go on and install everything and end up with systray/toolbar he11. http://www.loosewireblog.com/systray.jpg http://itstudent.org/blog/stuff2/ie-toolbar-hell.jpg

father.nature
father.nature

Both improving system performance and stopping annoying programs from running.

SilverBullet
SilverBullet

I have always explained to timid users that your computer is like your car. One drives the car to destinations they choose, the car does not drive them places. Use your computer with the same mentality, don't let it (the computer) drive you.

eclypse
eclypse

This may fall under system performance, but I extremely dislike having junk running that I don't need - just because Bill says it should. If it isn't needed, whether-or-not I have extra resources for it, I just don't like it running.

rpb_
rpb_

I mostly do this to stop annoying programs from running on startup. More programs these days seem to insist on running all the time, with their own "Quickstart" programs or launchers. Why on earth do programs like Quicktime, Realplayer even Winzip, need to be running ALL of the time. It drives me up the wall. Get a new computer and it boots in a flash. After setting it up with all the software you need/want, startup drags, and this is mostly due to these annoying utilities. I try to get rid of as many as I can. If I want a program, I'll start it myself. So: (a) mainly because they are each annoying, but (b) secondly because, all together, they degrade system performance.

dav532000
dav532000

I Agree with rpb and there reply, I use Winpatrol to either remove or dissable theese aps that run at startup, ie Quicktime, Adobe, messenger, your pc suite if you download to your phone abd even my Webcam, not needed at startup. Dav.

Osiyo53
Osiyo53

The assumption by so many application authors that you want to autorun their stuff on every startup just drives me crazy. For one, I just don't need to see what amounts to an advertising reminder of their names and products constantly staring me in the face. It's just one more thing in the way when I'm doing task switching between the apps I really am needing to use at the current moment. And it just plain annoys me that someone THINKS he or she knows what apps I'm gonna use or need most often ... before I do. And, of course, there is the decreased performance issue, increased boot up time, etc. I also hate it that it seems everyone and their brother these days wants to create apps that will do automatic update checks and try to get yah to do a download and re-install to update their app every darn time they make some minor, it doesn't really matter, fix or improvement. It's gotten to the point that I routinely stop any automatic "check for updates" action of an application except for carefully considered exceptions. For instance, I have my AV and anti-malware apps check for new definition files. And I have my Windows OS check for available updates. Tho, I do NOT allow it to actually do an automatic update. I just have it alert me that such is available. Often enough, I am busy actually trying to accomplish work and do not wish to be interrupted, or have my machine slow down at any particular moment. So just alert me, I'll okay the update at such time as I'm not busy. ALL other apps, I turn off auto update, and if I can not ... I'll probably uninstall the app completely. My view is that it is MY computer system. Let me configure it and set it up the way -I- prefer, to suit my needs and wants. App developers .... STOP trying to second guess me and predict what I actually want to do, in what order, how I want to do it, how often, etc. You're really bad at this and just make a nuisance of yourself. Generally I trim things up to get my machines decently lean and mean. Rarely bother to use the start menu to access and launch an app (gets too crowded, needing too much hunting around to find what yah want). Don't bother to autostart anything I don't actually need every time I boot up. There are quick launch apps out there. But I don't really use them. Just one more item to download and install. I really don't want endless items installed on my machines. Generally speaking, I keep the total app count down to stuff I actually need and/or use with some regularity. Then create desktop folders that contain shortcuts to launch apps or open docs. With each folder being task specific. i.e. If doing graphics work, I click on the icon for the folder that says "Graphics". Have it open to a predetermined size to it doesn't eat up all my screen space. Inside the folder are icons representing shortcuts to specific apps, docs, etc I'm most likely to want to use when I do graphics work. And I open one or more of these things as needed as I settle down to do whatever work it is I plan to do at that time. I do much the same if settling down to do some programming in a specific language. Etc. FWIW, during such times I also normally have any auto-notifications of such things as new email waiting, new IM received, etc turned off. I'm BUSY ... I'm working. Don't want to be interrupted or ANNOYED by stuff popping up and getting in the way. Anyone who personally knows me, knows this and understands. And if it is something REALLY important, will either come visit my desk personally, or will call my cell phone and leave a message if I don't answer. Chuckle, yeah I'm one of those old neanderthals who does not multi-task well. Maybe. But the benefits of the multi-tasking thing I'm finding to be more hype than reality. For instance, one of my co-workers. He's younger than I am. More knowledgeable about many things than I am. Almost certainly brighter and smarter than I am. And he's a regular Energizer Bunny. He just keeps going and going and going. Working on something, switching and working on something else, then switching back. Answering phone calls constantly. Emailing and perhaps IMing simultaneously with all the rest. And so forth. A real multi-tasking master. And he makes more mistakes and overlooks more critical/important items in his work, than anyone else I know. When I get final results out of him, I KNOW I'm gonna have to look it all over carefully to find out what mistakes he has made and what things he has overlooked. There are ALWAYS numerous mistakes, usually small but there nonetheless, and things that he has missed or overlooked. And yeah, when I point such out he can fix em quick, he's one typing fool. But the point is that his multi-tasking habits are not, in reality, very efficient or much of a time saver. If yah consider the extra time and effort expended to review and fix his stuff. I do not find this unusual in the least. Pretty common, actually. Especially amongst the multi-taskers.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

Short of adding more RAM, there are a few things you can do to help a sluggish Windows Vista system run faster. In this video, I show you several ways to find and evaluate startup programs that you might want to shut down in order to get better performance from Vista. Original blog post: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/itdojo/?p=394

sj.browne
sj.browne

I discovered my intermittent start up problems were due to a USB device which probably was drawing too much current. Turned out that if I remove my Microsoft xbox 360 controller before start up, Windows XP no longer hangs. The product works as normal if plugged in after start up. On the way to discovering the cause of my woes, I found WinPatrol [free edition] which makes configuring start up very easy - defer some programs to later, schedule items to start in order etc. Recommended.

rbees
rbees

Sometimes it is preformance sometimes annoying apps sometimes malware There is one reason not mentioned that is perhaps the most improtant. That is security. Having fewer that run on startup means fewer security holes that a less than honorable person can use to hack the system. That is my most important reason.

sphillips
sphillips

I find some application installs require the a/v to be disabled and if you use enterprise level products such as Symantec Anti-Virus then it cannot be disabled from the system tray. The a/v has to be disabled at startup then install app then re-enable a/v. This is a real pain - especially if you forget to re-enable it afterwards - eeek!

itpro_z
itpro_z

I learned back in the DOS days to boot the system lean and clean, and it has served me very well through all iterations of Windows. I used to get XP machines that would run like a dog out of the box until I cleaned out the crapware and eliminated all of the useless startup apps. All of those keyboard/mouse/video control apps, search apps, toolbars, popups, and assistants tie up resources and slow even fast machines down. Kill them! Kill them all! (Sorry, I got carried away!) When Vista came along, I followed the same mantra, and had none of the performance issues that others complained so loudly about. From the beginning, my Vista machines ran fast and stable. To this day, the only thing I run on startup is my AV software (no suite, just simple AV). My machines boot very fast, and are usable as soon as the desktop appears. Whenever I get a machine that someone says is slow, I do the same thing, cleaning up the startup and removing unnecessary apps before I even run a scan. More times than not, the problem is fixed.