Leadership

Video: Stop programs from running when Windows Vista starts

Short of adding more RAM, there are a few things you can do to help a sluggish Windows Vista system run faster. Bill Detwiler shows you how to find and evaluate startup programs that you might want to shut down in order to get better performance from Vista.

If you've committed to Windows Vista, you know that the recommended minimum of 1 GB of RAM is truly a minimum. Short of adding more RAM, there are a few things you can do to help a sluggish 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.

For those of you who prefer text to video, you can click the Transcript link that appears below the video player window or you can also read Greg Shultz's article, "Increase Vista performance by trimming startup programs," on which this video is based.

For some suggestions on which Vista startup programs and services can safely be disabled, check out the TechRepublic Download, "Tweak Windows Vista Services the right way."

You can also sign up to receive the latest IT Dojo lessons through one or more of the following methods:

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...

33 comments
ps.techrep
ps.techrep

Check out CCleaner. In addition to basic cleanup capability, its tools provide a very simple, direct way of enabling/disabling/removing start-up programs.

n.champaigne
n.champaigne

Typical MS perspective. Stopping programs from running, I'm still trying to get programs to run on Vista and 7.

moriel
moriel

I think there is a much simpler to config that. How about if you type 'msconfig' at the Run (command entry)? This is instead of going through some panels...

jvezina
jvezina

I also use msconfig. I tried that command line and I can't get it to work. The command as typed in the video gives me an xls invalid format error and it won't run even as administrator.

gsbutnaru
gsbutnaru

For me it was VERY useful - Thanks

tmar
tmar

Not bad. I rather use MSCONFIG at the run line. or cleaner. It was good information.. More than 1 way to skin a cat.

aerocentral01
aerocentral01

Because Vista is expensive and (for my requirements) unnecessary and even counter-productive (RAM requirements and processor requirements are too heavy for my old hardware), I'm still running XP. Is there a similar tip for XP users?

abscomm
abscomm

OK, but why make it so complicated? Click the Start Globe and type msconfig then go to the startup tab. Much easier IMHO. John

Photogenic Memory
Photogenic Memory

Vista has it correct. So why not use that easily to deselect those pesky programs and increase boot-speed. It's not round-about and quickly accomplishes your ultimate goal. I hope this utility hasn't been written out of Windows 7. I hope to jump straight into THAT OS and skip Vista like I did WinME.

blankjebus
blankjebus

oh man, i had the program compatibility assistant coming up after startup because of a game that wasn't supported, it annoyed the crap out of me and now it's gone :D

cannonblast2
cannonblast2

I really appreciate itdojo. Keep up the good work.

MDM2K
MDM2K

Video terminates @ 2:26!

tech.republic
tech.republic

For a more complete list of what launches when Vista starts up, consider using my script "Silent Runners". It runs on any version of Windows. You can download it here: http://www.silentrunners.org/ For best results under Vista, launch the script from an elevated command prompt. BTW, the script works fine under Safe Mode.

aburton
aburton

How about Control Panel > System and Maintenance > Performance Information and Tools > Manage Startup Programs ? Either that, or Start > Run > msconfig ? Both of these are faster.

donnakline
donnakline

This was very helpful -- these features are hard to find for us "amateur administrators."

Spiritusindomit
Spiritusindomit

So, it's better because it shows you how to create a spreadsheet from a tab delimited file? The services he disabled have an insubstantial impact on system performance, and he doesn't even cover service startup state, which is important in creating a system that can repond to changes like these without throwing errors. None of this was groundbreaking, and in fact, most of it was taken near point verbatim from other articles I've read. The biggest detriment to vista startup speed is truly not services. Services are boneheaded to manage, and everyone knows by now how to edit them to make it fast once you're inside windows. The things that DO impact performance of start up time, such as auto network optimization, have to be disabled in command line. An article that would really be helpful, is one that simply teaches people how to use a command line and understand what they're doing. A good feature for this could include leveraging the power of ?.

ChicagoNetTech
ChicagoNetTech

One of the best things anyone can do with Vista, or any other machine shipped with Office 2007, is to completely uninstall the Office 2007 product and replace it with Office 2003. Every new machine we've purchased lately has been shipped with a 60 day trial of Office 2007. Not only is the "human interface" on office 2007 cumbersome [in one case a high-level employee demanded it be replaced the first time he fired it up because he couldn't find anything and didn't want to learn another new Microsoft product], but the business apps portion of the product installs a version of SQL server to the local machine. Once the trial version of office 2007 is uninstalled [don't forget to uninstall all of the different bloatware it installs], the machine will run up to 200% faster - even without disabling any of the startup or desktop gadgets. Now, if you proceed to shut down the unwanted startup programs and remove the desktop gadgets, you will have a truly fast Vista based machine. In our case, we also enable all of the legacy menus and desktops for the few Vista machines we have deployed because most of the medical software we run at our locations will not run on Vista and the developers of that software have no plans to upgrade it to run on Vista.

fieryire
fieryire

Thank you for the wonderful tips. it really helps.

rtp
rtp

Great! Enjoyed watching the video. Next step is try it myself. That can be no problem now!

DavidSpraggon
DavidSpraggon

Excellent very informative and worthwhile video

jarah.1111
jarah.1111

this tip was very help ful i also use CCleaner, a free windows cleaner and optimizer program to disable and remove startup programs along with astray registry keys and bulk files no longer needed. thanks again IT DOJO

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

In a recent video, I discuss several methods to find and disable programs and services that run when Windows Vista starts. Original post/video: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/itdojo/?p=394 Although preventing programs and services from running when Windows starts is a common performance-enhancing technique, many other reasons exist. 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: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/itdojo/?p=397

Dzmitry Z
Dzmitry Z

Haha, that's one way of looking at it ;)

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

I suggest you use the System Configuration Utility, which is also available in Windows XP. Click Start | Run and then enter msconfig in the Run dialog box. When the System Configuration Utility opens, click the Startup tab. You'll see a list of every application that runs when Windows starts. If you want to prevent a program from running, uncheck the box next to its name. Click OK when you're finished and reboot Windows. One word of warning, stop some programs, such as a hardware driver, can cause your system to function improperly. I recommend performing an Internet search on the name of any application before you choose to disable it. To re-enable a program, you go back into the System Configuration Utility, recheck the box, and reboot Windows XP.

Master G
Master G

However, there are people out there that are not IT savvy so remembering msconfig makes it harder. The proper way is going step by step and that way they can learn other different options along the way. I would right click on My Computer and get to the System options from there as well. Remember that it's easier for non-techies to follow steps rather than remembering keywords,hotkeys and commands.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

Yes. MSCONFIG is still around in Vista and is definitely an option for preventing programs from running at startup. I was just running out a time in the video.

charleswdavis6670
charleswdavis6670

Why not OpenOffice.org?... It looks like 2003. Isn't it amazing that the medical industry's vendors won't use the best software? It sounds like a CPA friend of mine that wouldn't buy a new computer because his "tax software" wouldn't run on Vista. I took a copy home, installed it on my computer. Together, we exercised all important functions without a glitch. Have you actually tried to install on Vista? In compatibility mode?

father.nature
father.nature

I always install CCleaner. Run Clean, then run the Registry Cleaner, then click Tools/Startup and disable junk as needed. If I need a graphic display of improvement, I'll also have Moo0 System monitor running. Both of these are freeware and require much less clicking around than Window's native tools.

The Daleks
The Daleks

For the benefit of those who haven't used it, before: rather than clicking through all those menus in Control Panel, just press [windows key] + R, type msconfig, then press Enter. To disable programs that run as services, you have to use the Services console. Press [windows key] + R, type services.msc, then press Enter. But be careful. If you aren't sure what something is, leave it alone, or you can really mess things up. But the problem with msconfig is that you can disable some tasks, and they'll re-enable themselves, automatically. These are tasks like Real Player, QuickTime, Java update and Windows Messenger. The developers thought they're the most important applications in the world or that they own your machine. You need third-party tools to disable some of those for good.

JCitizen
JCitizen

I'm forgetting the newbie way. I used to pride myself on looking at the problem from the amature perspective. Guess I'm getting too old and cranky to go back to that level. Thanks for the input Bill D. and Master G.!!!

ChicagoNetTech
ChicagoNetTech

with not wanting to spend money that doesn't have to be spent. We never adopt anything until it's at least several years old. Medical budgets, especially for small facilities, are squeezed to the max. When we purchase something that's not directly related to patient safety, ie: is not used directly in the operating room, pre-op, or post-op; or used in some other area specific to patient safety, it must amortize out at a minimum of five [5] years. Our costs of providing medicine keep going up. Our reimbursements from the insurance companies keep going down. We are in business to at least break even and that's tougher to do every day. In our business, if it ain't broke beyond repair, we don't replace it . . .