Quick Tip: Finding and using the new Windows 8 Startup tab

The new Startup tab in Windows 8 has enhanced functionality.

As you may remember, in previous versions of Windows you could manage the programs that launch at startup by running the System Configuration tool (aka MSCONFIG) and selecting the Startup tab. However, in Windows 8, the Startup tab has been moved from the System Configuration tool to Task Manager.

In addition to disabling programs, you'll find that the new Startup tab has enhanced functionality. For example, you can now track down the location of a file on your hard disk as well as instantly search the Web for more detailed information about the program. Let's take a closer look.

Startup tab

To begin, navigate to the Windows 8 desktop and right-click on the desktop taskbar and select Task Manager from the context menu. (You can also use the familiar standby: CTRL-ALT-DEL.) (Figure A)

Figure A

Task Manager
When Task Manager appears, select the Startup tab. (Figure B)

Figure B

Startup tab
Right-click on the startup program that you want to investigate and when the context menu appears, you can choose any of the available options: (Figure C)
  • Select Disable to render the program inoperative. (Once a program is disabled, this command will become Enable.)
  • Select Open file location to launch File Explorer targeted on the folder that contains the program's executable file.
  • Select Search online to launch your browser and see the results of a search for the file name in your favorite search engine
  • Select Properties to open a standard Windows Properties dialog box where you can find all kinds of information about the file.

Figure C


By placing the Startup tab in task Manager, along with the new features, Microsoft has made investigating and troubleshooting start programs easier in Windows 8.

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Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.


I think Autoruns from SysInternals (part of Microsoft) is probably better than the task manager or msconfig for dealing with start up issues. Just my opinion. Also, Process Explorer, from the same source, is a fine replacement for taskmgr itself. There are also a lot of other useful tools in the package.


I have noticed lately that techrepublic seems to have removed the ability for users to print articles wuzzup with dat?


I like those new features added to the task manager.. at work, I would usually use 2 different portable tools to enable/disable programs (CCleaner) and to search online about a program running or at startup (Remote Process).. msconfig is good but ccleaner is a must-have at least in our environment.. and I think it's great having those features added to TM and available for the non-so-techie users.. I still miss the start menu (apple, linux and even chrome OS still have it :( ).. Cheers :)


Yet another Rube Goldbergian submission from the programmers at Microsoft. With each successive iteration, it seems as though their sole goals are to remove the very functions that many people have grown accustomed and replace them with arcane methods that basically achieve the same results. And, they never seem capable of finding the right balance between the new and the old. But then, that would take genuine planning, wouldn't it? The most annoying aspect about MS' endless OS "upgrades" is that they NEVER appear to LISTEN to the long-suffering consumer about what THEY want or need. Changing the very popular Startup button is a perfect example of the long-standing hubris of this company. Remember their mindless removal of Windows ability to retain the Folder's View Settings in Vista and Windows 7? Users are still incensed over that one. The MS folks truly needs to listen to the thousands of IT and other computing professionals, as well as the general public before forcing unwanted and often unneeded OS "upgrades" onto an already infuriated public.


Good short-cut, if you do use msconfig and click the start-up tab it sends you to task manager anyway

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