Windows startup question. Auto-load programs

For the life of me I can’t remember how to select which programs I want to load at startup. Any help?

Also, is it the same in Vista and XP? I need to work with 2 systems.


Start-Run-msconfig – is that what you’re looking for? It’s the same in XP and Vista.

And for starters, take 'em all out. The only ones you might want to load at startup are firewalls, LAN-related drivers and anti-virus programs and I fail to see the need for the latter at startup or anytime.

You can always put 'em back in if need be.

That was it, thanks!

For an exhaustively thorough survey of what runs at startup, try the free SysInternals[sup]1[/sup] Autorun. You’ll be amazed at the crap that starts with Windows.

[sup]1[/sup]Sorry, I still can’t accept that Microsoft bought them.

Could you expand on the function of this program? Does it just display what is running or does it help identify useless crap?

It shows you absolutely everything that is configured to start when Windows starts. Nothing to do with what’s currently running. It includes not only the “usual suspects” like applications that start at boot time, but also “services” (applications that run in the background with no interaction), drivers, and a host of other items.

For example, just installing iTunes sets up a bunch of things to run at boot time that you may not want. Adobe is another notorious one for assuming you want their oh-so-important update services running all the time, consuming resources (albeit a small amount).