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How to Shut Off Startup Programs (Windows)

You might not even realize it, but when you first log onto your PC, dozens of programs and services are starting that you most likely don't need. Some rear their ugly heads in the system tray (that little collection of icons next to the clock in Windows), but others run quietly in the background with you none the wiser.

Now, don't get scared, these instructions will take you to corners of your operating system (OS) you may not have seen before, but follow our instructions below and you should notice slightly quicker performance and potentially much faster boot times.


  • In XP select Run from the Start menu, under Vista you can hit the Windows key and "r" at the same time to bring up the Run dialog.
  • Run msconfig.
  • Select the Services tab.
  • You can safely uncheck the following services: Fast User Switching (if you only have one account on the PC), Indexing Service, Remote Registry, Smart Card, Telephony, Computer Browser (unless you have a home network), Messenger, Net Logon, Telnet, Terminal Services, NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing, Remote Desktop Help Session Manager, Uninterpretable Power Supply.
  • Now navigate to the Startup tab.
  • Uncheck any applications that don't need to be running the minute you startup your computer -- like AIM, iTunes Helper, and QT Task. But leave the antivirus.

Tags: advice, techtip, windows