How to Change Startup Programs in Windows

Make your computer run faster so you can get to work or play

What to Know

  • Win 10 and 8: Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc > select Startup tab and Status column.
  • To disable any application, right-click anywhere in its row > Disable. Exit Task Manager and reboot.
  • Win 7: Launch msconfig.exe > go to Startup tab > uncheck programs you don't want.

This article explains how to change your Windows startup programs if too many startup programs are slowing down your Windows PC. Instructions cover Windows 10, 8, and 7.

Change Startup Programs in Windows 10 and 8

To change the Windows 10 and Windows 8 startup programs, you’ll use Task Manager.

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open Task Manager.

  2. At the top of the application, select the Startup tab.

    The Startup tab
  3. Select the Status column to sort the applications into Disabled and Enabled.

    Disabled means the program doesn’t run when you start your computer; Enabled means it does.

    sort by status
  4. Examine the list to see if there are any enabled applications you don’t need running all the time. If you’re unsure, leave them running.

  5. To disable any application, right-click anywhere in its row and select Disable.


  6. When finished, select the X in the upper right corner to exit Task Manager.

  7. Reboot your computer to allow the changes to take effect.

How to Change Windows 7 Startup Programs

To change the Windows 7 startup programs, you’ll use MSConfig.

  1. Open the Start menu. In the search box, type msconfig.exe.

  2. Select msconfig.exe.

  3. In the System Configuration window, select the Startup tab.

  4. You should see a list of every program that runs when the computer starts. Review the list and determine if there are any applications you don’t need running all the time.

  5. For those you identify, ensure the checkbox next to the program name is unchecked. If in doubt, leave the program enabled.

  6. When finished, select OK.

  7. A dialog box prompting you to restart will appear. Select Restart.

Why Change Your Windows Startup Programs

When your computer boots up, it starts a number of programs before it’s ready to use, like Adobe Reader, Skype, or Google Chrome. Many of them may be useful, but the more programs your computer runs during this process, the longer it takes to start; too many programs running could also slow down your computer’s overall performance, including other programs you’re trying to use.

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