When a PC boots, Windows isn’t the only thing that loads. Lots of small apps (and some not so small) load, too.
All that activity at startup lengthens boot times, often slows overall system performance, and occasionally causes software conflicts.
You can’t get rid of all these autoloaders — some are necessary. But you can, with care, prune the ones you don’t really need. To do so, you need to get a list of what’s loading at boot, figure out what each app does, and then disable those that don’t need to be running all the time (even if you need them occasionally).
The backup nag: Removing the wrong autoloader can produce bad effects on your PC. So take some time now to create a system-image backup — or at least a restore point.
(Recall that you create a restore point in the System Protection tab of the System Properties dialog box. In Win7, simply click Start, type “restore point,” and click Create a restore point. In Windows 8, at the Start screen, type “restore” and then select the Settings section.)
SysConfig: Windows’ advanced boot manager
In Windows 7, System Configuration (SysConfig) is a one-stop toolbox for — among many other things — managing Windows bootup. To run SysConfig, simply type “msconfig” into the Windows search box and press Enter. (It’s in the Apps section in Win8.)
Clicking the Startup tab displays a list of installed autoloaders (see Figure 1). The list gives just enough information to figure out what most of the apps do, and it lets you quickly disable the ones you don’t want (or enable them, if you change your mind).