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Most of the time when you install an application, the application likes to automatically start when Windows boots. It does this by adding itself to a registry key.

Here are a few of the startup registry keys:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

Usually the program can be found in one of those keys, but sometimes instead it will add itself to the startup folders:

%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup %C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup%

I've tried locking down these locations by adjusting who can edit these, but that makes it really hard to add applications to them that you actually DO want running at Startup. Does anyone have an easier way of blocking applications from adding themselves to Startup in Windows, while at the same time allowing you to add the ones that you like to startup.

Perhaps if we could just block installers from adding to startup that would be best.

asked May 14 '11 at 13:28

bananajoe's gravatar image



I'm curious about this one too. This is a big problem because way too many programs want to automatically start with your computer. Most of these programs don't even need to, they just want market share.

The only fix I can think of is what you already mentioned: setting the permissions level for those keys and folders so that the system cannot modify them. Though, that does leave you kind of stuck because you need to manually edit them later on if you want to add programs to start.

(May 14 '11 at 13:40) grooveDexter grooveDexter's gravatar image

I think you can install apps like Search and Destroy with its addon TeaTimer. Not o my can you use it to turn off stuff in the Startup but it also blocks apps from adding themselves to the registy and start menu. Normally it will prompt you or you can configure it to just block (or allow).


answered May 14 '11 at 19:40

ShockerSH's gravatar image


No known solution for this yet... The best thing would perhaps be to just keep on removing them from the msconfig Startup tab every time you notice something ain't right during startup.Annoying - yes, but it's not THAT much of a troublemaker...


answered May 14 '11 at 13:32

DW96's gravatar image



CCleaner does a good job at removing startup applications as well.

(May 14 '11 at 13:41) grooveDexter grooveDexter's gravatar image
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Asked: May 14 '11 at 13:28

Seen: 3,910 times

Last updated: May 14 '11 at 19:40

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