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Improve Startup Times and Speed

When Windows starts up it automatically loads a number of programs, many of which you may not need. As you install more and more programs, this list can continue to grow. The following guide can help you improve your computer's startup times by decreasing the number of startup programs. This will be done be disabling certain programs from running as windows starts up.

Windows XP Startup Optimization

Here are simple steps to Disable Programs at Startup in XP.

1. Click on Start->Run
2. Type "msconfig" and click OK. (This will bring up System Configuration Utility.)
3. In the System Configuration Utility, Click the tab called Startup.
4. Now you can uncheck any programs that you do not want running at Windows XP startup.
5. Once you are done unchecking programs, Click Okay. You will be prompted to restart your computer at this point.

You can look up programs on google to find out what the program is and if you want to disable it or not. As an example, I disabled aim6(aol instant messenger), steam (games application), and iTunesHelper.

Windows 7 and Windows Vista Startup Optimization

Here are simple steps to Disable Programs at Startup in Windows Vista and 7 with the System Configuration Utility.

1. Open up msconfig (use the Start Menu's Instant Search feature: just press the Windows key and type 'System' and the hit return).
2. Click the Startup tab.
3. Now you can uncheck any programs that you do not want running at Windows 7 or Vista startup and hit OK.

To disable auto-start applications with Windows Defender:

1. Open up Windows Defender.
2. Click on "Tools" in the top menu bar.
3. Click on "Software Explorer".
4. Hit "Show for All Users".
5. Select an application and then click either Remove or Disable.

I prefer the first method since it is a little quicker for me, but either way is fine.

Here are some of the startup programs I have disabled to give an example of what you could possibly do:
  • AOLLaunch - Associated with my AOL instant messenger
  • DVDLauncher - A process belonging to the Cyberlink PowerCinema video viewing software which allows you to play DVDs on insertion
  • EHTray - A process is the tray bar process for the Microsoft Media Center
  • AOLSoftware - A process that is associated with AOL instant messenger
  • ISUSPM - A process that belongs InstallShield from Macrovision. The process automatically checks for the latest updates online.
  • iTunesHelper - A process belonging to iTunes MP3 streaming tool by Apple, which allows you to play MP3's. This process speeds up iTunes when it starts, and the program also monitors for connected iPod devices.
  • Mimboot.exe - A process associated with eMusicmatch Jukebox. The process makes sure that Musicmatch is launched when starting up the system.
  • Msmsgs - Associated with Windows Messenger
  • RealPlay - Associated with Real Player
  • Steam - This is a gaming interface. I just run it if I want to play a game. No need for it to always start up.
  • YMETray - Associated with Yahoo Music
  • GoogleDesktop - I have this ON, but if you don't want google desktop to startup, you can disable this. Google Desktop uses a lot of disk space. You can read about Google Desktop Space Usage here
Highly related to this guide is how to disable unnecessary Windows services. This will help you to turn off any Windows services that are not neccessary and speed up your computer even more.

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TAGS: Windows 7 Tips Windows Vista Tips Windows XP Tips

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