Most Windows PCs autoload a ridiculous number of programs every time you boot. Which autoloaders should you not disable? The easy answer is those that really do need to run all of the time to do their jobs. I can’t tell you exactly what they are, because I don’t know your work habits or your hardware. But I can give you a pretty good idea.
This is the one absolute must. When your PC is on, it needs protection.
If you have a laptop, it probably came with an autoloader that displays your battery’s charge in the lower-right corner of the screen. That’s useful.
Cloud storage and syncing:
Do you use Dropbox, OneDrive, GoogleDrive, iDrive, or a similar service? If you do, it won’t work without its autoloader.
Communication tools with which you may receive calls:
If you call people on Skype, but no one ever calls you, you can simply load Skype when you need it. But if you expect other people to call you, Skype needs to autoload. The same goes for other VoIP, IRC, and similar real-time communication systems.
This is the toughest one. Your audio subsystem, for instance, may require an autoloading program to supplement its driver. Or, even if it can work without the autoloader, it might work better with one. This may require some experiments.
Other programs that need to work in the background:
Some programs that you don’t need but might want, may require autoloading. For me, that would be Steve Miller’s PureText, which allows me to convert formatted text into plain text as I paste it.
How to stop autoloading programs in Windows 7 and Windows 8?
There’s no direct correlation between the programs that load when you boot and the processes slowing down your PC six hours later. Many autoloaders do their thing and then close down properly.
Nevertheless, most Windows PCs load way too many programs at boot time. These definitely slow the boot process. Some remain running and can slow Windows. So let’s see how we can trim your autoloaders.
Windows 7 and earlier versions:
- Click Start, type msconfig, and press Enter. This brings up the System Configuration page.
- Click the Startup tab for a table listing your autoloaders. Now you can uncheck those you don’t want.
But first, you have to figure out what each autoloader does. Usually the program’s name makes it obvious. But sometimes the names aren’t clear.
If the name isn’t helpful, you can usually get an idea by examining the Manufacturer and Command columns in the table. These will tell you who published the software, and where the file is on your drive. If all else fails, use your favorite search engine to find more about the name.
Remember that you can always experiment. Uncheck something and see if that makes things better or worse. The last column, Date Disabled, provides a record of what you’ve just unchecked.
In the old-fashioned Desktop environment, right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager. Then, click the Startup tab.
This table doesn’t give as much information as the old Msconfig one, but it’s easier to read.
One particularly useful column is the last one: Startup impact. It tells you -in admittedly vague terms -how much that program slows boot time. This can help you decide what to remove.
To disable an autoloader , right-click it and select Disable.