24 May 2007

Speeding up your Windows Startup

Disclaimer: Follow the trick at your own risk. I am not to be blamed in any way for any disastrously outcome to your system.

Many of us are impatient individuals. This unique behavior is often exposed when one starts and wait for the Windows powered Operating System to load up. Most often than not, you become frustrated with the start-up process and sometimes would like to smash the system. You feel the way you felt more so when you have to do some important work on your tormenting tortoised computer.

There can be several factors why your computer takes a long time to boot or startup or slow. It can be because of many softwares running the background prcoess, huge resources consuming softwares, lofs of programs in the startup, spywares, adwares, trojans, viruses, lack of maintenance, etc. Oli has written a good insight into What Really Slows Windows Down. It is worth a read.

There are different methods to enhance the speed of your system, one of which is what this writing will be about – playing around with the start-up of your Windows operating system. However, this is not comprehensive or advanced as I left out many other methods of a work around to fasten your Windows startup.

We will not be using any third party software but will be contented with the system tools provided by Microsoft in its operating system – MSCONFIG. If you are in need of a more advanced utilities than MSCONFIG, refer to the end of the page.

Please note: You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group to be able to do this procedure. I am using Windows XP SP2 for this trick.


System Configuration Utility (Msconfig.exe) automates the routine troubleshooting steps when diagnosing Windows configuration issues. You can use this tool to modify the system configuration through a process of elimination with check boxes, reducing the risk of typing errors. You can always check and uncheck the startup items.

1. Click Start

2. Click Run

3. Type ‘msconfig’ (without the ‘’)

4. The System Configuration Utility (Msconfig.exe) will popup (refer to the above MSCONFIG picture).

5. Click on the Startup tab. You will get something like the image below (Click on the image to enlarge). The checked items are the program installed in your system and that are loaded when you start your computer for easy accessibility to them. You can locate most of them (represented by their program icons) on the right side of your Windows Taskbar. Some programs run in the background process and you will not be able to locate them in the Taskbar.

6. Click on the Disable all.

7. Checked (Enable) the programs that you want to load when the Operating System starts (For example, anti-virus or anti-spyware programs).

8. Click Apply.

9. Click OK. And when prompted to Restart your system, click Restart to restart your system.

Next on line - how to clean up those deactivated Startup items you see in the MSCONFIG Startup tab. That would involve using the REGEDIT (Registry Editor) in Windows.


1. AutoRuns for Windows v8.61:
This utility, which has the most comprehensive knowledge of auto-starting locations of any startup monitor, shows you what programs are configured to run during system bootup or login, and shows you the entries in the order Windows processes them. These programs include ones in your startup folder, Run, RunOnce, and other Registry keys.

Download | More Info

2. StartupList:
A simple tool that lists all and every auto starting program on your system. You might be surprised what it finds, this is way better than Msconfig. Commonly used to troubleshoot malfunctioning systems, trojan/viral infections, new spyware/malware breed and the likes.


3. StartUpLite:
StartUpLite is a lightweight program that can disable or remove all known unnecessary startup entries from your computer and thus quicken the startup procedure of your system.

Download | More Info

Other Relevant Links:

1. Process Library has extensive reference guide for anyone who needs comprehensive information on system processes. The explanations are accompanied by exhaustive advice on whether these processes are important for the stable and secure running of your system. It also recommends if you should terminate processes or leave them untouched.