Being a geek (Yes I admit), I like to have full control over my computer. I want to know what is running, when it does and why it behaves like that ? I also like to know what (if any) did that program i just installed want to run at startup. And especially since my kids – without any concern – download and install games, movies and whatnot on my computer (even tho they have their own) – I really like to know what is booting, and what is slowing me down at present.
If you’re a bit like me – then good news – here is the tool for us: AutoRuns.
When you install a new program, many configure themselves to start automatically when you log on. They do this so that they can automatically check for updates, use system tray icons to interact with users, or because they add functionality to Windows components. However, most applications doesn’t ask your permission before inserting themselves in your logon process or your scheduled tasks and they almost never let you disable their autostart functionality. . . .
I have always been using MSCONFIG to check by startup settings, but all that does is actually showing me whats in my autorun. It doesn’t show me which programs have put somethings in my scheduled tasks, which drivers are presently installed, which handlers, components and filters that boot up with Explorer etc. And that is where a utility from Microsoft comes handy: AutoRuns
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AutoRuns is a very powerful utility which 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. You’ll probably be suprised to see how many programs actually run at once – I know I was !
Download it here from Sysinternals!
The utility is rather self explanatory and you’ll very soon get the hang of it:
- Simply choose a category
- Enable or disable the entry of interest.
AutoRuns let you hide Microsoft and Windows Entries, allowing you to focus on third-party entries. It also allows you to access the entry directly where it is stored by double-clicking it. For instance, If you should find an entry that needs to be edited or deleted – then double-click it and AutoRuns open the corresponding editor.
If you’re a few notches higher up on the geek scale than me, you’ll also be happy to read that AutoRuns also comes as a command-line utility. Happy monitoring.