How To Remove Unwanted Programs From Windows Startup With MSConfig

Windows startup is a favourite area of all manner of malicious programs, from Trojans to viruses and spyware. It allows them to run themselves during bootup time but there is a way to prevent that. It isn’t foolproof by any means but it may just help you prevent annoying or unwanted programs from beginning when you turn your computer on.

Using Microsoft System Configuration (MSConfig)

msconfig img

1. You can access the configuration tool in one of two ways. You can either press the Start button and type msconfig into the search box, as seen above, or you can press the Windows and R buttons to open the Run box, as seen below:

Windows Run

This will open the System Configuration panel that you can see below. Here you need to click on the Startup tab.

This will display everything that may be run during the bootup of your Windows operating system. I say may as that will all depend upon whether there is a tick next to the program or not. If you have never used msconfig before then it is likely that everything shown here will have a tick next to it.


You now need to go through this list, checking every item. Some things displayed here may be essential and you won’t want to disable them from running at startup. For instance, this may include your internet security program, Google updates and printer status monitor, as is my case.

OK and apply

If you spot something that you don’t want to run at startup then untick it. If you see something you’re not sure about then Google it as you will often find an explanation of what it is and what it does.

Once you have unticked anything you don’t want click on Apply and then OK.

A new box will appear giving you the option to apply those changes either right away with an instant reboot or next time you switch your PC on.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


  1. I think the title should be “How To Remove Unwanted Programs…”

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