This requires you to have a certain amount of Windows skill, esp Regedit knowledge for the part that calls for it.
*Note that by using Regedit – though it has been built into every Windows since Windows 95 – is not encouraged by Microsoft, which has disclaimed all responsibility if you messed up your Windows with it. If using this rendered your computer into a giant door stopper, be prepared to swear to your manufacturer’s and Microsoft’s tech support that you have never heard of or know anything about it. Don’t bug us either as we had already warned you. 🙂
Also, before you do this, check that the particular program which startup you want disabled has no options to disable auto startup anywhere within its program’s Options or Preferences, or in the system tray when you right click on its icon.
I am sure you are aware that Windows programs NORMALLY start up automatically by having:
a) their program shortcuts in Start > Programs > Startup folder OR
b) a String Value in the Registry, especially under the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run” keys
Program which has its startup shortcut in the Startup folder:
1. Create a “Startup_Disabled” folder.
2. Go to Start > All Programs, right click “Explore All Users”.
3. On the right pane, right click and select “New Folder”. Name it “Startup_Disabled” or anything you want.
4. To prevent programs from starting up: From the Start Menu, just navigate to
Start > All Programs > Startup, left click and hold the link of the program-to-be-disabled, and drag the it over to the Startup_Disabled folder and then release the mouse button.
Program which has its startup string value in the Run registry keys:
1. In the registry, Create a Run_Disabled key for where you can find its startup string:
Depending on your Windows version, the keys below will be different; but generally the idea is to create a “_Disabled key” for each string you want to disable. No need to create the “_Disabled” keys for all the Run folders, just create on-demand for the key where the string you want to disable resides in, whether in:
2. Put all the links you want to disable inside this key.
Windows will only check the Run key for auto startup programs and will be unaware of the existence of the Run_Disabled key.
Why I don’t use msconfig to do this, you asked?
Cause it requires a restart and your computer will be eternally on “Selective Startup” after this, which slows down the system.
Also, it is designed to be a troubleshooting tool, not for permanent use. There are programs out there that make doing this easier but this is my quick fix method without installing any program to do this. 🙂
Personally, I have Gladinet and Bluetooth as permanent residents here in my _Disabled folder as I rarely use them but for the one or two times when I really need to use them, I just re-enable them here. And when you get used to doing things this way, you’ll find that you can also copy a registry autostart string, make it into a shortcut in Startup_Disabled folder, and then move or even delete the original registry key. To enable it, just move it the to Startup folder. It’s easier to check Startup_Disabled folder than to go through all the registry keys. 🙂