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I'm curious how CCleaner (more apps probably do it too) does it. The specific feature and behavior I'm looking to replicate is that you can disable startup programs without deleting them. The entry remains in the registry, but the app that was disabled does not start. So the disable was successful but the entry is still there. Where and how are these changes made to make this work?

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Most all the programs just remove the registry entry from the registry, I use AutoRuns to see specifically where they run from in the registry, there are many locations programs can run from in the registry.

As a test I used Auto runs to see where a startup software I added runs from (HddLed), I opened registry editor and sure enough it was there, I then unticked the box next to the startup item in Autoruns and then refreshed the registry view, the entry was now gone. I went back to Autoruns and Ticked it again, and the entry returned.

I suppose other software can use other methods to accomplish the same thing, but this is the most common method.

. Before enter image description here

.

After enter image description here

This is where the particular software I added runs from in the registry.

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

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CCleaner does not work this way. When I uncheck startup applications in CCleaner, the entry remains in the Registry, but the application doesn't start when the system starts. THAT's what I'm looking to understand. –  Corey Ogburn Sep 27 '11 at 18:48
    
There are over 30 autorun registry locations in Windows 7, that is why I suggested Autoruns to see if it is running from more than one location. There is also a Run- key that can be used to stop it from running also. The registry is a complex place. –  Moab Sep 27 '11 at 20:18

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