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I used to have a great tool called StartupMonitor on Windows XP which informed me about every attempt of programs (or myself) to modify startup entries. Is there a similar tool for Windows 7 which also takes care of startup paths/keys that XP did not provide?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I use Spybot v1.62, I turn off most of the Spybot features but use Tea Timer, Tea Timer will notify you when any critical registry entry is added or changed which includes any startup items, allowing you to accept or deny the change. Been using it for years on XP and it works just fine for W7. Invaluable tool that I cannot live without.

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will stop toolbar installations (among other things) when they try to install silently with other software. enter image description here


I set Spybot Tea timer to Paranoid mode for best protection of the registry, this can be done from the system tray icon when Tea Timer is running.

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Trusty old Spybot, how could I forget you? – Tobias Kienzler Sep 8 '12 at 7:08

WinPatrol will do this for you. The free version is sufficient, I ran it for years and it did just what you are describing, among other things...

It runs in the background and a dialog box pops up with several options whenever something wants to modify the startup entries..

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I am not affiliated with this product in any way, shape, or form.

Another option for analyzing your start up (not so strong in the notifications area but is a powerful tool, nonetheless):


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. You can configure Autoruns to show other locations, including Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects, Winlogon notifications, auto-start services, and much more. Autoruns goes way beyond the MSConfig utility bundled with Windows Me and XP.

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Hm, it does not notify me about my attempt to add a CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\Test entrxy – Tobias Kienzler Sep 7 '12 at 19:06
@TobiasKienzler it only worries about the startup, AFAIK, it notified me all the time... – studiohack Sep 7 '12 at 19:07
@TobiasKienzler played with Process Monitor? Autoruns? – studiohack Sep 7 '12 at 19:12
I shall have a look at them tomorrow, thanks for your pointers – Tobias Kienzler Sep 7 '12 at 19:15
I (re-)chose Spybot's TeaTimer, being entirely freeware – Tobias Kienzler Sep 8 '12 at 8:02

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