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I am working on a program for work which includes a startup manager. I have it to where the user can delete startup entries for programs, but it cannot disable startup entries.

With the CCleaner program a user has the ability to enable or disable. Can anyone give insight on how they are able to accomplish that? I have looked around in the registry but I don't see any differences to the keys when the startup is enable or disabled. Is this set in another location?

Edit: I used RegFromApp to monitor the registry while enabling and disabling startup on numerous programs. Turns out it actually creates keys if they don't already exist.

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why reinvent the wheel? msconfig.exe (built) into windows can enable/disable startup programs. Why create a new one? – Keltari Jul 8 '13 at 15:56
As a sys admin I don't give the users rights to msconfig. I have developed a program to where they can do these kinds of task, but without breaking their machines. – Kevin_ Jul 8 '13 at 16:26
up vote 2 down vote accepted

As I am not the developer of CCleaner I can't give you exact details on how they might manage this, but in general entries under:


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\MsConfig

64bit :

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Shared Tools\MsConfig

will house "disabled" startup entries.

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Might want to correct your paths. There's no HKLM\SOFTWARE\Software or HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Software as far as I can see. – Karan Jul 8 '13 at 16:52
The 64 bit path is correct. For 32 bit just remove the 2nd Software – Kevin_ Jul 8 '13 at 17:04
Ahh good catch, that was an error on my part, its been corrected – Jason Bristol Jul 8 '13 at 20:15
@Kevin_: Must confess I'm still not seeing HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Software in regedit (and I've checked on 2 PCs now with Win7 x64). – Karan Jul 8 '13 at 22:29
@Karan Interesting. Are you trying to do the same thing that I am? – Kevin_ Jul 9 '13 at 12:30

I believe in two possibilities:

  • Disabled startup entries are stored in a configuration file (. ini).
  • In the registry editor these values ​​are stored in: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Shared Tools\MsConfig\startupreg.
share|improve this answer
Wonder how come two people posted HKLM\SOFTWARE\Software as a valid path? Is this path actually present on your PC, because I don't see it at all in regedit. – Karan Jul 8 '13 at 16:48
I didn't see it either. I tested on a 32 bit machine and a 64 bit. – Kevin_ Jul 8 '13 at 17:06

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