Hi and sorry for the ambiguous title...

I have a few programs that should run at startup which are 'properly' configured to do so via adding shortcuts to the startup directory:

C:\Users\[me]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

However I have (at least) 4 programs which are also starting up, which I can't find where they are configured or how to disable them.

I have tried to find them in the above folder, as well as in the 'startup' section of 'msconfig'.

The programs include:

  1. Skype (for which I have disabled 'start when windows starts' in its options)
  2. Thunderbird (for which I cannot find any option to run-at-startup)
  3. Task manager (as above)
  4. and some anonymous call to javaw (can't find any more details but it fails anyway)

The other strange thing is that it seems like these (at least skype and thunderbird) are running 'as administrator' ... i have deduced this because I am unable to use the file-drag-and-drop feature in both (which is a known problem when running 'as administrator').

If someone could guide me to where these extra programs are configured to run-at-startup I would be very greatful!

ps. my user account has the administrator role.

EDIT: preferrably without another 3rd party tool...

  • 3
    Have a look at Autoruns from SysInternals.com. That will show you everything that's running on your computer at startup.
    – user3463
    Aug 28, 2012 at 4:10
  • cannot find anything in Autoruns.
    – pstanton
    Aug 28, 2012 at 4:33
  • actually, i disabled an item called 'SCCSpeedBoot' (by samsung) from the scheduled tasks list, and the offenders stopped running.
    – pstanton
    Aug 28, 2012 at 4:55
  • Always glad to help.
    – user3463
    Aug 28, 2012 at 6:50
  • 1
    @pstanton: Autoruns is a 3rd party program from Sysinternals/Microsoft. Don't mistake it with the autorun folder.
    – Robert
    Aug 28, 2012 at 7:40

4 Answers 4


I always check in these places:

  1. StartUp folder (sounds like you've got that sorted)

  2. Start -> msconfig -> Startup tab (which you've done)

  3. Start -> regedit ->


If you look through those you'll have a pretty complete overview of what's happening when your Windows session starts.

Also check the Windows Task Scheduler - particularly if there is a process is starting intermittently. Some vendors configure their tuning/utility/updates as tasks.

If there's a particular process you see starting up but it's not listed in those places, chances are that it's being started by a Windows service which starts when Windows does.

  • 1
    thanks for the post, happened to be a scheduled task .. add this for the tick.
    – pstanton
    Aug 29, 2012 at 13:43
  • Cheers mate. Slipped my mind. I've seen HP's bundled bloatware making use of Tasks before.
    – Beeblebrox
    Aug 29, 2012 at 21:32

Autoruns by Sysinternals. It displays absolutely everthing that's being auto-started in any way, let's you click to disable. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902.aspx

  • I wouldn’t say everything, there are plenty of ways other, niche ways to start a program that aren’t included in Autoruns, but it does show many of the more likely methods.
    – Synetech
    Aug 29, 2012 at 15:51
  • This is a great free util which can make the rouge app identifying process much quicker!
    – Beeblebrox
    Aug 29, 2012 at 21:33

I use CCCleaner but more ofthen i use solutions like foocode says


I use Soluto, a free program: https://www.soluto.com/

It allows me to select what I want to run on startup.

I have no connection, only a satisfied user.

  • Soluto is a dangerous program which causes more problems than it provides any solutions for. Soluto gives unknowledgeable people to much power over their systems and they end up breaking it. Whenever someone comes to me and says the PC stopped working right and I see Soluto, the first thing I do is uninstall it. At least Soluto is good at keeping track of it changes, because on uninstall it undoes all its changes and viola! Everything works right again.
    – Keltari
    Aug 28, 2012 at 4:20
  • ^ looks like another remote support tool ... yuk.
    – pstanton
    Aug 28, 2012 at 4:34
  • 1
    eh, soluto is simple, and I do find that as a diagnostic tool, it gives a useful start in finding out what is slowing down a boot. I don't find its any better or worse than anything else for that.
    – Journeyman Geek
    Aug 29, 2012 at 13:48
  • Soluto is the closest thing to BootVis available for Windows Vista+.
    – Synetech
    Aug 29, 2012 at 15:51

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