There's a nifty new tab in the 'Task Manager' called 'Startup' where I can manage the program that run at startup.

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BUT... It doesn't show all of the application that run at startup:

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Some of the hidden culprits are:

  • Steam
  • Skype
  • Google Drive
  • Dropbox
  • Cisco VPN
  • Java Update

"What about the registry?" Here's what's found in there:

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Which doesn't contain all of the running programs.

How do I manage these startup applications from within Windows 8?

  • Keywords "from within Windows 8" meaning using Windows itself and not the application's settings, right? – Louis Waweru Oct 22 '12 at 4:47
  • @Louis that's correct... I don't want to have to go into each application and manually make the changes... plus some (cough cough SKYPE) don't even obey my command to not run at startup. – James Mertz Oct 22 '12 at 4:50
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    @JourneymanGeek They are probably in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run, but I don't know of a Windows tool, besides Regedit, that let's you change those. – Louis Waweru Oct 22 '12 at 4:55
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    @Louis I'd be really sad if I have to resort to using regedit – James Mertz Oct 22 '12 at 4:58
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    Just to note that msconfig does not work here. – Journeyman Geek Oct 22 '12 at 6:16

(This tool is not built in Window 8 but...) You can use Autoruns from Windows Sysinternals to figure out what applications are starting up on startup. You can also disable them too.

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    +1. Probably no other app knows all the possible startup locations like this one does (no surprises, since it's from MS). – Karan Oct 22 '12 at 20:12

Absolutely nothing better than CCleaner for this, now with added Win8 supprt. Look under Tools -> Startup:

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To remove an entry simply right click on it and select "Delete":

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And then select Ok:

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Note: You might need to run CCleaner as admin to remove these entries.

  • Unfortunately, in my specific case, using CCleaner doesn't work (no matter if I use as admin or not). But this may be due to a hard drive failing as well as my system is acting up now. Will test on a more stable system and see if this does work there. – James Mertz Oct 22 '12 at 15:20
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    CCleaner is awful. Just saying... – rtf Oct 22 '12 at 15:43
  • Go on then, elaborate. – tchakravarty Oct 22 '12 at 17:16

There is always Registry Editor (regedit.exe).

Apps that launch on startup are located in:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run and

You would stop an item from launching by deleting its key.

enter image description here

It's up to you if you want to save them or not (i.e., just by jotting down the strings, and the key type), in case you want to readd them later.

There's also this key location as well: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\MSConfig Which yields the following:

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Deleting the entire folder should stop if from running at startup.

Of course this is not an elegant way to manage things. I would only use it if the application didn't respect its own settings.

  • I would like a more elegant solution, and this also doesn't cover all of the application either. – James Mertz Oct 22 '12 at 5:09
  • @KronoS I would too, hope there's a better answer. – Louis Waweru Oct 22 '12 at 5:31
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    I updated your answer to reflect where I found the keys. Hope you don't mind. – James Mertz Oct 22 '12 at 15:23

I'm sure that msconfig.exe still works in Windows-8 too. You can manage your startup items there. You can also can use free version of CCleaner and a very good application named soluto which can measure the booting time and let you know which program you can disable to decrease the boot time.

How to geek has an article about soluto which covers on how to use it.

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    msconfig just throws you back to task manager. – Journeyman Geek Oct 22 '12 at 6:16
  • @JourneymanGeek I didn't know about that. Thanks for mention. – avirk Oct 22 '12 at 6:19

I would highly recommend against editing the registry directly.

There is a nice tool by sysinternals called autoruns:


screenshot of autoruns

It finds all possible places for an application to startup (including services) and presents in an easy way to turn them off (and back on again if you notice system issues)

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