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

enter image description here

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

enter image description here

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:

enter image description here

Which doesn't contain all of the running programs.

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

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  • Keywords "from within Windows 8" meaning using Windows itself and not the application's settings, right? Commented Oct 22, 2012 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. Commented Oct 22, 2012 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. Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 4:55
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    @Louis I'd be really sad if I have to resort to using regedit Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 4:58
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    Just to note that msconfig does not work here.
    – Journeyman Geek
    Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 6:16

5 Answers 5

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(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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  • 2
    +1. Probably no other app knows all the possible startup locations like this one does (no surprises, since it's from MS).
    – Karan
    Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 20:12
2

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

enter image description here

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

enter image description here

And then select Ok:

enter image description here

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

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  • 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. Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 15:20
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    CCleaner is awful. Just saying...
    – rtf
    Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 15:43
  • Go on then, elaborate. Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 17:16
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There is always Registry Editor (regedit.exe).

Apps that launch on startup are located in:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run and
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

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:

enter image description here

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.

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  • I would like a more elegant solution, and this also doesn't cover all of the application either. Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 5:09
  • @KronoS I would too, hope there's a better answer. Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 5:31
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    I updated your answer to reflect where I found the keys. Hope you don't mind. Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 15:23
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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
    Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 6:16
  • @JourneymanGeek I didn't know about that. Thanks for mention.
    – avirk
    Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 6:19
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I would highly recommend against editing the registry directly.

There is a nice tool by sysinternals called autoruns:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902.aspx

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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