Startup Control Panel IconIt seems fashionable lately for every simple program to have a component which starts when the system boots up. Often this is not necessary and just costs valuable memory space. There is another kind of "application" which considers themselves important enough to run all the time: malware i.e. spyware, trojans, computer worms, etc. Therefore, it is necessary to check regularly which programs will start when Windows boots up. Startup Contral Panel and StartupMonitor are free tools which configure and monitor the programs that start when your computer boots up.

Latest posts by Michael Pietroforte (see all)

Startup Control PanelWindows offers several options to start a program when the operating system comes up. There are several Registry Keys, the startup folder of the current user and the startup folder of all users. Startup Control Panel shows them all in an easy to use GUI. You can disable programs, and see what happens after a reboot if you're not sure of the program's function. If you realize that you disabled an essential function, you can enable it again. Other choices are: Moving the entry to another place; starting the program or deleting an entry. You can recover deleted entries later.

The setup of Startup Control Panel will copy the tool to the Windows Control Panel. However, the tool doesn't have to be installed. You can copy the program to a USB stick. Usually when a user or friend tells me that her/his computer has slowed down recently, I come with my USB stick, start Startup Control Panel and remove tons of self-starting apps. There is a stand-alone version of Startup Control Panel which seems to have the same functionality.

StartupMonitorOf course, it's better not to allow all setup programs to register self-starting components in the first the place. That's where StartupMonitor comes in. This tool also starts when Windows boots, but this is the case where it really makes sense since it prevents other programs from doing the same. Whenever a setup routine wants to register for one of the automatic start options, StartupMonitor warns you. You can then decide whether to allow it or not. If you don't allow it, the entry will be disabled in the Startup Control Panel. Thus, if you change your mind, you can enable it again later.

I should mention that Startup Control Panel doesn't allow managing services on Windows XP computers. There seems to be one tab for it, if you run the tool under Windows 98. I didn't try this though. Windows XP has its own tool for configuring services. However, I think that it would be nicer, if Startup Control Panel at least showed the services which don't come with Windows, i.e. services installed by applications.

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Mike Lin's Homepage: Startup Control Panel and StartupMonitor


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