How To Manage Startup Programs In Windows

All of us are well aware of program management in our PCs. We install several programs, use them, and uninstall them when we don’t need them anymore. However, there are some programs that need a special approach if we seek to manage them. We’re talking about Startup Programs. These programs are launched automatically every time a system is booted up and restarted. This post will share how you can manage Startup Programs in Windows. It applies to Windows 11 and Windows 10.

What Are Startup Programs, And What Do They Do?

Windows users often have come across some of the common startup programs when they boot up their systems. Startup programs primarily exist to save time in most cases.

If you use a particular program quite frequently, you can set it as a Startup program. In this way, whenever you restart your Windows, you’ll find the program already running in your system, saving you the time of manually looking for it and launching it. Screenshot applications are one such example.

However, these Startup programs may hog up a portion of your system’s RAM and CPU resources. And having numerous Startup programs may also affect the system’s performance. Hence, we need to be aware of managing these Startup programs by enabling, disabling, adding, and removing them.

Manage Startup Programs Windows

How To Manage Startup Programs In Windows

There is more than one way of managing Startup programs in a Windows system. These ways are quite different, but they work just fine. You can choose any of the following listed ways to manage your Startup programs:

  • Settings
  • Task Manager
  • File Explorer
  • Registry Editor

You will need admin permission for some of these, and ensure to take a backup when using the Registry Method.

  1. Managing Startup Programs Via Settings

Windows Settings are the most used and straightforward way of managing Startup programs. Follow the steps given below to enable or disable a Startup program on your PC:

  • Navigate to Start  Menu > Settings, or you can press Windows + I on your keyboard.
  • Navigate to Apps > Startup
    Disable High Impact Startup Programs using Settings
  • Here you’ll see all programs set to launch whenever your system is booted up automatically. You can enable or disable them by using the toggle switch next to their names.
  • You can also see the amount of impact these Startup programs lay on your system. You can try disabling some Startup programs that you don’t frequently use to take some load off your system.

2. Managing Startup programs via Task Manager

You can also use the Windows Task Manager to disable or enable the Windows 11/10 Startup programs of your system. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  • Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to launch the Windows Task Manager. You can also launch it by pressing Windows + X and selecting Task Manager from the menu.
  • In Task Manager, navigate to the Startup tab, and there you’ll see the programs assigned as Startup programs.
  • Click on the desired program, and click on the Disable button on the bottom right to disable the automatic launch of that program. Task Manager method to disable or enable Startup Programs

Let’s now take a look at the steps you can follow to re-enable a Startup program via Task Manager:

  • You can access Task Manager from the Start menu or pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys together.
  • Once the Task Manager is open, look for the Startup tab and open it. You’ll now see a list of programs.
  • Find the program that you wish to re-enable and select it.
  • Click on Enable at the bottom of the screen, and you’re done.

Task Manager and Settings are the most widely used ways for managing Startup programs. However, there are two more ways of doing so.

4. Managing Startup Programs via Windows File Explorer

You can also manage the Startup programs of your system using Windows File Explorer. However, using the methods listed above would be more effective and efficient. Regardless, here are the steps you need to follow to delete the Startup programs from your system via Windows File Explorer:

  • Press Windows + E to launch the Windows File Explorer. You can also open it simply from the Start Menu.
  • Now we need to navigate to the Startup folder of our Windows PC, where all the shortcuts of programs present in the list of Startup programs are stored. To do that, go to the following location:
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

Disable Startup Programs From Windows Explorer

  • Now you should be able to see several shortcuts. Delete the shortcuts of the programs you wish to delete from the Startup list, and you’re good to go.

If you are technically sound, then you can use the Registry method as well. Make sure to take a registry backup in case something goes wrong. When you have a backup, you can restore your PC with a bit of effort.

4. Managing Startup Programs via Registry Editor

Regedit or the Registry Database is where all of your Windows system’s data and settings are stored. Using  Regedit may look like a complex task, but there won’t be anything to worry about if you follow the proper guidelines.

Follow the steps listed below carefully to delete/disable Startup programs:

  • Click on the Start menu. Type Regedit and launch the Registry Editor.
  • Now we have to navigate to the location where values of Startup programs are stored and delete them. For that, go to the following locations until you find the desired Startup program you wish to delete/disable:

Turn Of Startup Programs From Registry Editor

  • When you find the desired Startup program using one of the locations mentioned above, right-click on it, click on Delete, and confirm the action by clicking on Yes on the pop-up.

Note: The locations mentioned above are for the current user only. If you wish to delete the Startup programs for all users, try navigating to the following locations instead:


You can re-add any program to the list of Startup Programs using the methods we discussed earlier in this article.

Should I Disable All Programs From Running On Startup?

Ideally, you should not. While removing all startup programs might not be a big issue for your computer, removing some startup programs can hamper your computer’s processes and regular working. It is better not to disable system apps from running at startup.

Is Disabling All Apps From Running On Startup Harmful For My Computer?

No, disabling all the programs from running on startup will improve your boot time. Running some apps on startup might be helpful for you, so make sure you know the function of each app.

In this article, we learned about how to manage the Startup programs of our system. Startup programs can be pretty helpful and annoying at the same time. However, we get the option of disabling them using a variety of ways. This easy guide can be used for both Windows 11 and Windows 10 PC.


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