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Posted on Apr 16, 2013 in Make Windows Faster, PC Maintenance | 0 comments

Using Microsoft Technet’s free Autoruns utility to manage your start-up programs

Autoruns is a great utility for power users which gives a superb in-depth view of all the programs, drivers and services that start up along with your copy of Windows.

Please exercise caution when following this tutorial!

Autoruns can make critical changes to your system. Please do NOT disable any start-up entries unless you are sure what they do. Before disabling a program, at least find out exactly what it does by using the search facility. cannot take any responsibility for anything that may go wrong as a result of following (or not properly following) this tutorial.

You can download the latest version of the software here. Once the program has downloaded, extract all the files to a handy location on your computer (if you need help with Zip files, check out our guide to working with files in Windows and our guides to 7-Zip ).

Once you start the program, you will see a window like the one shown below:-


Autoruns - Step 1


We’ll take a brief tour of the program here, though we won’t cover advanced usage of the software, since its advanced features are really for the IT pros only. Initially the program shows you all files, drivers, services and explorer extensions that start when your computer starts. Firstly, let’s filter out the Microsoft entries, so we don’t disable them accidentally. From the options menu, choose “Hide Microsoft Entries” as shown in the picture below.


Autoruns - Step 2


With that done, you should click on the “Logon” tab (circled in red in the picture below). This will show you a list of all the programs which start up automatically with your operating system. A handy feature of the program is that you can right click on any entry and choose “Search Online”.


Autoruns - Step 3


Using search online will take you directly to Google, where you can research what the entry is before you disable it.

Autoruns - Step 4

Using search on-line in Autoruns automatically searches the web for more information on a program or service, handy!

More confident users may wish to check out the “Internet Explorer” and “Services” tabs. The Internet Explorer tab shows which browser extensions start up when Internet Explorer starts. “Services” are special extensions to Windows that are needed for many day-to-day operating system tasks. Some services may be unused on your machine and will therefore be safe to disable. Please be extra careful when doing this however as certain services are necessary for Windows to function correctly.

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