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Reclaim your computer – How to stop programs that start automatically in Windows


As the number of programs on your computer increases, so does the number of programs that Windows runs when you turn on your computer. Each of these programs wants a piece of your computer’s resources, which can slow it down.

You can access some programs via your task manager prevent it from starting automatically. Others in turn via your settings under appautostart. But some applications are a little harder to stop.

Luckily, Windows provides a tool that gives you complete control over your auto-launching programs.

This is how you stop programs that start automatically in Windows

auto runs is a handy software developed by Microsoft’s Sysinternals division. You can download them for free. It lists all the programs that start when you boot up your computer or when you log in.

To start autoruns, unpack the zip file and run one of the included .exe files. The opening window may be intimidating at first sight, but it is quickly understood.

Under the Everything tab you will find an overview.

Under the “Everything” tab you will find an overview.

For a first overview you select the tab logon out of. She lists everyone Programs that start automatically when you log in.

You can select the Windows 11 symbol via the tabs and show and hide Windows programs. If you click on the Microsoft logo right next to it, all Microsoft programs will also be hidden.

If you want to have an overview of all the programs you have installed, it is best to hide all Microsoft and Windows programs.

Logon lists all programs that can be started at login.

“Logon” lists all programs that can be started at login.

There is a box next to each entry. If there is a tick in the box, the program will startas soon as you log in. If the box is empty, the program will not start automatically.

For example, Steam always starts automatically when I boot up. If I want to prevent that, I simply uncheck the box next to the Steam icon. When restarting the computer, Steam no longer starts.

Autoruns can do a lot more

The software can not only display your automatically starting programs, but also offers you an overview of almost all internal processes of your Windows computer. You can in the tab scheduled tasks for example, see all the tasks that are automatically executed by Windows at regular intervals.

For example, my GeForce Experience checks once a day if there is a new driver update for my graphics card.

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The tab Explorers lists all programs that add functionality to your explorer. I have programs listed there that, under certain conditions, are listed in my menu when I right-click. For example, I can right-click to open a folder in the Visual Studio Code code editor.

However, as with all programs of this type with great power comes great responsibility. You can disable drivers or important features of programs with autoruns. If you don’t know exactly what a program does, you’d better not disable it.

Another reason for a slow computer can be too much RAM:

Now it’s your turn! Did you already know the Autoruns tool and maybe even used it yourself? Can you recommend other tools that users can use to speed up their computer? Which software should not be missing on your computer? Write us your suggestions, tips and tricks in the comments.

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