Removing start-up programs

I think in the past I’ve mentioned about the importance of keeping track of all the applications the Windows loads automatically on start-up as having an abundance of them can seriously slow down your machine.Your PC has a set amount that it can process and obviously if you have a lot of stuff that you don’t really want loading when you start the PC and then staying in the background performing pointless activities then your computer will inevitably slow down.It is akin to buying a brand new sports car and then loading it up with 400 bricks before the start of every journey.

Unfortunately keeping track of these programs that isn’t particularly easy as most of them will be installed without you having requested them; examples of such programs are those that pop-up adverts on a regular basis, spyware, viruses and the list goes on.Even innocent applications such as ‘RealPlayer’ and Kazaa load themselves up when you first start the system up and chances are that unless you need to use these particular applications on an extremely regular basis then having them start whenever you switch on your machine is pretty pointless.

Removing them manually isn’t rocket science although it isn’t the kind of thing that I wanted to explain here as it does involve editing the system registry and done incorrectly a LOT of damage can be done.To avoid this I’ve done a little bit of research and found a program called WheresJames Start-up Manager which will do it for you.This program can downloaded by heading to and as well as being free it is a miniscule 360kb in size which will take a minute or so to download even on the slowest of connections.Once installed the application will put an icon in your system tray which ironically enough will start up every time you install your PC by default; this isn’t necessary so perhaps the first thing you should do is deselect the option for automatic start-up.

Now that it is all set up and ready to go just load the program from the start menu, click on the little chequered flag that will appear in the taskbar and the program will pop up a list of all the possible areas of Windows where these programs should be located then simply float your mouse over an area and the program will expand to show all programs that are being launched from that location.Now it is time to start getting aggressive by removing the shortcuts to programs that aren’t needed when initially launching Windows and luckily the program can help you this by recognising most popular applications, telling you what they do and whether or not they are essential to load at start-up.If in any doubt whatsoever simply deselect the program from the start-up list so that it is temporarily disabled, restart your computer and then if everything still works fine you should be able to go ahead and permanently remove it from your start-up list.

I cannot stress quite how important it is to keep these programs that load with Windows in check; whenever I start work on a PC with a software problem the first thing I do is to set about removing anything ominous as real problems with the stability and speed of your computer can be caused by dodgy applications loading at start-up.Please just ensure that you try disabling a program before removing it as to not cause any harm to your computer and also remember that although nothing should go wrong I am telling you to do this at your own risk!

There are several other programs also located on this site that are free of charge; if any users would like to download them and give me their feedback then it would be appreciated and perhaps I will do a feature based on your recommendation in the future


About the Author – Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.