Investigate, disable or delete Windows Startup programs and extensions, with Autoruns

Autoruns is a free utility that will show you what programs are configured to run during system bootup or login, and what extensions load into various Windows processes. A “Hide Signed Microsoft Entries” option helps you focus on third-party auto-starts.

If you don’t want an entry to be active next time you boot or login you can either disable or delete it. For items stored in startup folders Autoruns creates a subfolder named Autorunsdisabled. Check a disabled item to re-enable it. You should delete items that you do not wish to ever execute.  Do so by choosing Delete in the Entry menu. Only the currently selected item will be deleted.

If you are running Autoruns without administrative privileges and attempt to change the state of a global entry, you’ll be denied access. Autoruns will display a dialog with a button that enables you to re-launch Autoruns with administrative rights. There are several ways to get more information about an autorun location or entry. To view a location or entry in Explorer or Regedit select Jump To in the Entry menu or double-click on the entry or location’s line in the display.

You can view Explorer’s file properties dialog for an entry’s file by choosing Properties in the Entry menu. You can also have Autoruns automatically execute an Internet search in your browser by selecting Search Online in the Entry menu. I’ve never used a similar program that gave so much information about startup options. In fact, Autoruns is so detailed, some users will find it difficult to follow, preferring that it showed less…