Use The Registry To Prevent Programs From Loading At Startup

Programs that automatically launch when you boot your computer can be a convenience, but more often than not they are a nuisance. There are numerous ways to prevent a program from launching each time you boot your computer. You can use the Microsoft Configuration Utility (msconfig) and uncheck these programs, you can remove their shortcuts from the startup folder in the Start menu, and you can sometimes even configure startup preferences from directly within the program.

This tutorial will focus on editing the registry to prevent programs from loading when you boot your computer.

Use The Registry To Stop A Program From Loading At Boot

The registry can be dangerous, so follow the steps carefully to avoid making changes you do not intend.

regedit

Click Start, and in the search (or run) box, type regedit and hit enter.

Registry errors can damage your Operating System, so it’s always a good idea to export the registry prior to making any changes. Once in the registry, go to File, and then select export. Save the registry anywhere you want. In the unlikely event these changes cause a problem, you can always inport the registry you backed up by using the import option.

edit registry

Next, to prevent programs from automatically starting at boot, carefully navigate through the folders in the left-hand pane as follows:

  1. Click HKEY_Local Machine
  2. Click Software
  3. Click Microsoft
  4. Click Windows
  5. Click Current Version
  6. Click Run.

When you highlight the Run folder, you’ll see entries appear in the right-hand pane. Click on and remove any of these you do not want to load at boot. Exit out of the registry and then reboot the computer. The entry for the program you removed in the registry should have prevented that program from loading at boot. You can still manually start those programs by navigating to them through the Start menu or through program shortcuts that might be located on the desktop.

While editing the registry to stop a program from automatically loading may seem like overkill, it will become second-nature once you start doing it and is often fasten than using the other methods described at the beginning of this tutorial.