Performance Boost: Disabling Startup Applications

Is your PC slow to startup? This is a common issue for many users, and the fix is more straightforward than many imagine. When it comes to Windows, applications, for seemingly no reason, set themselves up to launch when your PC is booting. While there are specific programs that you would want to launch at startup, such as antivirus software, many programs that do launch at startup are not needed, and depending on the size of these programs, the speed at which your PC boots can be significantly affected.

Microsoft is aware of this, however, and has offered a remedy for this issue for some time now. Windows offers the user the ability to customize what application launch at startup, allowing them to disable and enable which program will run when the computer is first started. To begin customizing your startup applications, you can either go through Task Manager or Settings. Task Manager will offer you a bit more information, but both offer the same end goal: making your PC boot faster.

Using Windows Settings to Disable Startup Applications

As I stated earlier, those of you that go through Windows Settings to customize your PC’s startup application will have a more basic experience but will ultimately achieve the same end goal: a quicker startup. In order to navigate to this menu, follow these steps:

1. Locate your Start Menu: This will be in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen

2. Locate settings “.”

3. Upon clicking the gear, you will be taken to the “Windows Settings” page. From there, locate and select “Apps.”

4. Locate and select “Startup.”

If you have made it this far then take a second to accept the round of applause because you have successfully navigated to the correct page! All right, that’s enough celebrating. From here, you will be able to select which apps to wish to enable and disable at startup. You may notice that under the “On/Off Switch,” there is an “Impact Indicator.” This is a measurement of the approximate impact the application will have on the startup. When deciding what applications to disable first, look at the ones that have the most substantial impact on startup first because they yield the most significant performance increases if disabled.

Using Task Manager to Disable Startup Applications

If you are looking for a little more information regarding your system’s boot time and applications running at startup, using the Windows Task Manager is the best place to be! It allows you to quickly research applications you are unfamiliar with, making it easier to decide which apps can be disabled and which are better left alone. To get to the Task Manager, right-click on any empty space on the taskbar. In the popup menu, click on “Task Manager” (third from the bottom).


* If your menu appears like this…

…click on “More details.” The result should look something similar to this:


Once you have the Task Manager, navigate to Startup, which should look something like this:

From here you can see all the applications that launch when your computer starts. On the surface, Task Manage appears to be quite similar to Windows Settings. However, if you right-click on an application in Task Manager, you can gain further insight into what the application is. A right-click allows you to disable/enable an application, navigate to its file location, search online for the program for more information, and inspect the application’s properties. 

Adding a Boost to Startup

Now that you know how to disable startup applications get to work! If your PC takes a long time to boot, the culprit may be a few application, with a high impact, launching when your computer first starts. However, make sure you research the application you are disabling before you do so. Some applications, like the “Sound Blaster Control Panel,” is an application I use for better audio control on my computer. For my convenience, I leave the application on, even though it has a moderate impact on startup! Make sure you understand what you are disabled before you do so, or your PC may encounter slight errors when booting. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us!