I’m sure you already know how to use both MsConfig, AutoRuns and RegEdit to control which applications to run when booting windows. I use MsConfig on a regular basis to stop unwanted programs from running. It’s a great tool on a daily basis, except that the list of deselected items tend to get rather long and annoying. Unchecking items doesn’t delete any entries. So how do you get rid of them completely ?
Note: Before modifying the Registry, check out our guide to working with the Windows Registry, which teaches you the basics and how to back up keys before making changes
Searching the Windows Registry (using RegEdit) for applications in the Run and First Run Folders will not show these “hidden” startup items. This is because they are hidden somewhere else:
- Open RegEdit
- Open the following folder:
There are two folders in particular we are looking for: StartupReg and StartupFolder
When you expand these you will find sub folders which in turn represent a startup item shown in the MsConfig interface.
Delete any of which you don’t want there. And that is how you keep your tools clean.