How to Stop Programs From Running at Startup on Windows 10 (Updated)

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

One of the most common issues with Windows after a long time usage is that some programs or software, which may or may not be harmful, often set themselves to run at startup automatically with or without your consent. If that’s what concerns you, don’t worry. This short tutorial will show you how to stop programs from running at startup on Windows 10.

Which program can I safely disable from running at startup on Windows 10?

Before you go ahead to disable programs randomly without knowing if they are actually harmless and needed, we want you to know that, programs run themselves during startup is a very normal procedure on Windows PC.

Some programs or software are compulsory to run during startup for it or other programs that rely to it to work. For example, antivirus software services are required to run during startup. You wouldn’t want to disable it from running at startup if you still need it to protect your computer.

For some other programs that you’re sure they aren’t part of other crucial programs and you don’t need them to run on startup, or that you have no idea what it is about, you can disable them from running at startup and see if it affects your daily activities on your computer.

If something you’ve been using immediately stop working right after you disable a program from running at startup, you can follow the same instructions below to enable it again in the task manager.

How to stop programs from running at startup on Windows 10

To stop programs from running at startup on Windows 10, follow the steps below.

  1. On Windows desktop screen, right-click on the taskbar, then select Task Manager.
    • Alternatively, you can use CTRL+SHIFT+ESC keys or CTRL+ALT+DEL keys to open Task Manager.open task manager windows 10
  2. In the Task Manager window, click on Startup tab.How to Disable Startup Software Windows 10
  3. Optional: Click on the Status column to sort the programs according to their startup statuses to see which programs are enabled as startup programs.
  4. To disable a program from running at startup, right-click it and then select Disable.How to Stop Programs From Running at Startup on Windows 10
  5. The next time you restart your PC, the program you’ve disabled will not run during Windows startup again.

If you have no idea what a program is about, you can right-click the program from the list and click Search online to learn more about it.

Tip: The info in “Startup impact” column can be useful to learn how impactful a program is to possibly slow down your PC during startup when they are set as a startup program. For instance, if a program startup impact is Low, it indicates it uses minimal resources during startup of your Windows 10 PC.

What if a program continues to automatically startup even after disabling it in Task Manager?

Some programs will create a “service” when you install them. Some of these services run in the background to make sure the corresponding programs run at startup of your Windows 10 PC. When such services exists and are active, their corresponding programs will continue to startup automatically and may not appear on the startup list in Task Manager.

To learn more about disabling services on Windows 10 (for advanced users with adequate knowledge in Windows only), read: How to Disable Services From Running at Startup on Windows 10.

Description for sharing: Unused programs keep starting up themselves during Windows startup? Here's how to stop unnecessary programs from running at startup on Windows 10.


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