When you start your computer, there are a bunch of programs that automatically run, before the familiar desktop appears. Most of them are essential; some are dispensable; and others may be malicious. Learn how to tweak your autoruns to improve performance and security…
Tune Up Your Startup
There are many software tools designed to keep your Windows system tuned-up and running as efficiently as possible; see my recent article, Seven Free PC Maintenance Tools. Some utilities, like Advanced System Care, are designed for one-click simplicity. Today, I want to discuss a powerful maintenance tool that requires a bit more effort from its user.
Autoruns for Windows provides information that can reduce Windows launch time, free up memory and other system resources, or help you track down especially stealthy malware. It shows you all programs that automatically run when your PC boots up or a user logs in, and what extensions load into various Windows processes such as Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer. It works on Windows XP and higher, including 64-bit versions.
The Windows System Configuration Utility (msconfig.exe) lets you view and disable a number of startup files and services, but it omits a lot of things that Autoruns catches: toolbars, browser helper objects, Windows Explorer shell extensions, to name a few. These items can be hiding places for malware or they may simply be long-forgotten, unnecessary burdens on your system
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