One of the tools I frequently use is called Startup Control Panel. This is a free tool from Mike Lin. It is a portable tool so it does not require any client installation and may be run from a USB memory stick. This tool is similar to the excellent Autoruns & Autorunsc tools from Sysinternals. This is a good method to get at and manage those items that startup when your system starts.
The Startup Control panel tool window looks like the window below:
Using the application:
I have successfully run this utility on both XP and Vista. The dialog contains six to seven tabs, depending on your system configuration. Each tab represents one place where a program can be registered to run at system startup. These include:
- Startup (user) – the current user’s Startup folder in the Start Menu.
- Startup (common) – the common (all users) Startup folder in the Start Menu.
- HKLM / Run – the Run registry key located in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. These apply for all users.
- HKCU / Run – the Run registry key located in HKEY_CURRENT_USER. These apply for the current user only.
- Services – system services that are started before the user logs in. This appears only in Win9x; on NT/2000/XP, use the Services control panel, or the Services item in Computer Management.
- Run Once – started once and once only at the next system startup.
- Deleted – programs go to the Deleted tab when you remove them from another location. They will not run at system startup, but will merely be stored should you ever want to use them again. If you delete an item from the Deleted tab, it is removed permanently.
Each page contains a list of the programs registered at that location. Use the checkbox to enable or disable individual items. Additional operations are available by right-clicking an item. You can select multiple items using the Shift and Control keys. Options include:
- New… – create a new entry. You can also drag & drop files from My Computer or Explorer.
- Edit… – edit an existing entry.
- Delete – delete the currently selected entry.
- Disable / Enable – disable or enable the selected entry. A disabled program will appear in the list with a special icon, and will not run at system startup. You can also use the checkbox next to an item to enable or disable it.
- Run Now – executes the program now.
- Send To – moves the entry from the current location to another.
- Press F5 to refresh the list at any time.
Hope you find this tool as useful as I do. Thanks for reading and let’s continue to be good network citizens.