Stop a program opening on startup

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YourLifeChoices member Michael wants to know how to prevent pesky programs from opening when he turns on his computer. So Drew explains how to stop this ‘start up’ problem.

Q. Michael
I have recently converted to using Google+ Hangouts instead of Skype for video conferencing with my family. I now have no need for Skype and a few other programs which load when my computer turns on. Can you please tell me how to stop these programs from loading?

A. What a great question! I have also been forced to close a number of programs which I no longer use every time my computer starts up. Since receiving your question, I have followed the process below and found that my computer loaded much more quickly once I got rid of the previous annoyances.

Open the ‘Start’ menu (bottom left of your screen). Depending on your version of Windows, you either click on the ‘Run’ button located in the second panel, click in the white space with the grey text ‘Search programs and files’ directly above the ‘Start’ menu key or simply start typing (Windows 8). Now type in ‘msconfig’ and then press enter.

You need to be very careful with what you change during this process. At the top of the System Configuration menu which has now opened, there are five tabs. Click on the ‘Startup’ tab (Windows 8 users will also then have to click on ‘Open Task Manager’. The following is a list of all the programs which launch on startup. Scroll down until you see ‘Skype’ and uncheck the box to the left of the program name. At the bottom of the menu you will find the ‘Apply’ button which you need to click (Windows 8 users click the program and press ‘Disable’ at the bottom right). Finish by clicking ‘Ok’. Finally, you will need to restart you computer so click the ‘Restart’ button which appears. You will find that the program will no longer load on startup. If you ever wish to re-enable that program to load on startup, follow the exact same steps, ensuring that you check the box next to the program’s name.

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Written by Drew

Starting out as a week of work experience in 2005 while studying his Bachelor of Business at Swinburne University, Drew has never left his post and has been with the company ever since, working on the websites digital needs. Drew has a passion for all things technology which is only rivalled for his love of all things sport (watching, not playing).
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