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[Tutorial] Take control of your windows startup

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I always hated the fact that in Windows, little programs could sneak their way into the startup lists in the registry. Finally after my computer slows to a crawl, I open my tray to see 30 icons. I found out a way to completely take control of what your computer loads at startup.

I recommend that only advanced and power users follow this tutorial. Please realize that following these steps will stop newly installed programs from adding anything to your startup (like icons in your tray).

Everything here is completely and safely reversible, this is not a hack of any kind

1. Get out a piece of paper and open the registry editor, if you don't know how to open it simply type regedit into the run box and press enter.

2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionRun

3. Copy ALL of the programs to your piece of paper, these entries consist of programs that run when ANY user logs on. (system wide)

4. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionRun

5. Copy ALL of the programs to your piece of paper, these entries only consist of programs that run on the user level.

6. You will now want to lay out a structure for your startup, to add to the modded effect of your system, you most likely would load programs like object bar, a dock, avedesk, konfabulator, samurize, vanimator, etc, to load everytime, regardless of what user it is (so you have your basic Mac system no matter what). If you want to set up programs that only load when a specific user logs on, you will have to log onto that user before setting up

Now that you have your startup list together, you may want to go through the files with a fine tooth comb to see what they do. I usually just google the executable name, and just about everytime I get a hit on some site that gives you process information, this is a lot of help to determine what you need to keep, and what you can throw away.

Now we will disable the registry startup lists, and set up the new startup lists that you will control

1. In the run box, type gpedit.msc and press enter

2. Under computer configuration, navigate to Administrative TemplatesSystemLogon

3. In the right column, double click on "Do not process the legacy run list", then click on enable. This is the step that disables the system wide run list from the registry

4. Then double click on "Run these programs at user logon"

5. From your new system wide startup list, add each path and executable to the list

6. Now under User Configuration, navigate to Administrative TemplatesSystemLogon

7. Do the same as step 3 and 4, enter all the programs you would like THAT USER to run at logon (this is for programs that you only want certain users accessing)

for now on, the startup is completely under your control!!! You can always go in and add or delete entries at your leisure. No more surprises

Now if you install a program that requires something to be ran at startup, just peek at the startup lists in the registry and see what it added, then add it to your list


1. Open gpedit.msc

2. Under both User and Computer Configuration, change "Do not process the legacy run list" to "Not Configured" or "Disabled", then disable "Run these programs at user logon"

That's it, it's reversed

Note: This will not affect programs that are located in the startup folder, but at least it's alot easier to administer that

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