Over time a Windows PC will build up a collection of applications that automatically start when you first turn on the PC or laptop. Some of these are useful – cloud syncing services for example, which work best when you don’t have to remember to enable them – but not all are necessary.
Every program in the startup list adds a bit more time between you pressing the power button and your computer being ready to use. Thankfully, in Windows 10 it’s very easy to see what’s causing the delay, and quickly remove the culprits.
View startup programs using Task Manager
You can change startup programs in Task Manager. To launch it, simultaneously press Ctrl + Shift + Esc. Or, right-click on the taskbar at the bottom of the desktop and choose Task Manager from the menu that appears.
Another way in Windows 10 is to right-click the Start Menu icon and choose Task Manager.
When the utility is first launched it will default to the programs that are currently running on your system. To access the information you need move the cursor down to the bottom left corner where it says More details. Click on this.
Now you’ll see a wealth of information displayed, including background processes and the resources that they are currently using.
To find the startup items click on the tab along the top that is marked Start-up.
This displays a list of everything that can load when you turn on your machine.
It’s important to note the Status column, as not everything on the list is actually enabled. If an item it marked as Disabled then you can ignore it as it will not load in the startup sequence.
To simplify matters click on the Status column so that it sorts the items into groups of enabled and disabled apps.
Remove startup programs using Task Manager
If you see any apps that you don’t want as part of your startup sequence then it is very easy to remove them.
Simply right click on the relevant app, then select the Disable option from the pop up menu.
The app will remain in the list, but will no longer launch automatically when you turn on your machine. To enable it again just right click on it and select Enable.
Remember that you’ll need to reboot your machine for these processes to take effect.