Launch Later, Delay Autostart Applications

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 16, 2010
Updated • Feb 15, 2013
Software, Windows, Windows software

One of the most effective ways of speeding up the system start of the Windows operating system is to disable autostart entries that are not needed during or immediately after the operating system launch. But that is obviously only an option if the programs are not needed right after boot. It makes for instance no sense to disable the autostart of an antivirus software. For other programs, like the Office quick starter, it may make sense on the other hand especially if you do not start the programs right after boot regularly.

There are however programs that are required shortly after system boot, usually because they need to be used all the time, or display relevant data that is needed.

A viable option in this case is to delay the application launch slightly, so that it does not interfere with the operating system startup, but becomes available shortly after the OS has loaded the desktop.

The Add App button can be used to add programs to the delayed startup. The program unfortunately does not tap into the existing startup items to delay them. Applications can be added via the Add App button. All local executable files can be selected. It is furthermore possible to select a custom startup delay in seconds for each application, and configure launch parameters which is optional.

LaunchLater adds itself to the Windows start menu to execute the delayed programs after the system startup. It is necessary to delete the items that have been added to the app from their original startup locations to avoid conflicts.

Launch Later is available for download at the Codeplex profile site. The program requires a version of the Microsoft .NET Framework, but the developer fails to mention which. An interesting alternative is Startup Delayer, which integrates nicely with the the existing autostart configuration.

Update: Please note that newer versions of Windows, Windows 7 and newer, delay the launch of startup programs automatically so that you do not really need to use those programs anymore for that on those operating systems.


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  1. Martin said on March 12, 2023 at 3:05 pm

    An even quicker way to open Task Manager is by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc.

  2. archie bald said on March 12, 2023 at 4:32 pm

    Win+Pause used to be the goto shortcut for me since… W95… Ms recently hijacked it and you now get Sysinfo. Device manager is still accessible this way: the second to last link at the bottom.

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