If you look for a program to manage startup applications in Windows you end up with dozens effortlessly. They all allow the user to manage startup items, but similarities end there. Some applications display all startup applications and files while others limit the display to the most common locations. Some startup managers may be to complex for beginners or inexperienced computer users while others can be used by everyone with ease.
This toplist lists the best startup managers for Windows in the categories experts and best allrounder to ensure that users of all experience levels and expectations find the best suitable application. Additional applications are listed at the end.
When it comes to a professional startup manager for Windows Autoruns is usually the application used and recommended. The application has been developed by Sysinternals which are now part of Microsoft.
The application is a complete startup manager for Windows that offers in depth information not only about the usual startup locations in the Windows Registry and various startup folders but also about other files, programs and services that get started during Windows launch. This includes for instance the scheduled tasks, Internet Explorer Browser Helper Objects and toolbars, Services or network providers.
The program offers to hide Microsoft items from the lists and can analyze offline systems as well.
Autoruns is compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit Windows operating systems. Downloads are provided at the program homepage.
Starter is not as complete as Autoruns when it comes to startup items, and the developers do not want it to be. The biggest strength of Starter is that it displays all relevant startup items directly on launch.
The sidebar displays the locations that are scanned during startup. It is usually not necessary to switch around as all items are displayed in the main interface directly. It can however be helpful to remove specific items only.
Start displays processes and services as well with possibilities to end processes or change startup types of services. Starter is available as a portable application and installer at the developer homepage.
OSAM Startup Manager offers interesting features and comprehensive information about the system's startup items. It is for instance possible to scan files with an online malware scanner with an option to submit it to the developers of the application if it is not in the database yet.
Autorun Manager is available as a portable version and installer at the developer website.
ESET SysInspector comes with an autostart manager and a lot more. One of the great aspects of it is that it assigns a risk level to known startup items, processes and other programs that are running.
ESET SysInspector is available as a 32-bit and 64-bit edition for the Windows operating system.
MSConfig is a first party Windows tool that ships with every version of the operating system. It can be launched directly by pressing Windows-R to bring up the run box, typing msconfig in the box and hitting enter. While it is not the most feature complete startup manager it can be used directly without having to download a software first.
Startup Control is a tiny portable software that displays pretty much the same information as MSConfig, albeit in a slightly more complicated manner. Instead of displaying all startup items in one list, it divides them into locations which means that the user has to click on all entries to assess and manage all startup items.
The program is easy to use leaving little room for error. Downloads are provided at the developer website.
Which startup manager are you using?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.