I run the excellent Autoruns regularly to block programs, services, drivers and whatnot from starting automatically on the system.
While I do take good care of that usually during installation, there are always situations where programs are added to the autostart without me having any control over that process.
While I could run something like WinPatrol to be notified about important system changes, I don't usually for a variety of reasons.
Dropbox has been notorious for adding itself to the autostart and it took me a while to figure out what is going on.
It is easy enough to disable Dropbox in a startup manager or directly in the Windows Registry. You find Dropbox's entry under C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup in the Registry and can either use the Registry Editor or a third-party program to disable or delete it.
What you may notice however is that this is not a permanent fix as Dropbox may be started with the system again at a later point in time.
When exactly? After you ran the software the next time.
The issue here is that Dropbox adds itself to the startup folder again regardless of whether it is already in there disabled or has been deleted before.
The reason for doing so is that it prioritizes the startup setting in the program preferences over those made manually.
That's right; if you delete or disable Dropbox manually on the system and not in the Dropbox preferences, it will be re-added every time you run the Dropbox application on the device.
To disable this permanently, do the following:
When you start Dropbox the next time on the system -- manually as it won't autostart anymore -- you will notice that it won't add itself to the system autostart anymore.
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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.