AutoRuns - handles software and driver startup entries

autoruns_icon One of the most common complains about computer is slow startup time. Sometimes it can be improved by defragmenting hard drive but mostly stuff that starts automatically at each boot is at fault.

There are two ways to handle that:

  1. Stop turning your computer off - works really well.
  2. Sort, manage and fix startup stuff – works well if you have right tools.

AutoRuns is ultimate tool for managing killing startup entries.

What it does

AutoRuns looks for any and all startup entries in Windows and combines them in single interface.


  • shows details about target file;
  • allows to delete entries;
  • can open folders and registry keys where entries are made.

How to use

App is not exactly user-friendly. It only provides you with means to do something without making any suggestions about entries. Mostly it is useful for deleting obviously broken entries and those for software that doesn’t provide option of disabling autorun.

Power users on other hand can find plenty of additional value for troubleshooting driver issues and fixing debugging hijacks viruses are so fond of.


It’s best at what it does. AutoRuns is one of the Sysinternals utilities and as rest of them is freeware. It creates some registry entries but works without installation so can be used as portable.

Download includes command line version as well.

Home&download page http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902.aspx

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  • Nihar #

    Will definitely use it. my startup is full of crap. need to remove lot of unnecessary things.
  • Rarst #

    @Nihar Just be careful, it's really easy to break Windows by killing important stuff in startup. I generally stick to top of AutoRuns list and sometimes clean out missing drivers.
  • Josh #

    Hehe... if you had Vista it has better startup managment with much of the above =P
  • Rarst #

    @Josh If I had Vista slow startup would be least of my performance worries. :) Personally I don't turn computer of, I am mostly using AutoRuns for troubleshooting and cleanup at work.
  • Josh #

    Vista is actually great for never turning off... no longer any need to reset like XP...
  • Rarst #

    @Josh XP has need for reset? News for me. And don't start on Vista, we are on my homeground this time. :)
  • hariscorner #

    if you only want to edit the startup program, i'm prefer using [Windows]+[R] --> type 'msconfig' (without quote) --> select 'starup' tab uncheck unnecesary program.. be carefull you must know what you do.. :D
  • Rarst #

    @hariscorner Msconfig is nice for fast changes but it is not comprehensive (doesn't show plenty of ways apps can be set to auto-start). Also it can only disable entries, not remove them completely. If I can I will always just use Autoruns.