How Do I Stop Apps From Opening On Startup? Need To Know

One of the most annoying things about Windows is how easy it is for programs like Adobe Acrobat, iTunes, and Spotify to start up automatically as soon as you log in, even if you don’t want them to.

There are some types of software, like antivirus and webcam software, that you want to start up automatically. But many apps force their way into your startup routine without reason, using up memory and resources and possibly slowing down your PC. You can fight back, though, so don’t worry.

Windows has had a way for you to see and turn off your startup programs for a long time. If you used older versions of Windows, you may remember opening the System Configuration tool (MSConfig) to see and uncheck any programs you didn’t want to load automatically. Instead, you use the Settings screen or Task Manager in Windows 10 and Windows 11. 

Each app may have a hidden setting that stops it from starting up with MacOS or Windows, but there are also ways to turn off everything at once. Here’s how to stop apps from running when Windows or MacOS starts up.

Stop Apps From Running When The Computer Starts Up

Turn Off Apps That Start Up With Windows Settings

Go to Settings > Apps > Startup to see a list of all the apps that can automatically start up and decide which ones you want to turn off. You can sort the list by name, status, or effect on the startup. Each app has a switch next to it that says “On” or “Off.” This tells you whether or not that app is in your startup routine. To turn off an app, turn its switch off.

how to stop apps from starting on startup

There is a sign for impact below the switch. An app can be marked as having no impact, having a low impact, having a medium impact, or having a high impact. These indicators show how a program’s startup affects your PC’s CPU and disk drive.

The longer a program takes to load, the longer it takes for Windows to fully start up, and vice versa, the higher the impact indicator. If the status of an app is “Not measured,” it means that its effects have not yet been measured.

When deciding which apps to remove from your startup process, look at the ones that are rated as High or Medium. Disabling those apps will speed up your system the most at startup. Disabling those rated as “Low impact” or “No impact” will have little or no effect on how long it takes your computer to start up, but you might still want to do it because it will free up RAM.

Blocking Through Task Manager

You can use the Task Manager to find out more about what programs are running on your computer and what their status is. So, the startup app can also be turned off through the task manager. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Press Ctrl + Alt + Del.
  • Select Task Manager.
  • Select the Startup tab.
  • Right-click on the app you want to stop running when the computer starts up, and then click “Disable.”
block through task manager

Using The Registry

The settings for how Windows works are in the registry editor. Changing these settings can change how the system works. Changing the registry editor can stop apps from opening when the computer starts up.

But keep in mind that not all programs that start-up will show up in the Registry. So, if you can’t find the program you want to turn off, try something else.

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A small mistake in the registry editor can cause problems with the system’s compatibility and even cause it to crash. So, you should always make a copy of your registry before making changes.

Taking this into account, follow the steps below to stop apps from running when the computer starts up.

startup settings in windows 11
  • Pressing the Windows key and the letter R on your keyboard will bring up the Run box.
  • When you type Regedit, the Registry Editor will open.
  • Copy and paste the line below into the address bar, then hit the enter key.

HKEY LOCAL MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

  • You’ll see a list of all the programs that are set to run when Windows starts up on the right side of the screen.
  • Select an application you don’t want and remove it from the registry entry.

Through MSConfig

MSConfig is a system configuration program that is mostly used to fix problems that happen when the computer is starting up.

It can be used to change configuration settings and turn on and off software, drivers, and even programs that run when the computer starts up. The steps below show how to use MSConfig to turn off programs that run at startup.

  • Pressing the Windows key and the letter R on your keyboard will bring up the Run box.
  • If you type MSConfig, the System Configuration window will open.
  • Uncheck Load startup items on the General tab.
  • Click Apply to save your changes.
  • Finally, click OK.

Using Apps From Other Companies

There are a lot of third-party apps and startup managers that can help you solve your problem.

Even though we don’t recommend using these apps, we found that AutoRuns, Starter, and Startup Delayer are some of the best ones out there.

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The easiest way for your system to get a virus is if you download software from someone else. We don’t recommend getting apps from a third-party store, and neither does Window.

But if you still want to install them, just follow the instructions on the screen to stop apps from opening when Windows starts up.


AutoRuns is a free option for power users that shows you what programs, browser extensions, scheduled tasks, services, drivers, and other things run when your computer starts up. Scouring the vast number of items can be confusing and intimidating at first; you don’t want to disable a necessary and important app or another component. But AutoRuns is a powerful and useful startup manager if you understand all or most of the entries listed.

autoruns startup apps

Startup Delayer

With the free version of Startup Delayer, you can use the usual tricks for managing startups in a different way. Startup Delayer starts by showing you all of your startup items and any tasks and services that are already running. Right-clicking on an item lets you see its properties, run it to see what it does, look it up on Google or in the Process Library for more information, turn it off, or put it on hold.

startup delayer

If you choose to delay a program, you can choose how long it should wait before starting up. This way, you can avoid having multiple apps load at the same time. If you pay for the full version, you’ll be able to tell certain apps exactly when to open.

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