6 ways to disable program autorun in Windows 10

Automated launch of programs is a vivid example of how one can cause harm by using a generally useful technology. Designed to relieve the user from routine operations, it often becomes an annoying factor for slow computer startup. Our experts have learned how this feature works in detail and discuss ways to disable program autorun in Windows 10.

Disable program autorun via Windows Settings

Last April, Microsoft released another build of the operating system with the number 1803 (April 2018 Update). In it, control of the program autorun was for the first time placed in the general settings.

Use keyboard shortcut “Win+i” to open Windows options. You can go to the partition marked in the screenshot.

On the left side of the window, go to the bottom of the options list. Open the “Autorun” item. The list of applications allowed to be launched automatically at operating system startup is displayed in the right part of the window. Opposite to each one you can see a two-position switch. There are no other control options in this section except for disabling it.

Disable program autorun via Task Manager

The main autorun management tool in Windows 10 is located in Task Manager.

Open the “Start” button control menu by pressing “Win+x. Launch task manager by clicking on the shortcut link on the screenshot.

Switching to the “Autoloader” tab. The window shows a list of programs that have permission to start by themselves when the operating system starts. In the last column, Windows evaluates the impact that they have when the computer is turned on. Right-click to activate context menu for a selected application. Press the item marked “3” on the screenshot to disable auto-start.

Under the “Disable” option, there are three additional actions available to the user. The first lets you open in Explorer the directory in which the program is installed. The second looks for a description of it on the internet. Regardless of the settings you make in your browser, the result will come up in Bing, the search engine developed by Microsoft. The third step is to examine the characteristics of the executable.

There are two interesting tabs in the properties: “Details” and “Digital Signatures”. Check the product name, version and copyright on the first file. So, let’s find out who developed the plugin and when it was released. Digital signature verifies the authenticity and integrity of the file. Software that does not have it is likely to be detected by Windows as potentially dangerous. As a result the system may encounter difficulties with launching unsigned applications, wasting resources on additional checks. Select the digital signature under the same name and click on the “Details” button to view its content.

The block of information about the signer contains data about the developer and the date of the program release. Press the “View Certificate” button.

Make sure that the certificate has not expired.

Extra actions with file properties are especially useful for owners of computers with preinstalled Windows. Often manufacturers or vendors install their own set of utilities which are registered in the autostart window. It is not always possible to determine their purpose by one name. Having studied the characteristics of the software product and understanding its role, you can make the right decision whether it should be in the autorun list.

Disable program autorun via the startup folder

Placing the program shortcut in a special folder of your operating system to ensure its autorun is one of the oldest “tricks”. It has been in use since the days of Windows 98.

Use the keyboard shortcut “Win+r” to pop up the “Run” dialog. Type “shell:startup” in the text box, without the quotes, as shown in the screenshot.

Executing the command will cause Explorer to open the “Autorun” system folder. Programs which have shortcuts in it are automatically authorized to start on Windows startup. Delete anything you don’t need here, just as with the standard catalog.

Disable program autorun through the scheduler

Application of the scheduler allows you to create tasks that will be executed when certain conditions are met or at specified intervals. Such events include the login of a particular user or the start of the operating system.

Open the “Run” command dialog box. Enter “taskschd” in the text field.msc” calling the Scheduler, which is part of the Windows Management Console.

In the navigation area, click on the “Library” icon. The central part of the window displays a list of tasks scheduled for execution. In the “Triggers” column you can specify a startup schedule. View the list selecting the ones that are scheduled at computer startup or user logon. Select a task in the right part of the window and open the Actions menu. Deactivate the unnecessary using the button marked “3.

Operating system registry

Windows Registry is a database designed to store all the settings of the operating system. Several “branches” in it are responsible for autorun settings.

Open the “Run” command dialog box by pressing “Win+r”. Type “regedit” in the text box. Pressing “Enter” or the “OK” button, let the system run the registry editor.

Confirm permission to make changes.

On the left side of the window, a registry tree structure is presented. Consecutively open the sections following the path indicated by the number “1”. Select the “Run” branch with the mouse. The right part of the editor window will contain the keys, each of which is responsible for the launching of a single program. Select the unnecessary one and click on its name to call the context menu. Deleting selected key from registry, cancel autorun.

Actions are used to edit autorun menu of current user. Click on the left side of the window to the section “Run”, calling its context menu. In the list that opens select the last item. This provides quick access to another registry section which relates to autorun settings.

The keys contained therein indicate the programs which have the permission to start automatically when the computer is switched on. It will be launched for any user. Perform a similar action to remove unnecessary values.

Before deleting the “branches” Windows will ask you to confirm each time.

The system registry is a very delicate and sensitive mechanism. It is desirable to edit it directly only as a last resort, when other means described above have not yielded results.

Disabling program autorun via AutoRuns utility

You can use AutoRuns utility to deal quickly with program autorun without rummaging through all the nooks and crannies of your system. It is developed by Sysinternals which since 2006 is one of Microsoft devisions developing service tools.

The program is distributed as a ZIP archive and does not require installation. It works both in 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows 10. Unpack the archive and open the folder it contains. Run the marked executable file.

Give the program a few seconds to analyze the computer parameters. After editing, the “Options” button at number “1” will be active. Clicking on it, you set the filters as shown in the screenshot. It allows you to exclude from the common list Microsoft service programs, the work of which is necessary. Switch to “Logon” tab. All programs that are registered in the registry or have a shortcut in the startup folder are displayed here. Uncheck all unnecessary checkboxes at operating system startup.

The second tab, the contents of which can be useful, is called “Sched

    ed Tasks. This displays the scheduled tasks for this computer. In the same way, select unnecessary and uncheck.

    In conclusion

    Described methods allow to review all traditional places used for saving autorun settings. By clearing the autoloading list and leaving only the programs you really need for everyday use, you can reduce the time it takes to start the operating system.

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