Startup programs are apps that automatically run when you log in to your computer. However, as much convenience as these apps offer, there’s one downside to using them: if you have too many startup apps on your computer, it will increase its boot-up time and delay your access.

windows 11 desktop
IMAGE: Windows (Unsplash)

Most of the time, the biggest culprit behind this are apps that automatically add themselves to the list of startup programs to launch after login. Meanwhile, other times, it can be the users who forget to remove apps they no longer use from the list from time to time.

Fortunately, Microsoft allows you to configure startup programs in Windows 11. Here’s a guide showing you all the different methods to stop Windows apps from running at startup in Windows 11.

5 Ways to Disable Startup Programs Windows 11

Method 1: Disable Startup Programs in Windows 11 From Task Manager

Windows Task Manager is home to several utilities, such as system monitor, startup manager, and task manager (of course). Among these utilities, the startup manager is the one you need to configure startup programs on your system.

Follow these steps to use it to prevent programs you don’t use from running at startup:

  1. Hit the Windows + X keyboard shortcut to access the Quick Link menu and select Task Manager. Alternatively, right-click the task manager at the bottom and select Task Manager from the menu.
  2. Go to the Startup apps tab. Here, you’ll see a table with all your startup programs. Under this table are two columns: Status and Status impact, which tell you the current status of all the programs and the impact of disabling them on your PC.
    disable startup programs in windows 1 from task manager
  3. If you decide to disable a program, select it and click the Disable button at the top-right-hand corner of the window.

When you boot your system now and log in, this program won’t launch automatically. You can verify this by going into the Task Manager and viewing the entries in the Processes tab.

Method 2: Disable Startup Programs in Windows 11 From Settings

In addition to the Task Manager, Microsoft also gives you access to the startup manager inside the Windows Settings app, and you get pretty much the same set of options here too.

Here’s how you can stop Windows apps from launching at startup from the Settings app:

  1. Press Windows + I to open Windows Settings.
  2. Click the Apps tab from the sidebar and tap on Startup in the right-hand pane to view all your startup apps.
    startup programs list in windows settings
  3. Finally, toggle the switch next to the apps you don’t want to run at startup. Under the toggle switch, you’ll see the status impact of each, which indicates what disabling them does to your system.
    prevent startup programs from running in windows 11

Method 3: Disable Startups Apps in Windows 11 From the Startup Folder

Although most apps register themselves to run automatically at system startup, there are some Windows programs that place themselves into the Startup folder to do the same.

As a result, when your system boots up, it scans this folder and runs the apps it finds inside. Hence, you must also check this folder to see if it contains any programs you don’t want to run when your PC boots up.

Here are the steps to do this:

  1. Bring up Run (Windows + R).
  2. Type in shell:startup and hit Enter.
  3. Delete the program you find unfamiliar or no longer want to launch automatically after you log in to your system.
    startup programs in windows 11 startup folder

Method 4: Disable Startup Programs in Windows 11 Windows Apps From their Built-In Settings

All the methods we’ve shared thus far offer a quick and easy way to configure startup programs in Windows 11. But there’s an even faster way to disable startup programs on Windows. It involves changing the startup preference from the app’s settings.

Most third-party Windows programs with startup functionality have a built-in setting that lets you choose whether you want to run them at system startup or not. Simply head over to an app’s settings, look for a Run at startup (or equivalent) option, and turn it off.

Restart your PC and log in. The app you just disabled should no longer be running this time.

Method 5: Disable Startup Programs in Windows 11 Using System Configuration

Last but not least, if disabling most on-useful startup programs using the above methods still doesn’t speed up your computer, it could be because of some startup services running in the background. If so, disabling these services can help bring down loading times.

A thing to note, though, is that you need to be extra cautious when working with startup services. For, unlike startup programs/apps, which are mostly independent, startup services are often required for the proper functioning of one or many system functions, and, therefore, accidentally disabling an important one can sometimes lead to problems.

But in case you decide to proceed, here’s how you can disable startup services in Windows 11:

  1. Press Windows + R to launch the Run prompt.
  2. Type msconfig and hit Enter.
  3. In the System Configuration window, click the Services tab to access all startup services.
  4. Tick the Hide all Microsoft services checkbox to hide all Microsoft services. This ensures you don’t accidentally disable a Microsoft service in the process.
    list of startup services in windows 11
  5. Go through the list to look for a service that seems unfamiliar/unnecessary to you, look it up online to learn more about it, and uncheck the checkbox next to it to disable it.
  6. Hit Apply and OK.
  7. When asked to restart, tap Restart to restart your PC and apply your changes.

Reclaim Faster Loading Speeds on Your Windows 11 PC

There are several reasons why your Windows 11 PC could be slow to boot, but an extensive startup programs list is the most common reason for most people. If you’re experiencing a similar slowdown on your PC, too, it’s quite likely due to too many startup programs.

We hope the methods listed in this guide help you configure your startup programs list, so you can prevent apps you don’t actually need from running at system startup and reclaim faster loading speeds.

FAQs about Disabling Startup Programs on Windows 11

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Startup Programs in Windows 11 can be found via Task Manager. To open Task Manager in Windows 11, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc. Click the Startup tab in Task Manager. Here you can find a list of all startup apps. Check the Startup impact column to see how the programs impact the startup.

You can type startup apps into the Windows search box (Windows 11) or startup tasks into the Windows search box (Windows 10) and press Enter.

You will see a list of applications that may run when your device boots in the window that opens. To disable an app, toggle the switch to the Off position.

The general rule is that any startup program can be safely removed. In most cases, programs that start automatically provide a service that works best if it remains running all the time, such as antivirus software. Alternatively, software may be necessary to access certain hardware features, like proprietary printer software.

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