How To Disable Startup Items in Task Manager

Dear Computer Lady,

My computer has a lot of apps running when I look at Task Manager. How do I know which ones I can delete to make my computer run faster?

If I delete one will it start up the next time I turn on my computer or is canceled forever?

Thanks for you help. Kris

Dear Kris,

First, we need to determine what part of Task Manager you are viewing. Task Manager shows you what apps are currently running, what background processes are running, in addition to a lot of other things.

If you are looking to stop apps from automatically starting every time Windows starts, you need to click on the “Startup” tab in Task Manager. If the startup tab is not visible, click “More Details” in the lower-left corner of the task manager window.

Once you have clicked on the “Startup” tab, you will be looking at the apps that are starting every time Windows starts. If you want to stop an app from starting, right click on it and click, “Disable” in the context menu. Your app will still be listed in the startup list, but the status will change to “Disabled”.

Most of those apps will be easy to identify, and you can safely disable any of them (I would NOT disable your antivirus program however). When you disable an item on the startup list, it will stay disabled until you change it back to enabled. You can, however run the program any time you want by running it from the start menu.

If you see an entry that you can’t identify, right click on it, then click “Search Online” this will take you to search results for that file.

I hope this helps your computer run faster.



It’s Your Turn: What do you think?
…. Share your experience in the comments box below.

Join The Family
become a patron today

Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
Connect with


Previous Post

YouTube Red

Next Post

McAfee & The Windows 10 Firewall


    • ron007
    • February 14, 2017

    Elizabeth covered “applications”. She also mentioned “services”. That is another group of special programs that run in the background.

    For the most part these services don’t use much CPU but there is an additional reason for turning the unneed ones off. Every service that is running is another place hackers can attack your computer. By default Windows is setup to be “user friendly”, meaning that the most commonly used services are starting by default. But, the reality is that many people don’t need many of those services.

    For example the Bluetooth services is normally running. But if you do not use bluetooth to connect to your computer you might as well turn it off.

    Actually, there is more you can do than simply turning services off. You can set them for a “delayed start” so that they do not slow down you computer during booting. As well there is an option to not start them unless some program requires them.

    There are actually quite a few services that can be turned off, you just have to be able to identify them. That can be tricky. Fortunately there are a lot of very smart people who love to do this sort of thing and write about it. Google for “harden services” and add your Windows Version.

    The trick is to take it slow. Turn off only one or two services, write them down some place then use your computer for a while to make sure everything is OK. Then do some more.

    Here are links to some of the articles I’ve used in the past. They aren’t current, but many of the services do not change between Windows versions and the recommendations are still valid in newer versions. – Win 10 – Win 8 – Win 7 – Vista – This article goes into the theory behind “Hardening”, turning off unneeded services.

Leave a Reply