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Finding & Controlling Startup Applications

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I have ESET Smart Security 6 running on Windows XP. I want to find a way to identify (preferably in a list) all the applications that automatically open upon startup, including all of the applications that place themselves in the System Tray. I want to be able to disable some of them and to know exactly what automatically runs.


When I had Norton 360, there was an easy way to do this. I can't find anything obvious or in Help or the ESET manual that tells me how to do this. All my searches just turn up info about the startup scan and not how to find out what programs automatically startup.


I can't even find a tag that's appropriate for this question.



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This information can actually be viewed as part of ESET SysInspector, which is a diagnostic and troubleshooting tool used by ESET for various purposes (troubleshoot installation and compatibility issues, examine a system for undetected malware and so forth).  ESET SysInspector is built into recent versions of ESET NOD32 Antivirus and ESET Smart Security and there is also a standalone version which can be downloaded from ESET's web site.


ESET SysInspector can be accessed from the Tools menu item in ESET Smart Security 6.  When run, it may take a minute or two to generate a log file, since it creates a complete record of everything happening at that given moment of time on your system.  When it is finished, you can right-click on the log and select Show from the context menu that pops up to view the log file.


To view programs which automatically run on your computer, in ESET SysInspector's left navigation pane, select Important Registry Entries|Standard Autostart and all of the registry entries will be visible in the right viewing pane.  You might also find Important Registry Entries|Browser Helper Objects and Important Registry Entries|Shell Open Commands and Important Registry Entries|Shell Execute Hooks to look at, since these are places where programs can be run automatically from Internet Explorer (BHOs) or Windows Explorer (Shell...).  You can also check Critical Files|System.INI and Critical Files|Win.INI for programs which start up via the legacy (Windows 3.x-era) method as well as System Scheduler Tasks for jobs which might start on the computer at various times.


If the ESET SysInspector log is a little too detailed, I would suggest using Microsoft' System Configuration (filename: MSCONFIG.EXE), instead, and looking on the entries on the Startup tab.  On the other hand, if you would like even more detail than ESET SysInspector provides about automatically starting programs on your computer, I would suggest looking into Andrew Aronoff's SilentRunners script.




Aryeh Goretsky

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Another option is that you download CCleaner, and use it's feature to disable, or delete startup entries. That's the feature I use personally, simple and fast. But be sure you know what you disable so you don't disable some important startup items.


Plus you can use the other features of CCleaner as well of course.


Edit: in the CCleaner GUI you find this function under Tools -> Startup

Edited by SweX
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