Know Your System Better With Startup Control Panel

One of the ways to see which process(es) and program(s) are taking over your system is to look at which starts along with your computer. Windows Start menu has a Startup shortcut that shows the often legitimate programs that start for the current or all users.

Startup Control Panel and StartupMonitor by Mike Lin add to the arsenal of useful and simple tools that give computer users a better picture of their system. They provide powerful yet lightweight means of viewing, controlling and detecting possible resource hogs and even security threats.

StartupMonitor at a 60KB download runs in the background and is only seen when a program wants to add an entry to the system’s startup. Sometimes such an entry may be necessary, may be a program such as a calendar has to be visible or running all the time, in which case the change or addition can be accepted with one click. At other times the program may be suspicious or not wanted, when for example a program wants to call home to retrieve updates automatically, and here a simple No click will do the job. StartupMonitor will add an entry to the Windows Start menu to stop it running, if needed.

Startup Control Panel at a 34KB executable (to be installed) or a 59KB zip file (run straight after unzipping) download on the other hand has an interface.  It is divided into tabs that let the user view virtually all entries in the system’s startup. The tabs are Startup User which shows the items for the current user, Startup Common which shows the ones for all users, Run Once which are those that can occur when a program or report is installed or generated and needs to run at the next system startup only, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE for the registry entries affecting all users when programs add a startup entry to the Windows registry and HKEY_CURRENT_USER for the registry entries affecting the current user.

Each entry can be viewed in the control panel and unchecked to not run or simply be deleted to not be seen and be sent to the program’s Deleted tab. Much like looking at the aforementioned Startup shortcut provided by Windows some of the tasks acheivable by the StartupControl Panel tools can be done when accessing Microssoft’s own MSConfig but Startup Control Panel offers a more complete picture of what is happening. One additional feature is that it is possible to send an entry to other tabs via one right click. Sending to different tabs simply means, for example, that a process can be sent form Startup User to Startup Common and therefore allowing it to run for all users.

Startup Control Panel and StartupMonitor are two extremely worthy free downloads from Mike Lin.

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