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How to Prevent Programs from Starting Automatically from the StartUp Folder

This article was previously published under Q258578
SUMMARY
Many Windows-based programs are designed to start automatically from the StartUp folder (the Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp folder) when you start your computer. Under some conditions, it may be useful to prevent programs from starting automatically. For example you may want to prevent programs from starting automatically for troubleshooting purposes. This article describes how to prevent programs from starting automatically from the StartUp folder.

NOTE: This procedure may not prevent all programs from starting automatically when you start your computer. Only the programs that are designed to start automatically from the StartUp folder are prevented from starting. For example, many antivirus programs do not start from the StartUp folder. These programs may be started from a registry entry or a system file such as the Autoexec.bat file. If you are unable to stop a program from starting automatically from the StartUp folder, view the documentation included with your program to determine how to prevent it from starting automatically.
MORE INFORMATION
To prevent programs from starting automatically from the StartUp folder, move the contents of the StartUp folder to another folder temporarily:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, and then click MS-DOS Prompt.
  2. At the command prompt, type the following commands, pressing ENTER after each command:
    cd \
    md startupfolderbackup
    cd windows
    cd "start menu"
    cd programs
    cd startup
    dir /w
  3. Note the names of the files in the StartUp folder for later reference.
  4. At the command prompt, type the following commands, pressing ENTER after each command:
    copy *.* c:\startupfolderbackup
    cd c:\startupfolderbackup
    dir/w
  5. Verify that the Startupfolderbackup folder now contains the files you noted in step 3. If the files were successfully copied from the StartUp folder to the Startupfolderbackup folder, continue to the next step. If not, repeat the previous steps until the files are successfully copied, and then continue to the next step.
  6. WARNING: This step deletes the contents of the StartUp folder. Do not perform this step unless you followed the previous steps to create copies of the items from the StartUp folder in the Startupfolderbackup folder.

    At the command prompt, type the following commands, pressing ENTER after each command:
    cd \
    cd windows
    cd "start menu"
    cd programs
    cd startup
    del *.*
    After you follow these steps, no programs are started from the StartUp folder automatically when you restart your computer.
NOTE: If you later want to restore the original contents of the StartUp folder, you can copy the files from the Startupfolderbackup folder to the StartUp folder.
Properties

Article ID: 258578 - Last Review: 01/27/2007 00:59:00 - Revision: 1.3

  • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 95
  • Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition
  • kbenv kbhowto KB258578
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