Disabling A Program


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Stop or Disabling a Service or Program From Automatically Running?

A service is a program or a dll that is associated with a program that runs in the background...

Disabling a Service or Program is that a good idea?

Suppose you installed a new piece of hardware or a program that caused you problems when you installed the supporting software?

Such as you have things running that are taking up valuable resources but never use?

I have a BFG video card that has a NVIDIA processor and the hardware drivers are from NVIDIA. Every time I upgrade the drivers for a new game I get four unwanted software programs that are in the Startup folder and run automatically using memory and CPU processing time. They are a program and may have a service associated with the program.

Note: This is not the same thing as "Autorun" or "Autoplay" for storage devices.

How do you stop this from happening? You can complain to the hardware company, don't think it will make any difference...


You can stop those programs from running when the computer starts, some steps are fairly simple, some get complicated.

Note: I use the manual method vs. msconfig.exe because msconfig causes other problems that you may not be aware of until you restart the computer or want to run a program. I am not a fan of msconfig.exe...

If you have read about or used one of those "Speed up my PC" programs the first thing they do is empty out the programs in the Start Up folder(s).

For XP and older Operating Systems you can use the Explorer to go to the folder "Documents and Settings", under that folder are the user folders.

For Vista and up it gets a little more complicated because the "Users" folder isn't visible unless you have changed the permissions on the "Users" folder (which I do not recommend) so you have full control and "Ownership" of the folder. So for you to get to the "Users" folder you have to right click on the "Start" button and select "Explore" from the menu, this will open the Explorer in the Users folder and at your user folder.

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Vista and up does not have an "All Users" folder but XP does, that is where a anyone with XP and below will start, go to the "All Users" folder and expand it until you can see the "Startup" folder, click the folder, in the right hand window look for the program short cut you want to stop from running when the computer starts, then delete the short cut.

If the program short cut isn't there then go to your user ID folder and look in the Startup folder, if it is there then delete it.

For Vista you would expand the folder list until you have access to the "Startup" folder, then click the  folder, in the right hand window look for the program short cut you want to stop from running when the computer starts, then delete the short cut.

If the program short cut isn't in the Startup folder you have to find out how it starts.

If the program isn't starting from the Startup folder as a short cut then the next possibility is it is in one of the "Run" Keys in the Registry.

This does get complicated and you have to realize that deleting things in the registry can cause the Operating System to crash (Blue Screen) or not start on the next startup.

Use these instructions with extreme care ( see the Self Computer Repair Unleashed! 2nd Edition Manual for more extensive tutorials on modifying the registry).

The image, table, or PDF was removed because it will not display on your device. Check back on a PC....


Before you modify the registry I suggest you back up the key you are going to modify!

From the File menu you would use the Export function to save the registry keys, saving the complete registry is impracticable because it will not import back in, it is made up of a lot of smaller files, only export the key you are going to modify.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER displayed in regedit.

From the start button go to the "Run" command and enter: regedit.exe

The Run key will show up in two places:



HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run key displayed in regedit. Note: You can copy those two lines to make finding the keys easier but when you do paste them in to a text editor such as notepad.exe then copy it to paste in the "Find" box, or the formatting from the page will interfere with the search.

You can do a search for the keys by using the "Find" on the "Edit" menu of regedit.

In the right window of the key you will see any programs that are started automatically when the OS is started, find the one you want then delete the key.

Use care with deleting keys or data from the registry:

  1. It is irreversible unless you made a backup of the key and data!
  2. It has an immediate effect unless it is a hardware related key!
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run note the programs in the right window.


If you are tired of stopping the service with the Task Manager (when you remember to do it!) you can either disable the program or set it for a manual start.

The easiest way to find it and stop a program from starting is through the Services in the Computer Management console.

For all Windows versions the Computer Management console is fairly easy to find: Right click on "My Computer" from the menu select "Manage", the Computer Management Console will open, expand the "Services and Applications" in the left window (column).

The image, table, or PDF was removed because it will not display on your device. Check back on a PC....

Computer Management Console, the services are listed in the right window.

Under the Services and Applications click on the "Services", in the right window scroll down to find the program you want to stop, right click and select "Properties" from the menu.

Find "Startup type" and the use the arrow to open the sub menu, select the action you want the program to perform at startup.

This is where you need to be careful, if you disable a program the Operating System or a device needs to initialize you may cause the OS to BSOD (Stop Error ...) when it restarts.

To keep the OS from blue screening your best choice is to check what programs depend on the one you want to stop.

To check what other programs are dependent on the program click the "Dependencies" tab, in the bottom box will be a list of any program that need the program when it starts. If the block is empty then you won't have any problems by setting it to "Manual" or "Disabled".

If it has a dependant program then you may not be able to stop the program from running, in this case you can try to set it to "Manual" and see if the OS blue screens or the dependent program starts the program if you set it to manual.

When you set it to "Manual" if it is needed by another service or program it can start, if on the other hand you set it to "Disabled" then if it is needed the calling service or program will generate an error and may either lockup the OS, or stop working, it could even cause the Operating System to blue screen (crash).

I would suggest you set it to Manual vs. Disabled until you have determined that another service or program does not need it.

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You can keep your Operating System memory usage to a minimum when you disable unused or needed services.

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