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Using the Windows Registry Editor to Control Startup Programs
The Registry contains most of the settings that control what programs and processes start up when Windows boots. For the most part, it is better to configure these settings by other means such as those discussed on previous pages but in certain situations experienced PC users may want to edit the Registry directly. Here we discuss the Registry entries that are most likely to be involved in starting up processes.

The Registry is complex and no one should make any changes without creating a restore point first. Details of using the Registry editor are at this site.

The Registry keys most often involved with startup have the word "Run" in them somewhere. They are listed below using the abbreviation HKLM for the major key (or "hive") called "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" and HKCU for for the hive "HKEY_CURRENT_USER"

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServicesOnce
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnceEx

Below is a figure showing HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run in Regedit. The right pane shows a number of programs that will run when this system is started.

To remove one of the programs listed in the right pane, right-click on the value under "Name" and choose delete from the context menu. Note that this does not delete the program but only stops it from running automatically at startup. For backup, it is a good idea to export the Run key before editing.


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