Windows 11 startup programs mean applications that automatically start when you turn on your computer. These programs are launched from the Windows 11 startup folder.
Some installed programs are set to launch automatically each time you start your Windows computer. But it’s not necessary to have them run on startup.
If too many programs are running in the background on startup, it can slow down your computer and causes computer problems like a bootable failure, system crash, black screen, etc.
The good news is that you can change startup programs on Windows 11 and disable those apps that you don’t want to start when you boot your PC.
How to Find What Programs Are Running on Startup
Way 1. Via Windows Search
Click the Search box or press Windows key to evoke Windows search.
Type startup apps in the search box, and click Startup Apps System Settings to open it. Then you can see the list of your Windows 11 startup apps.
Way 2. From Windows Settings
Click Start -> Settings or press Windows + I keyboard shortcut to open Windows Settings.
Click Apps in the left panel.
Scroll down in the right window to click Startup option.
In the Startup Apps section, you can check what programs are configured to start when you log in.
How to Disable Startup Programs in Windows 11
Startup programs are programs that will launch themselves automatically on Windows startup. Some programs will set themselves as startup programs upon installation. It can be with or without your consent. When there are too many programs needed to be launched on startup, it might slow down your Windows startup. It is a good practice to disable startup programs that you don’t need running on startup.
Disable Startup Programs from Settings
To disable startup programs from Settings, right-click on the ‘Start’ icon or press WINDOWS + X to launch the Quick Access menu, and select ‘Settings’ from the list of options. Alternatively, you can use the WINDOWS + I keyboard shortcut to directly launch the Settings app.
In ‘Settings’, select the ‘Apps’ tab from the pane on the left.
Next, click on the ‘Startup’ option listed on the right.
You will now find a list of the programs that can be configured to launch at startup with a toggle next to each. Next to the toggle, there will be an impact indicator that tells how much resources a particular app will consume when configured to launch at startup. The impact is categorized into three types as per Microsoft.
High Impact: Apps that load at startup and use more than 1 sec of CPU time or 3 MB of disk (I/O).
Medium Impact: Apps that load at startup and use 0.3 – 1 sec of CPU time or 300 KB – 3 MB of disk (I/O).
Low Impact: Apps that load at startup and use less than 0.3 sec of CPU time and 300 KB of disk (I/O).
Now, you can identify that apps that might be hogging the system and affecting its performance.
To disable an app from loading at startup, click on the toggle next to it, and then verify that it reads ‘Off’.
Disable Startup Programs from Task Manager
To disable startup apps from Task Manager, right-click on the ‘Start’ icon in the Taskbar or press WINDOWS + X to launch the Quick Access menu, and select ‘Task Manager’ from the list of options. Alternatively, you can press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC to directly launch the Task Manager.
In the Task Manager, navigate to the ‘Startup’ tab at the top.
All the startup apps will be listed in this tab. You will find their impact listed under the ‘Startup impact’ column.
To disable a startup app, simply select it and click on the ‘Disable’ option.
You can also disable an app by right-clicking on it and selecting ‘Disable’ from the context menu.
Both these methods work fine and you can choose the one that suits you best.
Disable Startup Programs from Task Scheduler
Another way to disable startup programs is with the Task Scheduler. In the Task Scheduler app, you can also disable certain tasks that launch on startup and are not listed in other programs.
To disable startup programs from Task Scheduler, search for it in the ‘Search Menu’, and click on the relevant search result to launch the app.
Next, select ‘Task Scheduler Library’ from the navigation pane on the left, select the program/task listed in the center and then click on the ‘Disable’ in the ‘Actions’ pane on the right.
The selected tasks/programs will now be disabled from loading at startup.
Disabling irrelevant startup programs helps boosts the system performance and enhances the booting time of Windows. With either of the three methods mentioned above, you can easily disable startup programs.
How to Add Programs to Startup in Windows 11
You can add or remove startup programs using a menu built into the Windows 11 settings menu. Here’s how to access it.
1. Open the Windows Start menu.
2. Select the Settings app.
3. Find and select Apps from the menu on the left side of the Settings app.
4. Tap Startup.
5. You will see a list of apps with toggles. Flip a toggle on to add a program to startup or off to remove a program from startup.
The Startup menu will automatically list or remove apps when you install or uninstall them.
It also provides an estimate of how much a program might increase the startup process. This estimate ranges from No impact to High impact. Don’t read too much into this estimate, however. In our experience, even older Windows 11 PCs can handle over a half dozen High impact startup programs without significantly slowing Windows 11’s performance.
What Programs Must Run at Startup?
None of the programs listed in Startup must run when Windows boots. You can still use the operating system with every program toggled to off. However, some programs are more important than others.
Programs that automatically sync data with the cloud, such as OneDrive, iCloud, Slack, or Microsoft Teams, should generally be left on. Leaving them on means you won’t have to wait for files to download and won’t miss out on notifications.
It’s safer to turn off programs that don’t sync data or only sync data you infrequently access. Examples could include software that manages a wireless keyboard or a background process that manages cloud sync for an image editor.