Multiple programs may have been set to start automatically when a computer is turned on. These programs may cause the computer to slow down. Not all startup programs are essential for the proper functioning of a computer. To enable only essential startup programs in your computer, you will need to know the version of the Microsoft Windows operating system installed on your computer. You can find this information by following the instructions given in the online help article Determining your version of Microsoft Windows

Click the appropriate link below for instructions to enable only essential startup programs in your computer.

Windows 10

To enable only essential startup programs in Windows 10

1. Click the Search Box located in the bottom-left corner of the screen, right next to the Start Button. Type "Task Manager" in the field and tap the Enter key on your keyboard.

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3. Click the Startup tab.

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4. Select the unessential program by clicking on it and then click the Disable button.

5. Repeat the previous step until you have disabled all the programs that are unessential.

Note: For the AOL service to perform optimally, we recommend that you enable only relevant programs like AOL and McAfee to load at startup. Therefore enable only AOL, AOL Software and McAfee in the startup items.

6. Close the Task Manager window.

Important: You can enable some or all of your startup programs at any time. However, returning to your prior settings may result in the recurrence of the issue. Instead, you may want to contact your software manufacturer to ascertain whether a particular program is required at startup, and then manually add it to your list of startup programs.

To enable all programs

1. Open Task Manager as explained in the previous steps.

2. Click each program you want to enable and click the Enable button.

3. Close the window when done.

To close other programs in Windows 10

1. Click the Search Box located in the bottom-left corner of the screen, right next to the Start Button. Type "Task Manager" in the field and tap the Enter key on your keyboard.

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2. Click the Processes tab.

Note: Please ensure that you unpin all the programs that you want to remove from the Windows taskbar. To unpin a program from the Windows taskbar, right-click the respective icon on the Windows taskbar, and then click Unpin this program from taskbar.

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3. Click the program you wish to close from the list and click End task.

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4. Repeat the previous step until you have closed all the programs you wanted to and then close the Task Manager window.

Windows 8

To enable only essential startup programs in Windows 8

1. Open the Start window by pressing the Windows button on your keyboard or by moving the mouse cursor to the top right of the screen and then clicking the Start button.

 

2. Press "T" to locate Task Manager and then click on Task Manager.


 

3. Click the Startup tab.

 


4. Click the unessential program and then click the Disable button.

5. Repeat the previous step until you have disabled all the programs that are unessential.
Note: For the AOL service to perform optimally, we recommend that you enable only relevant programs like AOL and McAfee to load at startup. Therefore enable only AOL, AOL Software and McAfee in the Startup items.
6. Close the Task Manager window.

Important: You can enable some or all of your startup programs at any time. However, returning to your prior settings may result in the recurrence of the issue. Instead, you may want to contact your software manufacturer to ascertain whether a particular program is required at startup, and then manually add it to your list of startup programs.

To enable all programs

1. Open Task Manager as explained in the previous steps.

2. Click each program you want to enable and click Enable button.

3. Close the window when done.

To close other programs in Windows 8

1. Open the Start window by pressing the Windows button on your keyboard or by moving the mouse cursor to the top right of the screen and then clicking the Start button.

2. Press "T" to locate Task Manager and then click on Task Manager.


Note: Please ensure that you unpin all the programs that you want to remove from the Windows taskbar. To unpin a program from the Windows taskbar, right-click the respective icon on the Windows taskbar, and then click Unpin this program from taskbar.



3. Click the program you wish to close from the Apps list and click End task.


4. Repeat the previous step until you have closed all the programs you wanted to and then close the Task Manager window.

Windows 7

To enable only essential startup programs in Windows 7

1. Click Start. In the Search programs and files box, type msconfig, and then tap the Enter key on your keyboard.

Note: If the System Configuration Utility window fails to launch, skip to Close other programs to close any conflicting programs.
 

2. Click the Startup tab.
 


 

3. Click Disable All.


 

4. Select the check boxes next to programs that are essential for your computer.

Note: For the AOL service to perform optimally, we recommend that you choose only relevant programs like AOL and McAfee to load at startup. These programs should load automatically. However, you can choose to load them manually by selecting the check boxes next to the programs that are required at startup. For instance, to start McAfee, select the check box next to mcagent; to start AOL, select the check box next to AOL or AOLSoftware.


 

5. Click OK.


 

6. Click Restart to restart the computer.


 

7. Check whether the issue is resolved. If the issue persists, you may enable all of your startup programs by following the instructions given below. However, to continue troubleshooting, click the Back button given below.

Important: You can enable some or all of your startup programs at any time. However, returning to your prior settings may result in the recurrence of the issue. Instead, you may want to contact your software manufacturer to ascertain whether a particular program is required at startup, and then manually add it to your list of startup programs.

To enable all programs

1. Click Start. In the Search programs and files box, type msconfig, and then tap the Enter key on your keyboard.


2. Click the Startup tab.


3. Click Enable All.

4. Click OK.

5. Click Restart to restart the computer.

Note: To continue troubleshooting, click the Back button given below.

Close other programs

To close other programs in Windows 7

1. Right-click a blank portion of the Windows taskbar, and then click Start Task Manager.
 

Note: Please ensure that you unpin all the programs that you want to remove from the Windows taskbar. To unpin a program from the Windows taskbar, right-click the respective icon on the Windows taskbar, and then click Unpin this program from taskbar.
 


 

2. Click the Applications tab.


 

3. Click a program to select it, and then click End Task.


 

4. Repeat step 3 until all programs are closed.
 

5. Click the Processes tab.


 

6. Click Image Name to sort the processes alphabetically.


 

7. Click a process, other than the required processes listed below, to select it, and then click End Process.


 

Note: Please do not end the processes mentioned below as they are required for the efficient functioning of your computer.

  • explorer.exe
  • services.exe
  • spoolsv.exe
  • svchost.exe
  • system
  • taskmgr.exe
  • winlogon.exe
8. When prompted by a Task Manager warning message, click End Process.


 

9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 until all non-essential programs are shut down, and then click Cancel.
 

Note: To continue troubleshooting, click the Back button given below.

Windows Vista

The following solution will show you how to enable only the essential startup programs in Windows Vista.
 

Note: You may want to print the instructions, because you will need to restart your computer to comlete the process.

Enable essential programs

1. Click Start. In the Start Search box, type msconfig, and then tap the Enter key on your keyboard.
 

Note: If the System Configuration Utility window fails to launch, skip to Close other programs to close any conflicting programs.


 

2. Click Continue on the User Account Control window.
 

3. Click the Startup tab.
 


 

4. Click Disable all.


 

5. Select the check boxes next to programs that are essential for your computer.
 

Note: For the AOL service to perform optimally, we recommend that you choose only relevant programs like AOL and McAfee to load at startup. These programs should load automatically; however, you can choose to load them manually by selecting the check boxes next to the programs that are required at startup. For instance, to start McAfee, select the check box next to mcagent; to start AOL, select the check box next to AOL or AOLSoftware.


 

6. Click OK.


 

7. Click Restart to restart your computer.


 

8. Check whether the issue is resolved. If the issue persists, you may enable all of your startup programs by following the instructions given below; however, to continue troubleshooting, click the Back button given below.
 

IMPORTANT: You can enable some or all of your startup programs at any time; however, returning to your prior settings may result in the recurrence of the issue. Instead, contact your software manufacturer to find out whether a particular program is required at startup and then manually add it to your list of startup programs.

Enable all programs

1. Click Start, in the Start Search box, type msconfig, and then tap the Enter key on your keyboard.
 

2. Click the Startup tab.
 

3. Click Enable all.
 


 

4. Click OK.


 

5. Click Restart to restart the computer.
 

Note: To continue troubleshooting, click the Back button given below.

Close other programs

IMPORTANT: The instructions given below should be attempted only if you are unable to launch the System Configuration Utility window.
 

The other programs running on your computer may conflict with your attempt to connect to the AOL service or use up the resources required for the AOL software to function effectively.
 

Note: The steps given below will close all unnecessary programs; however, when you restart the computer, these programs will start again. To keep these programs from starting, please contact your computer manufacturer.
 

1. Right-click a blank portion of the Windows taskbar, and then click Task Manager.
 

2. Click Continue on the User Account Control window.
 

3. Click the Applications tab.
 

4. Click a program to select it, and then click End Task.
 

5. If prompted, click End Now. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until all the programs are closed.
 


 

6. Click the Processes tab.
 


 

7. Click Image Name to sort the processes alphabetically.


 

8. Click a process other than the required processes listed below to select it, and then click End Process.
 


 

Note: Please do not end the processes mentioned below as they are required for the computer to function efficiently.

  • explorer.exe
  • services.exe
  • spoolsv.exe
  • svchost.exe
  • system
  • taskmgr.exe
  • winlogon.exe

9. When prompted by a Task Manager warning message, click End Process.
 

10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 until all non-essential programs are shut down, and then click Cancel.
 

Note: To continue troubleshooting, click the Back button given below.

Windows XP

The following solution will show you how to enable only the essential startup programs in Windows XP.
 

Note: You may want to print the instructions, because you will need to restart your computer to complete the process.

Enable essential programs

1. Click Start and then click Run. In the Open box, type msconfig and then click OK.
 


 

Note: If the System Configuration Utility window fails to launch, skip to Close other programs to close any conflicting programs.
 

2. Click the Startup tab.
 

3. Click Disable All.
 

4. Select the check boxes next to programs that are essential for your computer.
 

Note: For the AOL service to perform optimally, we recommend that you choose only relevant programs like AOL and McAfee to load at startup. These programs should load automatically; however, you can choose to load them manually by selecting the check boxes next to the programs that are required at startup. For instance, to start McAfee, select the check box next to mcagent; to start AOL, select the check box next to AOL or AOLSoftware.
 

5. Click OK.
 


 

6. Click Restart to restart your computer.


 

7. Once the computer restarts, select the check box next to Don't show this message or launch the System Configuration Utility when Windows start, and then click OK.
 

8. Check whether the issue is resolved. If the issue persists, you may enable all of your startup programs by following the instructions given below.
 

IMPORTANT:  You can enable some or all of your startup programs at any time; however, returning to your prior settings may cause the issue to reoccur. Instead, contact your software manufacturer to find out whether a particular program is required at startup and then manually add it to your list of startup programs.

Enable all programs

1. Click Start and then click Run. In the Open box, type msconfig, and then click OK.
 

2. Click the Startup tab.
 

3. Click Enable All.
 

4. Click OK.
 

5.Click Restart to restart your computer.
 

6. Once the computer restarts, select the check box next to Don't show this message or launch the System Configuration Utility when Windows starts, and then click OK.
 

Close other programs

1. Right-click a blank portion of the Windows taskbar and then click Task Manager.
 

2. Click the Applications tab.
 

3. Click a program to select it, and then click End Task. Repeat until all programs are closed.
 

4. Click the Processes tab.
 

5. Click Image Name to sort the processes alphabetically.
 

6. Click a process (other than the required processes listed below) to select it and then click End Process.
 


 

Note: Please do not end the processes mentioned below as they are required for the efficient functioning of your computer.

  • explorer.exe
  • services.exe
  • spoolsv.exe
  • svchost.exe
  • system
  • taskmgr.exe
  • winlogon.exe


7. When prompted by a Task Manager Warning message, click Yes.
 

8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 until all non-essential programs are shut down, and then click No.
 

After trying all of the steps above and you are still experiencing issues, return to the previous article and continue troubleshooting.