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If you’ve ever had to troubleshoot an issue on someone else’s computer you know how frightening it can be to look at the list of programs that start with their machine. This is often the reason why people complain that it literally takes five minutes for their computer to reach a usable state after it’s been turned on, and generally MSConfig is the place I turn to for disabling their unnecessary startup items. However, a free program was recommended to me by a friend last week called Startup Control Panel that is rather slick.

What makes this program so special lies in its simplicity. It breaks up all the startup items into tabs based on how they are stored on your computer, and whether they run for all users or just the current user. What’s nice is that you can disable a startup item by unchecking the box next to it (much like MSConfig), but you can also delete it. If you do delete it you’ll find the remnants in the “Deleted” tab should you decide you ever need it again.

Startup Control Panel has a unique feature that I haven’t seen in any similar program as well. If you right-click on a startup entry you can choose to move it to one of the other startup sections. Why would you want to do this? Maybe there is something that is set to run only when you login, but you want it to run for everyone. In that case you can move it to the “Startup (common)” tab or to the HKLM (HKey_Local_Machine) tab.

This program is available for download as a single executable, but isn’t exactly portable. It creates a registry entry on your computer to store some information, such as the items you’ve deleted. Aside from that there are no helper files needed, and so this is still a useful utility to have available when troubleshooting computer problems on those poor bogged down machines you’ll be inevitably facing.

Startup Control Panel Homepage (Windows only; Freeware)