- Customization #1: Change the Desktop Theme
- Customization #2: Create a Desktop Slideshow
- Customization #3: Move the Taskbar
- Customization #4: Add Programs and Documents to the Taskbar
- Customization #5: Personalize the Start Menu
- Customization #6: Change What the Power Button Does
- Customization #7: Add Gadgets to the Desktop
- Customization #8: Change Windows 7's Default Programs
- Customization #9: Remove Auto-Loading Programs
- Customization #10: Remove Unnecessary Windows Components
Customization #9: Remove Auto-Loading Programs
Windows loads a lot of programs and processes when it first launches. Many of these items are necessary for Windows itself to run; some aren't.
Those auto-loading programs and processes that aren't necessary just take up space in your computer's memory, making your system run more slowly than it could.
Microsoft recognizes the problem with these unnecessary auto-loading programs and has released a technical utility called Autoruns that can find and manage all types of startup programs. You can download Autoruns, for free, from technet.microsoft.com/sysinternals/bb963902.aspx.
As you can see in Figure 7, Autoruns displays everything that Windows loads on launch on a series of tabs. Each tab is devoted to a particular type of program or process.
For example, the Drivers tab lists all drivers that load on startup; the Everything tab lists everything listed on all the other tabs. Click an item to view more about it in the info pane at the bottom of the window.
Figure 7 Advanced auto-load management with the Autoruns utility
To stop a given item from launching when Windows starts, simply uncheck the item's checkbox. When you start Windows next, that item no longer loads automatically.