How to Turn Off Programs Running in the Background of My Computer

Updated April 17, 2017

Most of the programs running in the background of your computer start automatically during PC reboot. These applications were added to the Windows start-up menu during default installation. However, you probably do not need all of the programs that are currently running on your computer all the time. This only slows down your PC and the reboot time. Fortunately, you can access the Windows start-up menu and remove the programs you do not need to have running automatically. Turning off the programs shuts them down until you enable them again through the "Start" menu.

Go to the "Start" menu, type "msconfig" in the "Start Search" box and press "Enter" to start the System Configuration utility.

Click the "Startup" tab in the System Configuration window.

Uncheck the programs that you want to turn off and stop from running in the background. Click "Apply" and "OK" to save the new settings. Restart your computer.


You can also remove the programs from the Windows start-up menu by deleting their shortcuts in the "Startup" folder ("Start" menu, "All Programs," right-click "Startup" and select "Open for all users.") This technique will not affect the programs but will only stop them from running automatically on every reboot. If you want to turn off the programs running in the background just for the duration of the current session and know the exact names of the process files then use the Task Manager to end them (press the "Ctrl," "Shift" and "Esc" keys at the same time and click the "Processes" tab in the Task Manager's window.) The programs will start automatically at the next computer reboot.

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About the Author

Writing out of Los Angeles, Tim Mammadov has been a professional writer since 2010. The majority of his articles are related to computer troubleshooting and spyware protection. Mammadov graduated from the University of Maryland, majoring in finance.