Kill autostart programs
June 29, 2008 10:10 PM   Subscribe

While trying to speed-up my computer, I noticed in task-manager several helper programs auto-start on start-up. I rarely use the programs that they are helping, is there any way to keep them from auto-starting (not from within, something to actually keep it from starting).

The programs specifically are iTunesHelper.exe and iPodService.exe. I rarely used the iPod helper program, but iTunes keeps reinstalling it. I don't mind the program, but that the helper auto-starts steals CPU from more important stuff.
posted by Deflagro to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
If you download Startup Control Panel you can control all the added startups on your machine. You may also have to look at services, rather than auto-starting programs; you can see them in Control Panel / Administrative Tools / Services. Double-click any service to set startup options.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 10:18 PM on June 29, 2008

This tool shows you everything and permits you to disable anything.

As such, it is dangerous. If you disable something vital, you can screw up your system.
posted by Class Goat at 10:18 PM on June 29, 2008

You can use a start-up manager to pick what programs and services to start at Windows launch. I personally like and use CodeStuff Starter
posted by cst at 10:18 PM on June 29, 2008

Best answer: Not sure about Vista, but in Windows XP you can go to Start>Run (or Windows+R) and type in msconfig. Go to the "startup" tab and deselect programs you don't want.
posted by theiconoclast31 at 10:23 PM on June 29, 2008

Start > Run > MSConfig, turn off anything you don't want starting up on the Startup page.
posted by kindall at 10:23 PM on June 29, 2008

If you want to dig a little deeper with your performance tuning, the "Windows Service Configurations" section at Black Viper's Web Site is a great reference.
posted by Lazlo at 10:33 PM on June 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

CCleaner is a freeware system optimization and privacy tool. <>CCleaner website

CCleaner (Crap Cleaner) is a great piece of Windoze freeware that I've been using for a while. It gives you a picture of everything that's on auto-start -- most programs running have a descriptive enough name that you can determine wtf they do, and those that didn't/don't I search on them online and find out wtf they do, and if I want them to continue doing it.

It does a heck of a lot more than that, and, as Class Goat noted above, you can get yourself in trouble, but I haven't (yet). I think it's great software, recommend it highly. I'm not the only one who likes it -- it is the number one download on FileHippo; it's good sfuff.

Have fun!
posted by dancestoblue at 10:51 PM on June 29, 2008

What Class Goat said. If you want to speed up your computer and you don't know what you're doing, it's pretty easy to screw things up dramatically. That's one reason behind the popularity of programs like (an incomplete list) TweakUI, Tweakall, X-Setup, System Mechanic, etc.
posted by box at 5:52 AM on June 30, 2008

(Also, what Class Goat said about Black Viper's Services page.)
posted by box at 6:25 AM on June 30, 2008

(Oh, crap, that was Lazlo. Apologies all around.)
posted by box at 6:30 AM on June 30, 2008

If you're uncomfortable with MSConfig, you can do the same thing with a gui using Windows Defender. Tools > Software Explorer. If you're using Vista, you'll need to hit show programs from all users to edit the entries.
posted by mealy-mouthed at 7:39 AM on June 30, 2008

Honestly, if it isnt spyware then you should leave it alone or remove the entire app. The ipod service detects when the ipod is inserted. The acrobat startup checks for updates.

Whats going to happen is instead of, say, switching to winamp from itunes or to a lighter pdf reader you;re going to still have those massive bloaty apps but without their little applets. Now acrobat wont autoupdate and some jerk is going to send you an infected pdf and now youre going to have to reinstall windows to get rid of a trojan.

This is assuming you dont bork your system doing this in the first place.

Either uninstall those apps or learn to live with them. I dont think selectively removing a couple startup entries is going to really make a difference.

Its also worth mentioning that the slowdown you are experiencing is most likely due to windows automatic updates doing a software inventory and sending it to MS. You do want updates dont you?

That said, the best way to stop apps from starting at startup is through the app itself. THere's usually an option under preferences or whatever. I think messing around in your registry hoping to get a little performance out of a computer is usually a bad idea, even for most techies.

On preview: those lists to shut off services are bunk. I never see any performnce difference. If it 10ms faster, then thats not detectable by human beings. Sure, its technically faster but now searching for files takes forever because the indexing service is off.
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:48 AM on June 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

ccleaner. Has a utility inside that you can stop extra programs from starting. It also helps eliminating junk, frees up space etc which would help in speeding up your computer
posted by radsqd at 10:28 AM on June 30, 2008

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