Windows 8 and Windows 10 have a new Task Manager app. It looks completely different compared to Windows 7's Task Manager and has different features. A new feature of the Task Manager app is the ability to manage Startup apps. In this article, we will see how to remove dead entries from the Startup tab of the Task Manager in Windows 10 and Windows 8.
Windows 10's Task Manager has some nice features, like a performance graph and startup impact calculation. It is able to control which apps launch during startup. There is a special tab "Startup" which is designed to manage startup apps.
Tip: You can save your time by creating a special shortcut to open the Startup tab directly of the Task Manager.
To enable the disabled app again, you just need to right click it again and choose the "Enable" command from the context menu.
The list grows bigger over time and the situation get worse if you uninstall or delete an app but it still remains in the Startup tab of the Task Manager. Fortunately, you can clean up this list.
Remove Dead Entries from the Startup Tab in Task Manager
You can save your time and quickly remove dead entries using the Autoruns app. It is not part of Windows, but is included in Microsoft's SysInternals suite of tools.
Here is what you have to do.
- Download Autoruns
- Unzip the app and run the autoruns.exe file. If you are running 64-bit Windows 10 or Windows 8, then run the file autoruns64.exe. It looks as follows:
- Missing entries are highlighted with the yellow color.Carefully inspect them and delete the ones that you do not need. Just right the entry and select "Delete" from the context menu.
If it is not possible to use Autoruns for you or you are curious where the startup items are stored, you can inspect the following folders and Registry locations.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServicesOnce HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Userinit HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServicesOnce HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows
Tip: You can quickly open the Startup folder. Press Win + R shortcut keys together on the keyboard to open the Run dialog. Type or paste the following in the Run box:
The text above is a special shell command which makes File Explorer open the Startup folder directly.
The most commonly used Registry keys where apps store their startup entries are HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run. You can switch between them quickly to save your time as described here: Switch Between HKCU and HKLM in Registry Editor in Windows 10.
To check their values, do the following.
- Open Registry Editor.
- Go to the desired Registry key from the list above, for example:
- Check out the values on the right. Delete the values which point to non-existing files.
- Repeat the steps above for other keys if required.
The powerful and useful tool, Autoruns is definitely the fastest way to clean up your startup apps and delete invalid entries.