Windows 7 has a built-in useful tool System Configuration, which can also be launched from an old school command MSConfig, that provides the list of applications that are automatically loaded during the start up fairly in detail. And you can even enable or disable the application(s) from started right in the tool. It’s sufficient in most of the cases, and most of the users who use the computer don’t even know it’s existed.
NirSoft has an even better tool called WhatInStartUp that is portable, and provides much more details for each application that is loaded during the startup. Things like:
- Startup Type, whether a Registry run or Startup Folder run;
- Command-Line String;
- Product Name, version, and who provides it;
- Location in the Registry or file system;
Same as the built-in System Configuration, you can easily disable or even delete unwanted programs right from the tool. The later version also included a very nice useful feature called Permanent Disabling that allows you to permanently enforce the disabling of programs in Windows startup. When WhatInStartup is running, it monitors the startup lists in the Registry and in the file system. If a disabled program added itself again to the startup list, WhatInStartup will automatically detect it and then disable it again from being used.
WhatInStartup also has a very useful feature that integrates Google Search right into it. If you find a program in the list that is suspicious you can right click on the program and launch the Google search right from the context menu, which immediately opens the default web browser with the search results in it.
Like other Nirsoft tools, WhatInStartup also can be used as a command line with quite a few options available. You can easily include the command line in the login script so that it can be launched automatically.