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Windows XP Tips, Illustrations and registry edits
When you start your computer, many applications might load at startup, out of which some may not be required at all. Windows comes with a startup managing utility called MSCONFIG, using which you can disable startup applications. This is also called System Configuration Utility. To access MSCONFIG, try these steps:
Some applications will repopulate the entry in the Startup. In that case, you need to check into that software's options page and disable it's "Run at startup" or similar feature.
Unlike previous versions of Windows, Windows XP does not require any program for mandatory startup. Everything is your choice. The very recommended ones which needs to run at startup are:
(View Screenshot of the MSCONFIG Window - Click to enlarge)