Your computer already has many programs and apps installed on it, and many thousands more that you can add to it. Many are programs that you can start at will from icons on the Start menu or desktop. Some programs start automatically when you log in. Often, these programs run in a window, as an icon on the taskbar, or both.
Another type of program starts automatically as soon as you start your computer. These are referred to as services, and services are most often part of the Windows operating system itself or programs that control hardware or other underlying functions. Services generally don't have program windows or have taskbar buttons on your desktop. In fact, you would likely never know that services existed unless you went looking for them.
This chapter is about controlling exactly which programs and services do, and don't, start automatically when you first start your computer and Windows. By controlling these programs, you can streamline the Windows startup and fix problems with performance or function. This chapter focuses primarily on legacy Windows programs rather than new Windows modern apps.
First Things First
First, we need to make a distinction between application programs and services. For the purposes of this chapter, an application program (or ...