Disable unnecessary Windows 8.1 startup programs

Windows 8.1 starts up much faster than any previous Windows versions. But over time, after installing additional programs and apps, you’ll notice it takes longer for Windows to start up. If you want to shave a few seconds off the startup time, disable startup programs.

Win 8.1 app installation

Image credit: Brian Burgess

This is a tip that can used for any version of Windows and has long been used to decrease boot time. But Windows 8.1 has an improved Task Manager that shows you the impact each app has on startup. To access it from the desktop, right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager.

Windows 8.1 Task Manager

Image credit: Brian Burgess

Or hit Windows Key + W to bring up the Settings search field and type:task manager.

Windows 8.1 search task manager

Image credit: Brian Burgess

The Startup tab in Windows 8 has been improved with features to help you decide which programs to disable. It displays the impact a program has on startup and labels it as low, medium, high, and none. Just right-click a program in the list and select Disable.

Also, if you’re not sure about what a program is, you can search for it online or open the file location.


Image credit: Brian Burgess

I recommend only having the apps selected to startup that you want to use right away, and definitely disable the ones that have a high impact on start times – sans your security software.

In fact, I get this question a lot: “Which programs do I need to run during startup?” The short answer is none!

Brian Burgess
Brian Burgess resides in Minnesota. A technology enthusiast his entire life, he worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. In addition to contributing to Tech Page One, he’s the Editor in Chief at groovyPost.com, a contributor to Gizmag, and has written for other notable tech sites Byte, InformationWeek, and How-To Geek.
Brian Burgess
Tags: Software,Technology
  • Matt Slack

    So simple but i was struggling to find it, helped a lot, thanks