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Cleanup the MSCONFIG startup tab listings in Windows XP and Windows Vista

Published : Jun 27, 2004
Updated   : Oct 11, 2007
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Introduction

MSCONFIG (System Configuration Utility) is a frequently used tool to manage the startup applications. This utility, however does not have an option to delete the entries. The entry which you've unchecked a long time back may still show up, while the application may have been uninstalled already. To remove the invalid entries in the System Configuration utility, you need to edit the registry or use a third-party utility.

Locations of the entries in MSConfig

The enabled/checked items are populated from the following registry locations:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Run
HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Run

-and-

HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ Windows
Values named Run & Load

The disabled entries are present in these locations:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ Microsoft \ Shared Tools \ MSConfig \ startupreg
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ Microsoft \ Shared Tools \ MSConfig \ startupfolder

To remove the entries, start the Registry Editor (regedit.exe) and navigate to the above paths. Backup the key before deleting it.

Disabled items are stored as a per-machine basis (HKLM?).

Yes. The hkey string value stores the location where the entry was originally. Say, when the user re-checks the entry, the hkey value determines whether to place the entry back to HKCU or HKLM.

Related pages

How to manage your Startup?

MSConfig Cleanup utility

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