There are instances when it can be handy to have particular programs automatically starting with Windows, but if there are too many you are likely to find that boot times are dramatically reduced and overall system performance suffers. There is also the risk that some programs and services that start at the same time as Windows are malicious, so it pays to keep an eye on all of your startup processes.
Windows itself provides a number of ways to view and control what starts which you turn on your computer, including using the registry the Startup section of the Start menu and the MSConfig tool. However, when switching between these various tools to build up a comprehensive list of startup programs, it is easy to miss some.
Startup Explorer is a handy utility that provides access to all of the available information relating to startup processes in a single interface. In addition to startup programs, the tool also lists scheduled tasks, drivers that are loaded with Windows, services that are configured to autorun and much more. For future reference, it is possible to save this detailed list as an HTML document.
But Startup Explorer is most useful when used to take control of precisely what is allowed to start with Windows. A simple toggle is all that is needed to prevent a program, service or task from running. Whether used to optimise startup times, track down system bottlenecks, track down malware or just trim unwanted items, the program is far more accessible than other similar tools.