[Windows] Autoruns is the most comprehensive startup manager you will ever useMarch 9, 2013 6 Email article | Print article
As you use your computer, more and more programs and processes start to add themselves to Windows boot. This slows down your Windows boot. So there is a desire to be able to control exactly what runs at Windows boot. This is where Autoruns comes in.
WHAT IS IT AND WHAT DOES IT DO
Autoruns main feature is localizing anything that starts up, be it codecs loaded from the Windows registry, programs you’ve installed that have added themselves to the startup folder, login services, RunOnce services and even official Microsoft services. Autoruns lets you take a snapshot of your current startup configuration — an easy way to make sure you have a backup plan. Autoruns is also very handy in stopping the massive amount of speed loss via killing uneeded services.
- Lots of startup modification options — the most comprehensive startup manager you will ever find (see screenshots to see the type of startup processes/programs/etc it supports)
- Allows for overall configuration exporting (saving a backup)
- Allows you to compare your saved startup file with your current one
- Can output in CSV
- Comes with a command line equivalent with more advanced features
- Is portable
- For experience users only who understand what all these entries are
- Clumsy user interface and horrible visual experience
- Virtually no options menu
Autoruns is a decent program. It offers a lot more options than the standard issue msconfig.exe that ships with Windows, however, the user interface is very clumsy and mashed together. Everything is so tacked on and it feels like the developer didn’t try hard enough to make this program a good experience for the user. User interface can be very important. In fact — it can make or break whether I use an application or not.
It irks me when I get a program that I have to physically click through every single tab before I can even figure out what I’m doing. Your user interface should be clean, it should be so straightforward that I can figure out what exactly is going on just by looking at a few things. Sure, it did it’s job. I was able to turn off a few startup entries. I was able to turn off just about all the services that this program allowed me to, but I wasn’t guided by the user interface.
Don’t get me wrong, this might be coming off as a bit critical, but user experience is everything. Outside of the few problems I had with the monotonous user interface, I was thoroughly satisfied with all of the features Sysinternals had provided me. I was able to stop Windows from loading everything to simple program startup entries, to Scheduled tasks, components of explorer.exe, and even audio/video codecs. Yes, autoruns even lets you kill codecs. Autoruns is also capable of exporting a complete configuration list to a .CSV file for analysis. Autoruns gets the job done and then some.
CONCLUSION AND DOWNLOAD LINK
Autoruns is a great startup manager; in fact, it is one of the most comprehensive startup manager I have ever used. It beats out Microsoft’s own MSConfig utility by a mile.
All and all, I recommend Autoruns… to anyone that has the knowledge to understand it. You need to be able to understand your operating system’s boot environment and all the services and programs that start at boot. This program is NOT something I recommend downloading if you don’t know what a ‘startup entry’ is.
Version reviewed: v11.42
Supported OS: Windows ME, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 (compatibility mode)
Download size: 533KB
VirusTotal malware scan results: 1/46
Is it portable? Yes