This post is obsolete. Images and broken external links have been removed.
AutoRuns for Windows is a free utility from Microsoft (that they inherited when they bought SysInternals). It shows absolutely everything that starts when Windows starts and when you logon. It doesn’t just show the programs, it goes deeper to show the DLL’s loaded. There’s 15 different categories, from “Logon” to “Network Providers”.
The screenshot below shows the main screen (click image to load full size).
Clicking on a startup item shows you the information about it in the bottom pane. The information is similar to the information in file properties. You can disable a startup item by unchecking it. If Process Explorer is running you can view a startup item in AutoRuns then selecting Entry -> Process Explorer from the menu.
While the amount of information provided can be daunting at first, Autorun is an excellent tool you can use to see why your PC is running so slow or taking so long to boot. You can also easily troubleshoot performance and startup issues by disabling items temporarily.
You won’t use it a lot, but if you run or support Windows you’ll want AutoRuns in your toolkit. You’ll be amazed at how much garbage many applications load themselves when your Windows PC starts.