Windows 7 / Getting Started

How to Disable Startup Applications Configured Using Group Policy or Logon Scripts

You can use the Group Policy snap-in to disable applications that run at startup. Local Group Policy can be applied to computers, in which case you need to edit the Group Policy settings on the computer that you are troubleshooting. Group Policy objects (GPOs) are frequently applied within AD DS domains, in which case you need to connect to the domain to edit the appropriate policy. Before modifying domain Group Policy settings, you should follow the steps described later in this section to disconnect the computer you are troubleshooting from the network to determine whether the problem is related to domain Group Policy settings.

To disable startup applications by using the Group Policy Management Editor snap-in, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, type gpedit.msc, and then click OK.
  2. Within either Computer Configuration (for computer-wide startup applications) or User Configuration (for user-specific startup applications), expand Policies, expand Administrative Templates, expand System, and then click Logon.
  3. Double-click Run These Programs At User Logon, which is a Group Policy setting. Next, do one of the following:
    • To disable all startup applications configured by that policy, click Disabled.
    • To selectively disable individual programs that are listed in the computer-specific or user-specific policy, click Show. In the Show Contents dialog box, select a program to disable and then click Remove.

You can change additional Group Policy settings that might help you simplify your computer configuration when you are troubleshooting startup problems by enabling the Do Not Process The Run Once List policy. If you enable this Group Policy setting, the computer ignores the programs listed in the following RunOnce subkeys the next time a user logs on to the computer:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

Additionally, you can enable the Group Policy setting Do Not Process The Legacy Run List to disable the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run subkey that startup applications might use. The programs listed in this subkey are a customized list of programs that were configured by using the System Policy Editor for Windows NT 4.0 or earlier versions. If you enable this Group Policy setting, Windows ignores the programs listed in this subkey when you start your computer. If you disable or do not configure this Group Policy setting, Windows processes the customized run list that is contained in this registry subkey when you start the computer.

Group Policy changes do not always take effect immediately. You can use the Gpupdate (Gpupdate.exe) tool to refresh local Group Policy changes to computer and user policies. After you refresh the policy, you can use the Group Policy Result (Gpresult.exe) tool to verify that the updated settings are in effect.

Group Policy settings can be applied locally or to an entire domain. To determine how settings are applied to a specific computer, use the Resultant Set Of Policy (Rsop.msc) tool. Then, edit those Group Policy objects to apply a change. For the purpose of isolating the source of the problem, you can prevent Group Policy, logon scripts, roaming user profiles, scheduled tasks, and network-related issues from affecting your troubleshooting by temporarily disabling the network adapter and then logging on by using a local computer account.

If local and domain Group Policy settings do not reveal the source of the startup problem, the application may be started by a logon script. Logon scripts are configured in the local or domain user properties. To view the logon script, open Computer Management and then view the user's properties. Then click the Profile tab. Make note of the path to the logon script and edit it in a tool such as Notepad to determine whether any startup applications are configured.

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In this tutorial:

  1. Configuring Startup and Troubleshooting Startup Issues
  2. What is New with Windows Startup
  3. Boot Configuration Data
  4. BCD Stores
  5. System Recovery
  6. Windows Boot Performance Diagnostics
  7. Understanding the Startup Process
  8. Power-on Self Test Phase
  9. Initial Startup Phase
  10. Initial Startup Phase for BIOS Computers
  11. Initial Startup Phase for EFI Computers
  12. Windows Boot Manager Phase
  13. Windows Boot Loader Phase
  14. Kernel Loading Phase
  15. Control Sets
  16. Values for the Start Registry Entry
  17. Value Descriptions for Type Entries
  18. Other Registry Entries in the Servicename Subkeys
  19. Session Manager
  20. Logon Phase
  21. Important Startup Files
  22. How to Configure Startup Settings
  23. How to Use the Startup And Recovery Dialog Box
  24. How to Use the System Configuration Tool
  25. How to Use BCDEdit
  26. How to Interpret BCDEdit Output
  27. How to Back Up and Restore Settings
  28. How to Change the Default Operating System Entry
  29. How to Change the Boot Menu Time-Out
  30. How to Change the Order of Boot Manager Menu Items
  31. How to Create an Entry for Another Operating System
  32. How to Remove a Boot Entry
  33. How to View and Update Global Debugger Settings
  34. How to Remove the Windows 7 Boot Loader
  35. How to Configure a User Account to Automatically Log On
  36. How to Disable the Windows Startup Sound
  37. How to Speed Up the Startup Process
  38. The Process of Troubleshooting Startup
  39. Startup Troubleshooting Before the Starting Windows Logo Appears
  40. How to Start the System Recovery Tools
  41. How to Run Startup Repair
  42. How to Use BootRec.exe
  43. How to Diagnose Hardware Problems
  44. How to Use System Restore
  45. How to Manually Repair the Boot Sector
  46. How to Manually Update the BCD Registry File
  47. How to Manually Replace Files
  48. How to Reinstall Windows
  49. Startup Troubleshooting After the Starting Windows Logo Appears
  50. How to Restore the Last Known Good Configuration
  51. How to Enable Boot Logging
  52. How to Start in Safe Mode
  53. How to Identify Failing Drivers and Services
  54. How to Analyze Startup Problems in Safe Mode
  55. Event Viewer (Eventvwr.msc)
  56. System Information
  57. Error Reporting Service
  58. How to Use Device Manager to View or Change Resources
  59. How to Analyze Boot Logs
  60. How to Roll Back Drivers
  61. How to Temporarily Disable a Service
  62. Troubleshooting Startup Problems After Logon
  63. How to Temporarily Disable Startup Applications and Processes
  64. How to Disable Startup Applications Using the Shift Key
  65. How to Disable Startup Programs Using the System Configuration Utility
  66. How to Disable Startup Applications Configured Using Group Policy or Logon Scripts
  67. How to Permanently Disable Startup Applications and Processes
  68. Manually Remove the Entry