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How to disable apps from running at startup on Windows 11

Windows 11 disable startup apps
Windows 11 disable startup apps (Image credit: Windows Central)

On Windows 11, as part of the installation process, apps can register with the system to launch automatically during startup. They can also configure specific services to run in the background to perform certain tasks, including speeding up the app startup process.

Although this feature can be helpful for some applications you use frequently, you can end up with many apps and services running at startup, which can make the startup process take longer and drain battery.

Whether you want to stop Microsoft Teams, Spotify, the Xbox app, or any other app from launching automatically at boot, Windows 11 includes at least three ways to manage apps at startup, including using the Settings app, Task Manager, and the Startup folder.

In this Windows 11 guide, we will walk you through the different ways to disable apps at startup on your computer.

How to prevent apps launching at startup via Settings

To disable apps from running at startup on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Apps.
  3. Click the Startup page on the right side.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Turn off the toggle switch to disable an app from launching at startup.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. (Optional) Turn on the toggle switch to enable an app at startup.

Once you complete the steps, the app will no longer start automatically as you sign into your Windows 11 account.

How to prevent apps launching at startup via Task Manager

To block applications from launching automatically through Task Manager, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Task Manager and click the top result to open the app.Quick tip: You can also open the app by right-clicking the Start menu and selecting the Task Manager option. Or you can also use the Windows key + Shift + Esc keyboard shortcut.
  3. Click the Startup tab.
  4. Select the app launching at startup.
  5. Click the Disable button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. (Optional) Click the Enable button to enable the app.

After you complete the steps, you may want to repeat the steps to disable other apps.

How to prevent apps launching at startup via Startup folder

In addition to registering with the system, some apps can place themselves in the Startup folder, a known folder that Windows scans every time the computer starts and runs any app it finds.

To disable startup apps on Windows 11 through the Startup folder, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Run and click the top result to open the app.Quick tip: You can quickly open the "Run" command using the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut.
  3. Type the following command and click the OK button:shell:startup

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Select the app or shortcut pointing to the app.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Delete button.

Once you complete the steps, the apps you removed from the "Startup" folder will no longer open automatically as you sign into your account.

Although Windows 11 offers multiple ways to disable apps at startup, sometimes you may have to change the settings in the app itself.

More Windows resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

1 Comment
  • Or click on start and type msconfig to get to the task manager. Way faster