This tool lets you configure settings related to startup. You can specify which programs as well as services should launch automatically at startup.

In case of multi boot OS, you can set a default OS. If you want to debug system startup, you may specify to start the system only with basic drivers and services.

How to Launch It

Control Panel Way

  • Open “Administrative Tools” applet from the traditional Control Panel.
  • Launch “System Information” from the list of administrative tools.

Command Way

  • Invoke Run window or Search Charm. Select the Settings tab in case of Search Charm.Type in the command “msconfig”, and hit Enter.
  • The functionalities of this tool are divided into 5 tabs.

General Tab

This tab lets you specify how the OS should boot.
You have 3 options.

  • Normal Startup – The OS loads along with all the device drivers and configured services.
  • Diagnostic Startup – Only minimal required drivers and services will be loaded with the OS. This mode is helpful when you want to diagnose some issue in OS startup. This way  you eliminate all the other interruptions from the extra drivers and services.
  • Selective Startup – You select what things should load along with the basic OS.

Boot Tab

This tab is useful when you have multiple Windows OS installed in your system.


In case of multiple OSs, the boot loader presents you a list of all the installed OSs, from which it boots the selected OS.

There is a timeout duration, after which the boot loader will automatically boot the default selected OS.

This tab gives you the list of the installed Windows OSs. You can specify which OS should load by default if the user doesn’t select one. You can also specify the timeout duration.

Besides that, there are several advanced boot options, mainly used for diagnostic purposes – Safe booting that boots the OS minimally, no GUI boot, logging boot events, etc.

Services Tab

This tab lists all the services that may be configured to start automatically at startup.


You can enable or disable each service from this tab. As an alternative, there are two buttons through which you can enable or disable all the services at one click.

Each service lists details like its manufacturer, current status – running or stopped, and the date when the service was disabled.

The list would contain a plethora of Microsoft services, most of which should normally be enabled. It becomes hard to find a non-Microsoft service to configure it. Hence, the tab gives a checkbox to show or hide Microsoft services, so that you don’t have to waste time behind finding non-Microsoft services.

Startup Tab

You can select the programs that should start automatically after you log in to the system. However, the functionality of this tab has been assigned to Task Manager in Windows 8. So this tab provides only a link to open Task Manager.

When you click the link, the Task Manger opens directly to its own “Startup” tab. It lists the programs that you can configure to launch at startup.

Each program lists details like the publisher, current status – enabled or disabled for startup launch and the impact that it makes to the startup performance.

Right-clicking on a program gives you the option to enable or disable its launch at startup.

Tools Tab

This tab provides a handy list to launch various system tools.

Instead of going through the hassle of Control Panel, you can directly launch a tool from this tab.

It lists tools like User Account Control, Computer Management, System Information, Event Viewer, Programs and Features, Internet Options, Command Prompt, Registry Editor, Performance Monitor, Task Manager, System Restore, Remote Assistance, etc.

You can also view the physical location of the executable file of the selected tool.

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