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MS-Windows Troubleshooting

Unwanted Application Runs at Logon


An unwanted application runs immediately or shortly after logging in.


Windows allows applications to be specified to run immediately once a user has logged in. These are specified either in the one of the ‘Startup’ folders or in the Registry


To identify where the application (that is running) is specified, check each of the following in turn:

  1. Look in the directory ‘%SYSTEMROOT%\Profiles\<user-name>\Start Menu’. Applications found here are run only for the given user.
  2. Look in the directory ‘%SYSTEMROOT%\Profiles\All Users\Start Menu’. Applications found here are run for all users.
  3. Look in the registry under the key: ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\ Microsoft \Windows\ CurrentVersion\ Run’ each entry relates to a command that is run at start-up


  • Be aware that if a file or shortcut to a file is specified then Windows will run the application associated with the type of file.
  • Before deleting an application (either from one of the ‘Startup’ folders or from the registry) consider first why the application is there and how it got there.

These notes have been tested with Windows NT4, Windows 2000. and Windows XP.

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