autoruns

How can I stop programs from automatically starting when I boot up?

Autoruns

Episode 1448

Ron from California

Ron has noticed that some of his programs autostart when he boots up. How can he stop that? Leo says he doesn't like apps running in the background. There is a way to stop it, though. There's a power tool from Microsoft called Autoruns that will enables him to turn that stuff off. It's a part of their SysInternals Suite.

Why do I get a popup to open a file?

Episode 1319

Tim from LaHabra, CA

Tim has a message popping up that asks which app to open a file with. It happens automatically and he doesn't know what file it is. Leo says that's disconcerting. Leo suspects AdWare or worse! There's something on his system that is running in the background and the antivirus can't kill it. He'll have to figure out what the app is that's starting up. He'll have to expect that his system has been compromised, though, and the only real way to be sure he's gotten rid of the malware is to backup his data, wipe his hard drive, and reinstall Windows.

How can I get rid of popups?

Episode 1242

Noah from Rockford, MI

Noah's computer has an annoying popup that says running in compatibility mode can cause problems. Leo says it sounds like it could be malware or a downloaded tool that causes it. It's auto starting, so he'll need to get into the auto start menu to remove it.

First, he should go into "Add/Remove Programs" or "Programs/Features" and see if he can remove it there. Then he can try going into his startup utility. Leo recommends downloading Microsoft's AutoRuns. He should also teach his mom to only download from safe places.

How can I stop programs from launching automatically on startup in Windows?

Typing

Episode 1148

Larry from Camarillo, CA

Larry said he heard Leo talking about going into RegEdit and removing executables from the Run folder to help make the PC boot faster. Leo says this is a dangerous thing to do, and there is a better way to accomplish this same thing without opening up the registry. There is a program that Microsoft offers called AutoRuns. This examines the registry, as well as other places where programs can start up, and then the user can disable those more safely.

Why am I getting popups to run Windows Installer?

Episode 1083

Michele from Rapid City, SD

Michele accidentally clicked on an ad and now she keeps getting pop ups to download "Windows updater." Leo says that's malware and to avoid it. Leo also thinks that Michele hasn't gotten a virus just yet. But since she clicked on the ad, there may be a cookie there that keeps bringing it up. Leo advises running MalwareBytes, but she should only download it from http://www.malwarebytes.org/. There are bad versions out there that are designed to confuse people. Always download software from the original designer.

Why won't my computer go to sleep?

Episode 1055

Mike from Portland, ME

Mike can't get his computer to go into power saving mode. Leo says it could be a bad install and recommends installing from scratch, rather then upgrading. It may also be that Windows Installer doesn't see that his computer supports ACPI. Sometimes the installer gets it wrong and doesn't install the feature. There's not much he can do besides reinstalling Windows. He has to be sure to install the right kernel, and that's the problem because it's automatic.

Why does my computer keep asking me to install Java?

Episode 1044

Larry from Loma Linda, CA

Larry has a flashing blue and gold shield that wants him to install a java program. He says no, but it pops up again a few minutes later. Leo says it could be benign, or it could be a concern. Java is a programming language and many websites use it. But Larry's computer is set up correctly to ask permission to install it. It bothers Leo that it says "Publisher unknown," and not "Oracle." Leo says to keep saying no is the best move.