Author Topic: How To Remove Unwanted Background Applications  (Read 1186 times)


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How To Remove Unwanted Background Applications
« on: Aug 24, 2002, 08:09 AM »
If you have unwanted programs running in the background, you may be losing a significant portion of your system?s resources, as well as some of your privacy and sanity.  Programs such as ad-ware, spy-ware, file sharing clients, media players, and others are probably running in the background on your system right now.  Removing them can make your system run faster, and removing them is quite simple if you follow these instructions:

The first and easiest way to remove a program from the background is to see if it?s running in the system tray (the icons in the bottom-right corner by the clock).  If the program is friendly and its developers were considerate, there should be an icon for it in the system try.  If you can locate the icon, right click on it to display the menu, and select ?disable?, ?close?, or whatever it may be.  This will take care of it for now, but it will probably come back when you restart your system.  If you?d like to prevent this, open the program and look in the options to prevent it from loading when Windows does.

If the program is hostile, or at least not very friendly, and there is no icon in the system tray, there are still a few things you can do to get rid of it.  The first place you can look is in Start > Programs > Start up.  The icons in this folder link to the programs that will be started when Windows loads.  If you?d like to prevent one of these from loading next time, simply remove it from that folder.  If you?re not sure what it is, you can move it somewhere else (the desktop for example), and then either delete it or move it back, whatever you decide.  The other option that most developers now use involves creating a key in the registry in a special section that performs the same function as the folder mentioned above.  Since modifying the registry isn?t a good thing for most computer users to start doing, Microsoft included a program called ?msconfig? with Windows 98 and later.  You can access this program by going to Start > Run, then typing in ?msconfig? (sans quotes).  This program allows you to modify the list of programs that run at startup without potentially causing any damage to the system.  You can safely un-check any item from the ?startup? list, and later check it again if you decide to include the program.

The other things you should consider if you are getting unwanted browser pop-ups is either a virus or ad-ware/spy-ware.  To cure the former, scan your system with an updated antivirus program.  To remedy the later, you can use a free program called AdAware (

I hope this helps you remove your unwanted background applications.  If you need help implementing anything mentioned in this tutorial, please poast a question in the appropriate forum.  If you have any comments about this, please send them to me via either e-mail or instant message through this site.