Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Startup Monitor 1.02 Review - Stop programs from setting themselves to run at startup

Startup Monitor 1.02 Screenshot

This review is about one of those handy little utilities that you just can't resist installing. I have been consistently bothered by a couple of programs lately, Yahoo Messenger in particular, that set themselves to run at startup whether I want them to or not. Yahoo Messenger has a setting for this - but it ignores the setting! Every time I run it, it sets itself to run at startup again. Enter Startup Monitor.

This little program sits quietly in the background (there's no system or task tray icon associated with the program) and monitors your PCs startup folder and registry for any changes to the programs that run at startup. If a program tries to set itself to run at startup, either when you install it or run it, Startup Monitor pops up a little window asking you if you want to allow the change.

Simply answer yes or no and Startup Monitor either allows or denies the change. That's about all there is to this neat little program. I guess the irony is in the fact that Startup Monitor has to install itself to run at startup, so it can do what it does! But this is no problem, as the program only occupies a paltry 176K of ram.

What to do about programs that are already set to run at startup? Well, there are a number of other programs available that list all of the startup entries on your PC and allow you to enable or disable them. One is by the author of this program, Mike Lin. While you're at the author's web site, look for Startup Control Panel - look at some of the other useful utilities he has written as well.

Also worth noting - Ccleaner and Spybot Search and Destroy both have built-in utilities that allow you to manage startup entries. Spybot Search and Destroy's resident protection also monitors the registry for startup entries, but uses too much ram for my taste.

The Bottom Line...

If you're bothered by too many programs in your task tray, eating away at your precious ram, then by all means get this little program. I had no problems with it on my XP machine (the author states on his web site that he has not tried the program with Vista yet). Startup Monitor is freeware, and can be downloaded here > Startup Monitor 1.02 .

Note about installation - The download for this program is a .zip file containing an .msi (Microsoft Installer) setup file. You'll need to unzip the file into a temporary directory - then double-click on the .msi file to start the installation.

Author's note - If you need help downloading, installing or using this program, just post a comment. I'll be glad to help if I can.

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