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What are my options for configuring Windows 8 startup?

The System Configuration tool features four tabs of options you can use to configure Windows 8 startup.

As a general rule, Windows Registry is what tells Windows which processes to load at startup, but you can bypass it and configure Windows 8 startup using the System Configuration tool.

Open the Windows Control Panel and enter the phrase "Administrative Tools" into the Search Control Panel box. Next, click on the Administrative Tools link and then double click on System Configuration.

System Configuration is a GUI-based tool that can configure Windows 8 startup without launching the Registry Editor. The tool is divided into five different tabs, four of which can be used for configuring Windows 8 startup.

The first of these tabs is the General tab, which lets you to choose the type of startup you want to perform. You can do a normal startup, a selective startup or a diagnostic startup.

Next is the Boot tab. This tab lets you choose which operating system you want to boot. Although this tab is of limited use on systems that only have a single operating system installed, you can use it to perform a safe boot or to control various boot options. For example, you can choose to boot without the GUI.

The third tab is the Services tab. It lets you control which system services will be started at boot. The Services tab isn’t quite as powerful as the Service Control Manager, but it works well for enabling or disabling services.

Fourth is the Startup tab. In previous versions of the System Configuration tool, this tab was used to enable or disable startup processes. In the current version, the tab contains a link to open the Startup section of the Task Manager. The Task Manager is now an option for configuring Windows 8 startup processes.

Finally the Tools tab -- which doesn’t have anything to do with startup -- lets you launch tools such as the Event Viewer or the Computer Management console.

Next Steps

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This was last published in April 2015

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