Startup Patrol: manage and block autostart programs on Windows

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Whenever you install a program on Windows or update one, there is a chance that you end up with one or even multiple startup entries.

While some programs displays prompts or options to put you in control of that, it is quite common that others do so without even informing you about it.

That’s a huge problem and without doubt one of the reasons why programs like WinPatrol exist.

Windows ships with options to manage startup items and while you can theoretically control all startup items this way, it is everything but comfortable.

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Programs like the excellent Autoruns improve that in many different ways, for instance by scanning all entries for viruses, displaying all items in one program window or hiding Microsoft entries to improve accessibility.

Startup Patrol falls more in the WinPatrol category of programs. It looks a lot like the little brother of WinPatrol that concentrates on autostart only.

startup patrol

The program, available as a portable version and setup version, displays autostart items on program start. Each program is listed with its name and path on the system, the location it was found in, its status, and other information including its company, size, digital signature or creation date.

A right-click on an item displays a context menu with management options. You may use the menu to toggle its status (enabled/disabled), delete it outright, search for it online, or open its file properties.

Apart from managing startup items — the program concentrates on Registry and start folders, and ignores Tasks — it monitors the system for new entries and displays a prompt when it notices one.

autostart monitor

The prompt displays relevant information about the new item, its name, system path, whether it is digitally signed and its autorun location, and options to allow, deny or delete it.

The program monitors the autorun location it supports automatically while it is running. This may not be something that experienced users would install on their system, but it may help inexperienced users who often end up with a huge number of autorun entries after using a system for a short period of time.

Closing Words

Startup Patrol is a well designed program to manage autorun entries and monitor the system for new entries added by processes or users.

The missing Task management and monitoring options are a bit of a let down though, and unless you want the monitoring, you are better of using Autoruns or a comparable program that covers all bases.


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About Martin Brinkmann

Martin Brinkmann is a journalist from Germany who founded Ghacks Technology News Back in 2005. He is passionate about all things tech and knows the Internet and computers like the back of his hand. You can follow Martin on Facebook, Twitter or Google+

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