MSCONFIG is a Windows system configuration utility used to manage the startup applications. While this utility does its job of listing all applications (both enabled and disabled), it doesn’t have an option to delete disabled applications even they no long exist as they may already have been uninstalled from the system.
Now, these disabled applications could stay there forever without having any effects on the system but the list could grow very long. If you don’t want this list to continue to grow, you could remove the unwanted items from the list by editing the Windows registry. There are also a number of third party utilities to help take care of these unwanted items on the list. I prefer to directly edit the registry as some of these tools might prove to be harmful.
Locations of the entries in MSConfig:
The enabled/checked items are populated from the following locations:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Run
HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Run
HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ Windows
Values named Run & Load
The disabled entries are present in these locations:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ Microsoft \ Shared Tools \ MSConfig \ startupreg
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ Microsoft \ Shared Tools \ MSConfig \ startupfolder
To remove these entries, you first have to start the registry editor (regedit.exe), backup the folder MSConfig before deleting the unwanted items’ folders.
After doing this, all the deleted entries should disappear from the MSConfig startup.
Be careful NOT to break your system. Once again remember to backup before deletion.