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Article ID: 314488 - Last Review: November 28, 2007 - Revision: 2.3

This article was previously published under Q314488
The article is intended for advanced computer users. If you are not comfortable with advanced configuration, you might want to ask someone for help or to contact support. For information about how to do this, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/ (http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/)

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SUMMARY

This article describes how to use the Group Policy snap-in to create or modify the list of programs that start automatically when you log on to your Microsoft Windows XP-based computer.

MORE INFORMATION

Windows XP has two separate Run policies:
  • Run at user logon
  • Legacy Run at user logon

Run at user logon policy

To create or modify the list of programs that start automatically when you log on to your computer, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type mmc, and then click OK.
  2. On the File menu, click Add/Remove Snap-in.
  3. Click Add.
  4. Under Available Stand-alone Snap-ins, click Group Policy Object Editor, click Add, and then click Finish.

    Note If you do not want to edit the Local Computer policy, click Browse to locate the Group Policy object that you want. Supply your user name and password if prompted, and then click Finish when you return to the Select Group Policy Object dialog box.
  5. Click Close, and then in the Add/Remove Snap-in dialog box, click OK.
  6. In the left pane of the Group Policy snap-in, expand Local Computer Policy, expand Computer Configuration, and then expand Administrative Templates.
  7. Expand the System object, click the Logon object, and then in the right-pane, double-click Run these programs at user logon.
  8. Click Enabled, and then click Show.
  9. Click Add, type the name of the executable program (.exe) file or document that you want, and then click OK. You must specify the path to the file unless it is located in the %Systemroot% folder.
  10. Repeat step 9 to add additional items to the Items to run at logon list.
  11. Click OK twice.

    The items that you added to the Items to run at logon list start automatically the next time that you log on to Windows on your computer. A list of these items is located in the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\Explorer\Run

Legacy Run at user logon policy

The legacy programs that are configured to start when you log on to your computer are listed in the following registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
Many third-party programs, such as RealAudio, can be included in this category.

You can either enable or disable the legacy run list. You cannot modify it directly from within the Group Policy snap-in. If you want to add items to the list of programs that start automatically when you log on to your computer, see the "Run at user logon policy" section of this article.

To specify whether you want to start the programs on the legacy run list when you log on to your computer, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type mmc, and then click OK.
  2. On the File menu, click Add/Remove Snap-in.
  3. Click Add.
  4. Under Available Stand-alone Snap-ins, click Group Policy Object Editor, click Add, and then click Finish.

    Note If you do not want to edit the Local Computer policy, click Browse to locate the Group Policy object that you want. Supply your user name and password if prompted, and then click Finish when you return to the Select Group Policy Object dialog box.
  5. Click Close, and then in the Add/Remove Snap-in dialog box, click OK.
  6. In the left pane of the Group Policy snap-in, expand Local Computer Policy, expand Computer Configuration, and then expand Administrative Templates.
  7. Expand the System object, click the Logon object, and then in the right-pane, double-click Do not process the legacy run list.
  8. Do one of the following:
    • Click Not Configured if you want to run legacy programs at user logon.
    • Click Enabled if you do not want to run legacy programs at user logon.
    • Click Disabled if you want to run legacy programs at user logon.
    Note The legacy programs that are configured to start when you log on to your computer may also be listed in the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
    To specify whether you want to start programs on the run-once list when you log on to your computer, follow the steps in the "Legacy Run at user logon policy" section of this article. In step 6, click Do not process the run once list, and then either enable or disable the policy.
Note To make the changes discussed in this article take effect, you must log off and then log back on to the system. Fast-user switching will not be sufficient on a disjoined Windows XP computer.

For more information about the Run and RunOnce registry keys, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
179365  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/179365/ ) INFO: Run, RunOnce, RunServices, RunServicesOnce and Startup
For more information about the RunOnce registry key, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
310593  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310593/ ) Description of the RunOnceEx Registry Key
For more information about how to use the Group Policy Editor in Windows XP, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
307882  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307882/ ) How to use the Group Policy Editor to manage local computer policy in Windows XP
For more information about how to use the Msconfig utility to alter the startup programs in Windows XP, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
310560  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310560/ ) How to troubleshoot configuration errors by using the System Configuration utility in Windows XP
Note For testing purposes, this may also be done by using the Startup tab in Msconfig.

The third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, about the performance or reliability of these products.
If the articles that are listed earlier do not help you modify the Group Policy, search the Microsoft Knowledge Base for more information. To search the Microsoft Knowledge Base, follow these steps:
  1. Visit the following Microsoft Web site:
    http://support.microsoft.com (http://support.microsoft.com/)
  2. Type the text of the error message that you receive, or type a description of the problem, in the Search Support (KB) text box, and then press ENTER.

REFERENCES

For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
270035  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/270035/ ) How to disable programs that run when you start Windows XP Home Edition or Windows Vista

APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Keywords: 
kbresolve kbappdev kbenv kbinfo KB314488
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