Tips And Tricks
The One Saving
Grace Of Windows Defender
Using Windows Defender To Control Startup
We (and many others)
have a very low opinion of Microsoft's entry
into the anti-spyware application arena. Fact
is, it's a very poor anti-spyware program. It
doesn't detect thousands of threats that many
other (and better) anti-spyware programs detect.
But, it comes with every version of Windows
Vista. But wait, before you uninstall it, it
does have one feature that you might like, but
probably wouldn't use unless it was pointed out
to you - that's what we're doing in this tip -
pointing out the only saving grace of Windows
What is it you ask?
It's called Software Explorer and it's a dandy
application if you want to control those
out-of-control startup applications. You know,
the ones that start with Windows, run in the
background, and use up valuable resources,
sometimes for no reason at all? True, some
applications must run at start up (like
Microsoft system processes and some services;
your anti-spyware (hopefully you have more than
Windows Defender to protect you), your
anti-virus, your third-party firewall (if you
have one), and other software you feel that you
want to start with Windows. We, for instance,
like our own CalendarPal to start with Windows.
We like to have our weather forecasts,
calendars, reminders, and weather alerts
available at all times. Perhaps you can think of
applications that you need or want to start with
Windows. Just be careful you don't allow too
many to start with Windows - or you can expect
Here's how to use
Vista's Windows Defender to learn more about
those programs that are starting with Windows
and disable them (or even remove them from your
startup list altogether if you want to).
Click the Windows
logo button (formerly known as the "Start
button") and find Windows Defender in the list
and click it to open the program.
Click "Tools" and
then click on "Software Explorer" - Make sure
you click "Show for all users" (at the bottom)
Notice in the image above that "Startup
Programs is selected next to Category. You can
highlight any application in the left pane and
read detailed information about it in the right
pane. You can then choose to remove the
application from your startup list altogether or
disable it (keep it from starting with Windows).
Defender is a poor choice for anti-spyware
protection, this feature alone makes it worth
having. It gives you detail information on many
programs which are starting up with Windows, so
you can make an informed choice as to whether to
allow it to start with Windows or not.
Also, not shown in
the image above (due to space restrictions here)
there is another button that says "Enable" -
just in case you want something that is not
currently starting with Windows to startup with
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