What is MSConfig? How To Open And Use It

MSConfig is a start-up configuration utility developed by Microsoft Corporation. A tool that allows us to manage Windows services and drivers at startup. Moreover, it also allows us to edit the boot parameters. Here, we have listed a few features that are included within MSConfig:

  • Enable and disable drives at startup
  • View the present operating systems installed on your device
  • RAM allocation during boot
  • Boot into safe mode
  • Manage which programs and services run at startup
  • View advanced details for administrative programs

In this article, we will discuss the methods to open MSConfig in Windows 10, 8 and 7. Next, we will learn in-depth about the tabs in the configuration utility and how to use them. As a result, you’ll actually figure out some tips and tricks to improve your systems startup performance.

How To Open MSConfig in Windows 10, 8 and 7, XP and 98

Here, we have written a step-by-step guide on how to open MSConfig. Moreover, we have included instructions for opening the tool in all Windows Operating Systems.

Windows 10,8 and 7 – Open Using Start Menu

If you’re on any of these three operating systems, they all follow the same procedure to open MSConfig. Follow the simple steps below:

  1. Click on the Windows icon on the taskbar
  2. Next, type ‘MSConfig’ and press Enter
  3. MSConfig should now be opened in a new window

Please note, the taskbar format varies for each of the operating systems. However, the principle remains the same.

Windows 10, 8, 7, XP, and 98 – Open Using Run Dialog Box

In Windows XP and 98, you must use the Run dialog box to open MSConfig. Similarly, you can also open MSConfig in later versions using the same method. Thereby, follow the steps below:

  1. Hold the Windows Key + R
  2. Now, the Run window will open. Enter ‘MSConfig’ and press OK.
  3. MSConfig will now be up and running.

Open Using Command Prompt

The Command Prompt methods work for all Windows operating systems. Hence, go ahead and follow the steps below:

  1. Open the taskbar and search for ‘command prompt’
  2. Right-click it and select ‘Run as Administrator’
  3. In the command line, enter the command “Start MSConfig”
  4. MSConfig configuration utility will now open

How to Use MSConfig On Windows PC

In order to understand the features of MSConfig and how to use them, we must go through each of the tabs. In particular, the General, Boot, Services, Startup, and Tools tabs.

1. General Tab

MSConfig has the general tab selected by default. Here, there are three startup options listed. Namely, Normal, Diagnostic and Selective startup. In Normal startup, your device is booted with all drivers and services that are required during normal operation. When a Diagnostic startup is selected, some services and drivers will be disabled. For example, Networking, Plug and Play and Error reporting services. Finally, in the Selective startup option, you can choose whether or not to run system services and startup items.

2. Boot Tab

The Boot tab allows you to change boot values. Additionally, you can start your PC in safe mode on the next boot by checking the ‘Safe Boot’ option. The minimal option boots the devices with minimal GUI and basic drivers. Alternate Shell boots with just command prompt, Active Directory repair is meant for corporate/administrative access and finally, network boot allows similar booting features as minimal except with network-enabled. The No GUI boot will not show the Windows welcome screen upon boot. Boot log creates a log file of the entire boot process, Base video will load windows using just minimal VGA drivers. Lastly, the OS boot information checkbox displays the names of the drivers during the booting process. Please note, once Safe Mode is entered you will have to uncheck this option to resume a normal boot.

3. Services Tab

In this msconfig tab, you will find a list of start-up services that Microsoft Performs and it is recommended that you don’t disable any services. That is unless that service is the root cause of your PC’s problems. A useful tip is the select the “Hide all Microsoft Services”. Now, all of the important services for Windows operation will be hidden. Thereby, only third-party services will be displayed. Disabling unwanted third party services is a great way to speed up your computer’s start-up performance.

4. Startup Tab

The Startup Tab is probably the most useful tab for us common Windows users because this tab allows us to enable disable programs that open after your computer boots. It’s crazy how many startup programs can be amassed over time. Nevertheless, with a simple checkbox you can disable these unnecessary start-up programs thereby speeding up your computer’s start-up time.

5.Tools Tab

The tools tab is probably one of the most over-looked tabs in MSConfig. Essentially, it has a list of and options to launch several different Windows settings and utility software. For example, Action Center, Event Viewer, Windows Troubleshooting, Computer Management, Performance Monitor can all be launched from the Tools tab. Without a doubt, the tools tab will come in handy for those who don’t know how to separately open these programs.

Final Words

Starting up MSConfig can be done using the Run box, Command Prompt or even just the start menu. Additionally, MSConfig has a rather simple user interface compared to other Microsoft Utilities such as Registry or Group Policy Editors. It comprises five easy to use tabs and has several options that will help improve your computers boot and start-up times.

In conclusion, MSConfig is a very handy tool if you want to improve your start-up performance and overall just become a more efficient Windows user.

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