When you start your computer, Windows isn't the only program that loads. For instance, you may have noticed icons in the notification area (also known as the system tray) in the far-right portion of the taskbar. These icons often represent programs that start when the system starts. You also may have seen certain programs, such as software for syncing your phone or MP3 player, launching themselves along with Windows. Additionally, some applications begin running silently in the background every time you boot the PC. All of these automatically opening programs consume system memory, and can drag down performance. Fortunately, managing Startup programs isn't difficult; by taking a few steps, you can find out what is running on your computer and disable the items you don't need. Startup Manager is a free application that doesn't require a username or password or any personal information or registration. In fact, starting up Startup Manager is a snap. Once it's downloaded, you just run the executable and the interface simply appears; there's no installation process to go through. If wait time is a problem for you when loading Windows programs, Startup Manager has a solution. Warning Use caution when disabling items in startup items. Many entries have names that aren't self-explanatory. Research each entry before deleting any items; use the Web to search for the name of the entry, and to get an idea of its function. Without doing your homework, you could end up disabling an important application such as your antivirus program.