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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

How to Disable Startup Applications Configured Using GP (Group Policy)

You can use the Group Policy snap-in to disable applications that run at start-up. Local Group Policy can be applied to computers, in which case you need to edit the Group Policy settings on the computer that you are troubleshooting. Group Policy objects (GPOs) are frequently applied within AD DS domains, in which case you need to connect to the domain to edit the appropriate policy. Before modifying domain Group Policy settings, you should follow the steps described later in this section to disconnect the computer you are troubleshooting from the network to determine whether the problem is related to domain Group Policy settings.

To disable startup applications by using the Group Policy Management Editor snap-in, follow these steps:

  • Click Start, type gpedit.msc, and then click OK.
  • Within either Computer Configuration (for computer-wide startup applications) or User Configuration (for user-specific startup applications), expand Policies, expand Administrative Templates, expand System, and then click Logon.
  • Double-click Run These Programs At User Logon, which is a Group Policy setting. Next, do one of the following:
    • To disable all startup applications configured by that policy, click Disabled.
    • To selectively disable individual programs that are listed in the computer-specific or user-specific policy, click Show. In the Show Contents dialog box, select a program to disable and then click Remove.

You can change additional Group Policy settings that might help you simplify your computer configuration when you are troubleshooting startup problems by enabling the Do Not Process The Run Once List policy. If you enable this Group Policy setting, the computer ignores the programs listed in the following RunOnce subkeys the next time a user logs on to the computer:

    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

Additionally, you can enable the Group Policy setting Do Not Process The Legacy Run List to disable the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run subkey that startup applications might use. The programs listed in this subkey are a customized list of programs that were configured by using the System Policy Editor for Windows NT 4.0 or earlier versions. If you enable this Group Policy setting, Windows ignores the programs listed in this subkey when you start your computer. If you disable or do not configure this Group Policy setting, Windows processes the customized run list that is contained in this registry subkey when you start the computer.

Group Policy changes do not always take effect immediately. You can use the Gpupdate (Gpupdate.exe) tool to refresh local Group Policy changes to computer and user policies. After you refresh the policy, you can use the Group Policy Result (Gpresult.exe) tool to verify that the updated settings are in effect.

Group Policy settings can be applied locally or to an entire domain. To determine how settings are applied to a specific computer, use the Resultant Set Of Policy (Rsop.msc) tool. Then, edit those Group Policy objects to apply a change. For the purpose of isolating the source of the problem, you can prevent Group Policy, logon scripts, roaming user profiles, scheduled tasks, and network-related issues from affecting your troubleshooting by temporarily disabling the network adapter and then logging on by using a local computer account.

If local and domain Group Policy settings do not reveal the source of the startup problem, the application may be started by a logon script. Logon scripts are configured in the local or domain user properties. To view the logon script, open Computer Management and then view the user's properties. Then click the Profile tab. Make note of the path to the logon script and edit it in a tool such as Notepad to determine whether any startup applications are configured

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