With Windows 10 Task Manager’s help, you can perform various tasks, including Run File Explorer with Admin Rights, sign out other Users, view and manage all Startup Programs, etc. However, on Task Manager, there is no built-in option to delete the obsolete or invalid program entries. If you install and uninstall several programs, it will accumulate old and invalid program entries in the Startup tab even after uninstalling the programs that are no longer in use.

As you can see on the above image, we have performed a right-click on an invalid program entry, and “Open file location” is grayed out. That means the executable file doesn’t exist in our Windows 10 PC in the specified location. Hence we can remove it from our PC without any problems.

If you want to keep your PC clean and boost up the performance of your computer, you should remove the invalid or dead startup program entries from the Task Manager of Windows 10.

This post will help remove dead Startup programs or Invalid entries from Task Manager in Windows 10. There are at least two ways to remove the startup entries from the Task Manager in Windows 10. These are the following:-

  1. Remove dead Startup programs or Invalid entries from Task Manager in Windows 10 using Windows Registry.
  2. Remove dead Startup programs or Invalid entries from Task Manager in Windows 10 using a third-party tool Autoruns.

Let us explain both options one by one in detail.

Note: You can only remove the classic desktop apps from Windows Startup by referring to this post. The modern Universal Web Apps and Store app startup entries can’t be removed using any methods that means Windows Registry or Autoruns.

1. How to remove dead Startup programs or Invalid entries from Task Manager in Windows 10 using Windows Registry?

Gentle Reminder: Since wrong modification in the Registry may damage your windows installation, we recommend creating a full backup of Registry and implementing a system restore point.

To remove the dead Startup programs or Invalid entries from the Windows 10 Task Manager, perform the following steps:-

  1. Press Windows logo + R keys to open the Run dialog box.

2. In the Run dialog box that opens, type the following and press Enter from the keyboard to open the Registry Editor window:-

regedit

3. In the Registry Editor window that opens, navigate to the following path:-

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

4. On the right-side pane of the Run key, you may see several program entries. All the entries are auto-start entries added by different programs. Right-click on any unwanted entry and click on the Delete option.

Quick Tips: If you not sure if an auto-run entry is valid or not, right-click on the auto-run entry and select modify option. You will see the full path of the program. Navigate to the path in the File Explorer and check if it exists.

5. Repeat the above-mentioned steps for the Run keys at the following locations to eliminate them:-

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartupApproved\Run

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartupApproved\Run

6. If you install 32-bit programs on a 64-bit Windows 10 PC, you need to check the auto-run entries to the following locations:-

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

Once you’ve eliminated all the invalid startup program entries from the registry, you can close the Registry Editor. Now proceed to delete the invalid shortcuts in the Startup folders.

2. How to remove dead Startup programs or Invalid entries from Task Manager in Windows 10 using a third-party tool Autoruns?

If you prefer to use a freeware tool to remove dead Startup programs or Invalid entries from Task Manager in Windows 10, Autoruns from Microsoft is the best option. Perform the following steps to remove unwanted entries from Windows 10:-

  1. Download Autoruns tool from the official webpage and unzip it using the WinRAR app.

2. Run the tool with admin privilege (Right-click on .exe file and select “Run as administrator” option).

3. Click on the Logon tab.


4. Perform a right-click on any invalid or unwanted entry and select the Delete option.

Note: Autoruns only displays those entries which are enabled in the Task Manager’s Startup tab. If any entry is not visible in Autoruns programs, enable the program or app in Task Manager. Also, make sure not to delete any Microsoft entries there, especially the Userinit entry.

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