KickStart: Simple startup management

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KickStart is a completely free application that can help you take care of any and all items that are configured to start when your computer runs from any source.

KickStart Windows RegistryInstallation & Requirements

There is no installation required for the application at all. What you need to do is download the .zip file, extract it wherever you like in your PC and then run the executable file found within the KickStart folder. The application should be able to support all versions of Windows starting from Windows 2000 and beyond.

Interface

The main KickStart UI is very straightforward as there are not a lot of things that can confuse the user. The interface is divided into two separate tabs that correspond to the type of startup programs and their location in your computer. The first tab is the Windows Registry where you can find the entries for each startup program and the second is Windows Services which should give you a list of utilities that are set to run when your computer boots up.

Problems arise when the application fails to recognize some of the items in your startup list which is definitely strange considering that is its sole purpose. The reason for this is probably that KickStart does not want you to mess around with Windows utilities but then it wrongly categorizes some third-party tools into that list and does not bring them up. In the Windows 8.1 test, the application failed to recognize a considerable number of Windows Services but it pretty much got everything right in Windows 7 which was a relief.

When the program does work, however, it becomes a very useful manager indeed. Startup items can be backed up and their status can be changed on the spot, allowing the user full control over what happens when their system boots up. Finding a very specific item might be a bit hard for inexperienced users, especially when dealing with Registry items as they will have to understand what their location means and what they can do with it but other than that it is quite easy to navigate through everything.

Another interesting part is that you can actually get a list of drivers that are configured to run during the startup which can be incredibly useful when dealing with a problematic one. After you identify what the problem is, you can locate the problematic driver or windows service through KickStart, get more information about it and then completely disable it to fix the problems associated with it. Although it is a simple process, it can prove to be very important when troubleshooting.

Pros

-No setup required
-Simple, effective UI
-Makes startup management a lot easier

Cons

-Effectiveness limited depending on PC configuration

Conclusion

KickStart is one of the simplest startup managers you can find but it definitely does the job and the facts that it is tiny and requires no installation can be considered bonuses. Apart from the aforementioned bugs, it can truly prove to be useful in a hitch.

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