Microsoft's Configuration Tool (MSCONFIG)

Microsoft included with every version of Windows a great tool to help users make changes and even diagnose problems.  For this article I will be using screenshots from Windows 7.

The General tab shows if a user has a Normal startup, a diagnostic startup (Safe Mode) or a Selective startup.  Screenshot The Selective startup is shown if ANY changes have been made, such as stopping a program from loading in the Startup tab.

The Boot tab will let users choose which version of Windows to be loaded by default. It is also where a user can choose to have Windows boot into Safe Mode.  If a user needs to load Windows into Safe Mode, this can be selected and when the user reboots, Windows will load as Safe Mode.  Screenshot

The Services tab shows all of the services on the computer.  This includes services used by third party programs. The status column will show if the service is running or stopped. This is useful for troubleshooting. Screenshot

The Startup tab is used to stop programs from loading when Windows Loads. The Startup is probably used most often, as it can help to speed up a slow computer by not having so much running in the background.  Screenshot

Once a program is stopped from loading at Startup, the Windows XP user will  see a notification of change the next time the user restarts Windows. Vista users will see a notification as well.

For more on using the Startup tab, see Slow Computer.

The last tab is the Tools tab. This is another way to open/access some of the most used functions in Windows.  Just highlight the one you want and then click the Launch button. (Windows nearly always has more than one way to do stuff!)  Screenshot