What is the MsConfig utility in Windows 10 and how to use it?

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Philippe Gloaguen


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Windows, being essentially such a versatile operating system, can run into various issues and performance issues during its service. Most of these problems and problems are software related and you can easily fix them, only if you know your operating system.

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More advanced Windows users are very familiar with Msconfig usefulness and use it to its full potential. The utility offers several options that can help you troubleshoot performance issues and other issues with your machine. If you are not familiar with this utility, you should probably back up your data before proceeding with the discovery process for MsConfig and its various uses.

Final report: You can also create a manual restore point, if you are new to this it will come in handy if something goes wrong by mistake.

MsConfig is available to all users running Windows XP or later. It is a very versatile tool, which can help you configure the startup of your machine. Plus, it can be much more useful if you're trying to troubleshoot performance and stability issues.

How do you access the MsConfig utility?

The MsConfig utility can be opened from the Run command box. It can be accessed via the task manager.

1- Press Windows key + r

2- The execution box will open.

3- This is the famous Run command box that we use to open various utilities in Windows.

Light: 101 Useful execution commands

4- Writemsconfigand click Run or press Enter.

Windows will now identify the command entered and run the associated utility, in this case MsConfig.

Once opened, you will see a window consisting of 5 different tabs.

These tabs and the various options below will help you tweak and configure system startup, diagnose Windows issues for issues and performance, fix such problems, disable and limit various services, and even run major Windows tools. In all, you can say that MsConfig is your little toolbox to help keep your PC healthy.

Now I will explain each tab and its various options and the effects of its changes on Windows, to help you understand MsConfig and use it to its full potential. You will be able to improve your PC performance and solve several different problems.

Tab n. 1. Generale

The General tab will be displayed by default when you run MsConfig for the first time. You will have the following three boot options to choose from. These options will start the machine in the selected mode on the next boot.

1- Normal startup

This is the usual Windows startup, where the operating system will load all locally installed drivers and programs along with the default drivers and services.

2- Beginning of the diagnosis

This startup is similar to starting Windows in Safe Mode. You can use it to check for errors and look for stability, integrity, and other performance issues in the operating system and machine. The next time Windows starts, with this option selected, it will only load the default basic services and drivers and nothing else. This will bypass all locally installed and third party drivers and programs, which can help you evaluate and diagnose your machine's performance.

3- Selective start

This is an option that offers three more options. These checkboxes will help you switch between the various startup programs and services you want to run via the Services and Startup tab. You can activate each checkbox according to your preferences.

Tab n. 2- Inizia

This is the main tab for checking all the startup settings of your operating system. It has several options and checkboxes that can modify the Windows startup process. It also has advanced options that can help you check your machine's hardware.

When you click and open the startup tab, you will see a white box with the list of operating systems installed on the current machine.

Boot Options, you have several options, with which you can activate Windows in different boot modes.

You can start Windows in four different types of Safe Mode, depending on the error / problem you are facing.

Timeout, specifies the number of seconds Windows waits in the boot menu before loading the default operating system.

The advanced options can help you change the amount of CPU you use the next time your machine boots. You can also limit the amount of RAM that the operating system will use on the next boot.

Tab n. 3- Services

This tab will show all the services configured to start, when the operating system starts.

You can hide all the default Windows services to avoid messing up your settings using the option located in the lower left corner. You will then be able to see only third-party services present locally on your operating system. Use it to your advantage and disable your main suspects that could cause stability problems in your operating system. Or you can also disable them all using the option located in the lower right corner.

Tab n. 4- Inizia

By clicking on this tab you will be redirected to Task Manager. You'll be taken to the task manager's Home tab, which basically means they're both the same. You can use it to disable or enable various startup programs and troubleshoot system instability.

File n. 5 - Tools

After clicking on this tab, MsConfig will show you various utilities and tools that you can run directly from MsConfig. You can review the list of administrative tools and select the one you want to run, then click Start. This will open the selected program or utility. This can be especially useful if you are having trouble with your file explorer.

Once you have finished making changes to all five tabs, you will first need to click Apply and then OK to make sure the changes take effect. Windows will ask you to restart the machine for all changes to take effect.

Final report: If you have enabled Safe Mode, you will need to manually disable it again to exit Safe Mode and boot the operating system normally.

MsConfig is therefore a very useful and versatile utility that can help you troubleshoot performance issues and configure Windows startup.

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