Troubleshoot Blocked Start-up Programs in Windows - dummies

Troubleshoot Blocked Start-up Programs in Windows

By Dan Gookin

Every once in a while you may see the Windows Has Blocked Some Startup Programs message? Try as you can to dismiss it, it doesn’t go away until you deal with the situation.


Here’s how to deal with the situation in Windows Vista and Windows XP. (It doesn’t appear to be a problem in Windows 7.)

  1. From the Start button menu, choose All Programs→Windows Defender.

    Windows Defender comes standard with Windows Vista, but it’s an optional upgrade for Windows XP.

  2. Click the Tools link at the top of the window.

  3. Choose the Software Explorer tool.

  4. Ensure that Startup Programs is chosen from the Category drop-down list.

    You see a list of all programs that attempt to start when the computer starts. Programs of an unknown type can be blocked. That explains the message you see when the computer starts.


    You can remove or block a program in the list: Simply click the Remove or Disable button when the program is selected. Most likely, a program that’s been blocked appears in the Quarantine area.

  5. Click the Tools link at the top of the window.

  6. Choose Quarantined Items.

    If any items are listed, they have been blocked — and most likely for good reason.

    You can remove the quarantine by selecting an item and choosing the Restore button. But do so only if you’re positively certain that the blocked program is safe.

  7. Close the Windows Defender window when you’re done.

Other software on your computer might also be blocking certain start-up programs. For example, an antispyware or antivirus utility might scan your computer’s files for signs of malware. Start-up files can be quarantined or blocked by those utilities as well.