3 Small Windows Tools To Delay Any Program(s) At Startup

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software launcherThe issue of delaying application launches on startup, for me, directly relates to the security and safety of my computer. On startup, my computer connects to the Internet before the firewall can kick in. That small delay in the startup of my protection software gives a small window to viruses and malware.

The solution is a registry hack or software that can delay a program (ex. my broadband network connection) at startup.

Delaying a service has many uses – from improving boot efficiency to troubleshooting. Windows has several manual options for specifying the sequence of startup programs and a delay between them. You can use a batch file and place it in the startup folder or get into the registry and add entries under a registry key.

But for absolute ease of use there are a few software launcher options too. Let’s look into three of them.

Startup Delayer

delay a program at startup

Startup Delayer (v2.5.138) is a 980KB free download. The latest version is more than a year old, but it works just fine on Windows 2000/XP/XP64/Vista systems. The app lists all the applications that load with Windows. You can double click on each application and edit its Launch Type and set the Delay.

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Alternatively, you can drag “˜n drop the application onto the Time Chart that’s below the application list. Then, you can then drag and drop it around the Time Chart to rearrange the apps and change the delay. You can delete selected programs from the list and in case you change your mind, simply start over. The delay information is displayed on the status bar.


delay a program at startup

LaunchLater (v1.3) Beta does the same job of delaying the startup time of applications. The 1.145MB freeware does require that you have .NET Framework (ver.4.0) installed.

LaunchLater is very simple: you add the applications you want to delay and specify the delay in seconds. But the simplicity also entails a bit of work, because you have to manually browse to the executable of the application you want to delay the launch for.


Startup program delay is just one of the roles of this well rounded security app, WinPatrol (ver.18.1). WinPatrol’s overall role is to monitor your computer for any changes and issue alerts. Scotty, the system watchdog, sits on the taskbar and watches out for threats. Malicious software, harmful ActiveX controls, suspected key loggers, spyware etc can be kept at bay using WinPatrol. WinPatrol does not scan but takes a system snapshot as the basis for its heuristic monitoring of the system.

WinPatrol has a startup monitor that lists all the programs that load with Windows. You can simply right click on the program(s) and move it to the Delayed Start list.

how to delay a program at startup

Next, on the Delayed Start list, you can right click on the program and set the delay time for the program.

delay a programs startup

WinPatrol (Free) is a 1MB download and is supported on all Windows OS including Windows 7.

If you are looking for a startup delayer with some extra functionality to boot, WinPatrol is well reviewed and a good choice.  Mark reviewed it back in 2007 as well as taking a look at its portable version in 2009.

You can also go and checkout how to use Soluto to improve your Windows boot up time. Soluto also has an option that lets you delay programs and improve Windows responsiveness.

You can create your own free delay device using a simple batch file and placing it in the startup folder. Googling for it throws up quite a few samples. Windows Vista and 7 (also Windows Server 2008) have an Automatic (Delayed Start) option that ensures that selected services start shortly after a boot. You can access it from the Services Control Panel applet under Administrative Tools.

Do you use a manual option or a software to delay selected programs at startup? Let us know.

Image Credit : Shutterstock

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