How Do You Delete Programs That Are Running in the Background?

The solutions for deleting programs that are running in the background are different for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Programs that run in the background of your PC can be a problem.

  1. Use Task Manager then msconfig to remove in Windows 7

    First, go to the Task Manager in Windows 7. The easiest way is to hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete, and click on Start Task Manager. Next, find the program that should not be running in the background. Right-clicking on the program gives the options that can be taken; usually, the best will be End Process. This may not remove the program if it is a security program or somehow protected, but if it is an application that is not part of the operating system, this stops the program, and it no longer runs in the background. Finally, if this program is not needed when the computer boots, click on the Start button, then click on the search field just above it, then type 'msconfig'. This gives msconfig in a list of programs and files, and double-clicking msconfig allows changes to the computer at boot. Choosing the Startup tab at the top of the window shows all programs that load at boot. Remove the ones that are not needed by unchecking the box to the left, and they will no longer hinder performance from the background.

  2. Use Alt-F4 for Windows 8.1

    In Windows 8.1, the easiest way to remove a program from the background is to use Alt-F4. However, for touchscreen users, this will be Alt-Function-F4 once you have opened your keyboard on the screen. Msconfig in Windows 8.1 is similar, but to reach this program, type 'msconfig' in the Metro user interface (often called Metro UI). Double-click on the entry provided by the search, and the program is largely unchanged from Windows 7.

  3. Be sure only to stop/disable non-system programs

    Programs that are not part of system requirements or the operating system should not cause any problems upon removal. If there is a problem, a reboot into safe mode will allow access to msconfig to allow the program back into the boot sequence.