Why Don’t People use the ‘Startup’ Folder Anymore?

Why doesn’t software use the “Startup” group properly anymore? When I booted up this evening I had about 10 programs loading up in my system tray, but only 3 in the “Startup” program group (and only 2 of those are programs that would be visible in the system tray!). In the registry I have 18 programs in the HKLM..\Run and HKCU..\Run keys. 18!! And those are “legit” as well, nothing fishy. Of course, only about two thirds of those have a nice “run on startup” checkbox in their settings so that I could turn them off if I knew about them. Other ones like NeroFilterCheck, iTunesHelper, and the nVidia settings stupid thing have no way of turning them off and unless you’re constandly messing with your video settings, there’s no point in them! I wish I could find the blog article I found on this last week talking about why have something that is there visible but isn’t there for any actual interactive purpose.

Shouldn’t things like Steam, intel audio studio, openvpn, nvidia settings, etc all be showing up in there? Are companies too afraid that if they put their random startup programs into the Startup group that users will find it way to easy to disable their “news bulletin” or whatever programs?

I can understand authors of less reputable programs like adware etc not doing this, but why use funky secret registry settings when something more friendly to the user is available and (I presume) just as easy.

Or maybe the “Startup” group is meant exclusively for user programs? If so the question begs why my accounting program and color profile program both loaded themselves in there.

The thing that bugs me about this more than the inconvenience is that it means that users lose confidence in the looking at the startup group to see what is going on with their system.

Luckily programs like hijackthis exist to let you dig into what is going on a bit more.

My plea to you, windows software authors, is to use the startup group (or explain why hardly anyone does) 🙂