7 Free Tools to Delay Programs Starting With Windows

If you are someone that leaves your computer switched off overnight or while it’s not in use, when you turn it on, the machine it has to go through a full boot. The speed at which your computer boots is dependent on several factors including system hardware specification and the type of boot device. For instance, an SSD will boot the system much faster than a mechanical hard drive.

Something else that makes a difference to boot times is the number of third party programs starting up with Windows. If you have several programs trying to load all at once it could still be several seconds or even minutes before the system becomes responsive enough to use. One solution is to go through everything starting with Windows and disable the programs you don’t need.

Instead of disabling some startup programs altogether, another option is to delay those items and put them on a timer to start after a period of time. This way Windows will load and become usable more quickly with the most important software loaded. The less important delayed programs will load a bit later. Delaying startup programs is quite easy and here we show you seven ways in which to achieve it.

1. Autorun Organizer

In addition to simply adding a delay to starting applications, Autorun Organizer also has some useful functions to help you decide what to do. All startup items can be checked with the online virus scanner VirusTotal to check if anything might be malicious. You can also connect to the developer’s server where they have a database of whether other users are disabling or delaying the same items.

The lower pane in the main window offers a recent system load times chart, which will be useful to get an idea of how well the system is booting. Click on a startup item to change the lower pane to application details. Here you can disable the item, check how it scores at VirusTotal, see if the program thinks the item has a high impact on start times and set the delay time.

Autorun Organizer

The default delay time is 30 seconds but you can set this to a custom number by clicking the arrow and entering a time. The disable/delay bar will show you how many other Autorun Organizer users are disabling the item (left number) or delaying it (right number). If you don’t want VirusTotal or to connect to the database, the options can be disabled during install or later via the Settings button. Watch for the adware being offered during install.

Download Autorun Organizer


2. WinPatrol

WinPatrol is a multipurpose utility which is part security tool, part junk/privacy cleaner, and part system settings editor. There is a paid version which we’ve talked about before, but in reality, the free version is good enough for most people and the Pro features are not really worth the money. WinPatrol is a very useful tool for monitoring startup items.

There are two tabs in the WinPatrol main window to control startup items, they are “Startup Programs” and “Delayed Start”. Creating a delay is quite simple, go to the Startup Programs tab, right click on an entry and select “Move to delayed start program list“. It will then move into the Delayed Start tab. Highlight the entry and press Delay Options to edit the amount of delay.

winpatrol delayed startup

There are preset drop down menus for both minutes and seconds so you can enter a delay from 10 seconds to 1 hour 50 seconds. The window also offers an additional program arguments box, open as window size and a checkbox to run the program as administrator. The restore menu option will return the delayed program back to the standard startup tab.

Download WinPatrol


3. Anvir Task Manager

Anvir Task Manager is a comprehensive replacement for the Windows Task Manager. It boasts a huge amount of performance data, detailed process information and control over running application tasks, processes, services and drivers. There is a paid version of Anvir but the free version will do everything you want in terms of delaying startup items.

After opening Anvir, go to the Startup tab where all types of system startups are listed in categories. The most useful will be the regular startup items that list the common entries from the system registry and startup folder. To delay an entry, right click on it and select “Move to delayed startup list”. A window will then appear where you can choose the delay options.

anvir task manager delay startup

The options are default or a custom delay, to use the delay all the time, weekdays or weekends, change the launch priority and run the program as administrator. A pop will request you let Anvir run on startup to handle the delays to other programs. Add your own startup items with right click > Edit > Add Entry. There is a portable version of Anvir available if you want to try it out before installing.

Download Anvir Task Manager


4. Glary Quick Startup

Quick Startup began life as the Startup Manager component in Glary Utilities and has since been made available as free standalone software. In addition to startup items, the software also allows you to manage the startups of scheduled tasks, plug-ins and application/system services.

Quick Startup has some useful bits of information in its main window, This includes the number of programs launched during startup, boot time and program details. There are also recommendations on whether other users are disabling or delaying the selected startup. To create a delay, right click on the chosen entry, go to the Delay menu and select a time from the list of 30 – 270 seconds.

glary quick startup

If the predefined list does not have the time you want, right click on the startup item and select “Edit Entry” to enter any value in seconds. Use Undelay from the same context menu to start the program normally. It’s also possible to add your own startup entry if the program to delay is not currently in the list. Make sure to disable the option to install the Full Glary Utilities suite during setup if you don’t require it.

Download Glary Quick Startup


5. r2 Studios Startup Delayer

Startup Delayer can delay a program from starting in two different ways. Firstly, there is the standard option to supply a manual delay time and the program will run after that point. The other option is Startup Delayer will launch delayed programs automatically. This happens when CPU and hard drive usage falls below a certain threshold to try and reduce potential bottlenecks.

On first launch, a window pops up with a slider to adjust resource levels for automatic launching. Press Cancel if you only want to set manual delays. Untouched startup items will be in the Normal section. Select an item and choose the type of delay from the bottom, then press “Apply and Delay”. It will then move to the delayed section. Drag and drop also works to move items to and from Delayed or Disabled.

r2 Studios Startup Delayer manual delay

Delayed programs are run in numerical order, adjust them to suit your needs. Some advanced options are available for each startup item, including priority, launch only if the internet is available, launch with highest privileges and wait for other applications. Some options like schedules, profiles, backup and custom items are only available in the paid version. The .NET Framework 2/3.5 is required on Windows 8 and 10 machines.

Download r2 Studios Startup Delayer


6. LaunchLater

This is a utility dedicated to delaying startup programs and has no other features or options of note. LaunchLater is open source but has not been updated since 2015 although it was tested and worked fine on the latest Windows 10.

After running the configuration tool for the first time an entry is already present to launch Windows Calculator after 20 seconds. Simply click its Edit button and then Delete or use the Find App button to locate another executable that you want to run on a delay. Press the Import Startup Items button to add all or select individual system startup entries to add to the program.

LaunchLater edit delay

To add a delay to an entry simply click on its Edit button and use the minutes/seconds drop down menus, then press Save. The Add App button in the main window will allow you to add a custom entry to delay at startup, a box is provided if the program requires additional arguments.

Download LaunchLater


7. Windows Task Scheduler

Windows Task Scheduler can launch a program using a number of different options. This includes at various trigger points, such as after system startup, at a specific day and time or after a specific system event. The startup trigger along with an option to delay the task will launch a delayed program, The advantage of this method is it runs in the background and requires no extra software.

A scheduled task can be created a couple of ways, the quickest is to use the Command Prompt or Powershell. A visual method using the Task Scheduler GUI might be preferred by some users.

Create a Task Using the Console

To create a new task from an Administrator Command Prompt (or Powershell), use the following syntax:

Schtasks /Create /TN Task-Name /TR Path-to-Program /SC Onstart /DELAY mmmm:ss

Task-name is self-explanatory and can be any name you choose. Path-to-program is the full path to the executable you want to launch. Use quotes if either option contains spaces. Delay is the time to delay the launch in minutes and seconds (must use mmmm:ss format). For example:

Schtasks /Create /TN Launch_Notepad /TR C:\Windows\Notepad.exe /SC Onstart /DELAY 0002:30

create delayed notepad task

The above command creates a task to open Notepad two and a half minutes after Windows startup.

command prompt created task

Do note that if the delayed program requires administrator privileges to run you must include another argument or the task will quietly fail. Adding /RL HIGHEST to the line makes the program run with the highest user privileges. An advantage of this method is a UAC prompt does not pop up when the delayed program is launched.

Create a Task Using the Task Scheduler GUI

This method takes a bit longer to setup than from the command line. However, some users may be more comfortable with a graphical user interface.

1. Open Task Scheduler by typing Task Sch into Start or type taskschd.msc into the Win+R Run dialog. Select Create Task from the Action menu (not Basic Task)

2. Give the task a name and if the program to run requires administrator privileges, check the “Run with highest privileges” box near the bottom.

give delayed task a name

3. Select the Triggers tab and click New. In the “Begin the task” drop down at the top, select At startup. Check the “Delay task for” box and enter a delay time in seconds, minutes or hours. Then Click OK.

supply delayed task trigger

4. Click the Actions tab and press New. Use the browse button to locate an executable or enter the path manually. Arguments can also be added if your program needs any. Click OK twice. Reboot the computer or log off to test the task fully (right click > Run to test now).

program path to delay

Advanced options are available in the Task Scheduler although they aren’t necessary for creating a standard delayed task. It’s quite easy to edit, disable or even delete the task again if it’s no longer of any use.


We have also previously mentioned a startup delaying program called JockerSoft Startup Delayer. While it should still work for almost everyone, the last update was back in 2008. It also has annoying splash and nag windows whenever any window is opened or closed.

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