How to Use the System Configuration tool on Windows 11

Learn to use the System Configuration tool to control and adjust the startup behavior of your Windows 11 computer.

System Configuration tool on Windows (also known as MSConfig) has been present in almost all iterations of Windows. It is incredibly useful for adjusting the system settings along with configuring which services to start along with the system at the time of booting up.

The tool can come in handy when you wish to start your PC in a clean boot environment to stop a conflicting program from interfering or want to tweak other advanced settings. And there are several ways you can access it in Windows, but here are the easiest methods for the same.

Ways to Access the System Configuration Tool

Just like every other tool in Windows operating system, you can search for it to open it easily or launch it using the Run Command utility.

The most straightforward way is to head to the Start Menu and type ‘System Config’ to perform a search for it. After that, click on the ‘System Configuration’ tile to open the tool.

You can also use Run Utility to launch the tool. First, press the Windows+R keys together on your keyboard to bring up the utility. After that, type msconfig and hit Enter on your keyboard to open the app.

The tool will be now visible on your screen.

Adjust Startup Settings Using the System Configuration Tool

Typically System Configuration is mainly used to prevent certain applications and/or services from starting up at the time of booting up. Here’s how you can use the tool.

From the ‘General’ tab, you can control the startup behavior of your system. For your ease of convenience, we have provided a gist of all the available modes below:

  • Normal startup: This mode loads all device drivers and services and boots up your PC as usual. This is the mode your system boots up in regularly.
  • Diagnostic startup: This mode enables basic drivers and services to load at the time of startup, similar to Safe Mode. When using this mode, Microsoft services such as ‘Networking’, ‘Plug and Play’, ‘Event Logging’, ‘Error reporting’, and ‘System Restore’ will be disabled.
  • Selective startup: Using this mode, you can select what third-party services and apps you wish to load at the startup. By default, all the sub-options will be selected. You can click on the checkboxes preceding each option to select/deselect the options. Using selective startup combined with all third-party services disabled (which we’ll get to in a moment) will result in a clean boot.

Any choices aren’t applied until you restart the computer.

From the ‘Boot’ tab, click on the checkbox preceding the ‘Safe Boot’ option and then click on the ‘Apply’ button to start your PC in safe mode at the next boot.

Click on the ‘Advanced Options’ button if you want to configure advanced booting options such as the number of processors or the maximum memory for the system. This will open a separate window on your screen.

Note: In case you are not familiar with the settings or do not understand them properly, we strongly suggest that you do not tweak them as this can brick your device if not configured properly.

To control the number of processors and the maximum memory that the system uses, click on the respective checkbox and select the number of processors from the dropdown menu and type the maximum memory you wish to limit for the system in the memory field. Then, click on the ‘OK’ button to confirm and close.

Now, the ‘Services’ tab is where all the system and third-party services are listed. To get into a clean boot environment, click on the checkbox preceding the ‘Hide all Microsoft services’ option and then click on the ‘Disable all’ button.

When you reboot your system after applying these settings, your system will boot with your preferred choices.

On the ‘Tools’ tab, there are several tools available You can click to select any from the list and then click on the ‘Launch’ button to open the tool. For your ease of convenience, we have listed them below:

  • About Windows
  • Change UAC Settings
  • Security and Maintenance
  • Windows Troubleshooting
  • Computer Management
  • System Information
  • Event Viewer
  • Programs
  • System Properties
  • Internet Options
  • Internet Protocol Configuration
  • Performance Monitor
  • Task Manager
  • Command Prompt
  • Registry Editor
  • Remote Assistance
  • System Restore

There you go, people. That’s all there is about using the System Configuration tool on your Windows system. You can now easily access and use the tool to change the startup behavior of your system.