From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
A component of Microsoft Windows
Msconfig icon.png
MSConfig screenshot.png
Screenshot of MSConfig in Windows 8
Other names System Configuration
Microsoft System Configuration Utility
Type System utility
Included with Windows 98
Windows ME
Windows XP
Windows Vista
Windows 7
Windows 8
Windows 10
All versions of Windows Server
Also available for Windows 95
Windows 2000

MSConfig (officially called System Configuration in Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10 Microsoft System Configuration Utility in previous operating systems) is a system utility to troubleshoot the Microsoft Windows startup process. It can disable or re-enable software, device drivers and Windows services that run at startup, or change boot parameters.

It is bundled with all versions of Microsoft Windows operating systems since Windows 98 except Windows 2000. Windows 95 and Windows 2000 users can download the utility as well, although it was not designed for them.[citation needed]


MSConfig is often used for speeding up the Microsoft Windows startup process of the machine. According to Microsoft,[1] MSConfig was not meant to be used as a startup management program.


MSConfig is a troubleshooting tool which is used to temporarily disable or re-enable software, device drivers or Windows services that run during startup process to help the user determine the cause of a problem with Windows.

Some of its functionality varies by Windows versions:[2]

  • In Windows 98 and Windows Me, it can configure advanced troubleshooting settings pertaining to these operating systems. It can also launch common system tools.
  • In Windows 98, it can back up and restore startup files.
  • In Windows Me, it has also been updated with three new tabs called "Static VxDs", "Environment" and "International". The Static VxDs tab allows users to enable or disable static virtual device drivers to be loaded at startup, the Environment tab allows users to enable or disable environment variables, and the International tab allows users to set international language keyboard layout settings that were formerly set via the real-mode MS-DOS configuration files. A "Cleanup" button on the "Startup" tab allows cleaning up invalid or deleted startup entries.
  • In Windows Me and Windows XP versions, it can restore an individual file from the original Windows installation set.
  • On Windows NT-based operating systems prior to Windows Vista, it can set various BOOT.INI switches.
  • In Windows XP and Windows Vista, it can hide all operating system services for troubleshooting.
  • In Windows Vista and later, the tool gained additional support for launching a variety of tools, such as system information, other configuration areas, such as Internet options, and the ability to enable/disable UAC.[3] An update is available for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 that adds the Tools tab.[4] It also allows configuring various switches for Windows Boot Manager and Boot Configuration Data.


  1. ^ "Using System Configuration (MSConfig)". Microsoft. 27 August 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2015. 
  2. ^ Larsen, Larry; Richards, Andrew; Beeder, Chad (27 August 2012). "Defrag Tools: #5 - Autoruns and MSConfig". MSDN Channel 9. Retrieved 12 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "Using Msconfig in Windows 7". Solvusoft. 3 February 2013. Retrieved 12 January 2015. 
  4. ^ The 906569 update adds the Tools tab to the System Configuration utility in Windows XP Service Pack 2

Further reading[edit]

  1. "System Configuration Utility overview". Microsoft Windows XP Professional Product Documentation. Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  2. "Using System Configuration". Windows Vista Help. Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  3. "How to troubleshoot configuration errors by using the System Configuration utility in Windows (Revision 4.5)". Microsoft Support. Microsoft Corporation. 26 November 2007. Retrieved 29 April 2011.