Synei Startup Manager is a compact portable tool which can help you to manage your Windows Startup programs.
Launch Startup Manager and you'll see a list of your Startup programs. And it's easy enough to optimise this manually: just select a program you're sure you don't need, and click the Disable or Delete button.
But if you're not entirely sure what you should keep, and what you can do without, then Startup Manager may be able to help. Click the Scan button and it'll compare your startup applications with a database of more than 16,000, instantly choosing the "Disable" option for any programs it thinks you don't need. Just click "Apply" and these won't be launched when your system next boots.
We tried it on a test PC, and it does work to some extent, picking out programs which are commonly regarded as unnecessary ("iTunesHelper.exe", for instance).
But whether you'll always agree with its decisions is another matter. It suggested we turn off the Java Update Checker, for instance, but is that really a good idea? With all the Java security issues around these days, we would have thought installing updates just as soon as possible is extremely important.
This kind of issue doesn't make Synei Startup Manager a bad tool in itself, of course - but it's just an example of why you need to review what it's saying. If you've got a lot of startup programs then getting Startup Manager's recommendations for removal could be a very good place to start - just don't assume its advice will always be appropriate. Take a look at what it's suggesting, and if you disagree - or you're not 100% sure of the implications - then leave that particular startup program alone.