Lackluster results

Check your start-up applications for potential spyware threats, but don't expect a lot of answers.

This free program scans start-up applications to differentiate the necessary programs from any potential spyware threats. We found its user interface awkward to read and its results mostly inconclusive.

Startup Inspector for Windows features cartoonish icons, and the overuse of colors makes it hard on the eyes. The interface can be resized to full screen, and you can resize the information columns, but we still had problems with the Comments section getting cut off. A tree menu gives you the option of displaying all of your start-up programs or drilling down to only reveal specific Registry folders. The few command buttons offered were vague but, on a hunch, we clicked the Consult button hoping it would start the scan process and that turned out to be the right guess. The program very quickly scanned and produced results for each of our start-up programs; however, most of the scan results came up inconclusive. The program could not produce any viable information regarding most of the start-up programs' spyware threat status. For a few programs, Startup Inspector for Windows was able to tell us what, exactly, those programs did, the memory used, and whether they were necessary. The Apply button seems to serve no purpose. We were able to deselect a start-up program simply by unchecking the box, so there was nothing to apply.

The program contains links to the publisher's Web site, and a so-called information guide, but we were unable to find any real help there. We recommend you keep looking for a more effective and user-friendly start-up manager.

CNET Top 5
Companies Apple could buy with their billions
Apple's sitting on a massive pile of cash. Here are five interesting ways they could spend it.
Play Video
 

Member Comments