What is Microsoft System Configuration Tool (MSConfig) and how to use it?

Xiaobai Software  2022-08-28 12: 19  read 69 views

Windows comes with a ton of hidden tools that give you more control over your system.There is a tool that has existed in Windows for a long time, but few people know it, it is the System Configuration Tool, also known asMSConfig.


From diagnosing general boot problems to performing a clean boot, you can do it with the System Configuration Tool.So, here's an introduction to what Microsoft's System Configuration Tool is and how to use it to modify system settings.

What is the Microsoft System Configuration Tool?


Microsoft System Configuration Tool, also known asMSConfig, is a built-in tool that lets you customize startup settings and disable (or enable) services and drivers.It allows you to choose which programs and services will run when Windows starts.

System configuration can troubleshoot various issues that arise in the system.For example, when a program fails to start, opening and changing some MSConfig settings may fix the problem.There are many other uses of the system configuration tool, but before we get into it, let's see how to open the MSConfig window.

To open Microsoft's System Configuration tool, open the Run dialog, type MSConfig, and press Enter.

1. Perform a clean boot


One of the most important uses of the system configuration tool is to perform a clean boot.Clean Boot, as the name suggests, starts the system without third-party programs or services.Therefore, when the system starts, only the basic Microsoft services are running in the background.

Doing a clean boot helps narrow down any conflicting services. Windows will not help you boot in this state.You have to open System Configuration and manually disable all non-Microsoft services.

2. Select the default operating system

Do you have multiple versions of Windows installed on your computer, but prefer one over the other?If so, you can use the system configuration tool to set the preferred option as the default operating system.To do this, follow these steps:

1. In the "System Configuration" window, switch to the "Startup" tab.

2. Select the operating system you want to be the default.

3. Click the "Set as Default" button.


4. Click Apply > OK.

You'll see the Default OS label next to the selected OS, indicating that you've successfully set the default OS. Windows will load your default operating system on future boots.

There is also a timeout table that you can configure if you have a dual boot setup. The timeout table in MSConfig shows how long (in seconds) Windows stays on the startup screen until you select one of the operating systems.If you do not select any of the available options within the given time, Windows will start with the default operating system.


By default, the timeout table gives you 30 seconds to make a selection.But if you don't want to wait that long before the default OS starts, you can set the timeout table to a smaller value, like 5 seconds.

3. Allocate a specific number of cores to the operating system

You can use the system configuration tool to allocate a share of the system's available processor cores.You can do this to test how a program performs on a relatively less powerful system.It can also help with issues such as high CPU usage.

Here's how to use the system configuration tool to assign a specific number of cores to the operating system:

1. In the MSConfig window, switch to the Boot tab.

2. Select the default operating system, and then click Advanced Options.

3. Check the box next to "Number of processors".

4. Click the drop-down icon under the Number of Processors box and select the number of processors you want to allocate.Note that if you choose a number greater than the available processor cores, Windows will automatically choose the largest limit.


5. Click OK > Apply > OK.

4. Boot into Safe Mode

Safe Mode is a native Windows feature that allows you to troubleshoot critical Windows problems that occur due to hardware and software failures.In Safe Mode, Windows starts with only those services and hardware that are essential to Windows working.

Follow the instructions below to start Windows in Safe Mode using the System Configuration Tool:

1. Switch to the Startup tab in the System Configuration window.

2. In the "Boot Options" section, select the "Secure Boot" option.


3. Next, select the "Minimum" option to solve the basic problem.Select Network to create Safe Mode in Network, and Alternative Shell to create Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

4. Click OK.

5. Select Restart at the prompt that appears.


6. After restarting, Windows will start in Safe Mode.

Windows will continue to start in Safe Mode until you manually disable this option.So once your problem is resolved, you can disable safe mode.To do this, open the System Configuration Tool and select Normal Startup from the General tab.Click Apply > OK.

5. Other startup tab settings


There are many other settings in the Startup tab that are useful for optimizing system performance.These settings contain various configuration options in the Windows information file:

Boot Without GUI - The Boot Without GUI option disables the graphical movement bar during startup.It reduces boot time, but negatively, it makes it impossible for us to know if the system freezes during boot.

Boot Log - The Boot Log option creates a text file containing a list of all drivers loaded during boot.The list also contains the names of all expected drivers that are not loaded.

Base video - The Base video option starts the system with the built-in video driver.

OS Boot Info - The OS Boot Info option shows the different drivers activated during the boot process.Make sure to use this option with "No GUI boot"; otherwise, you won't be able to see the driver information.

6. Access to various system tools


The System Configuration Tool has a "Tools" tab with various administrator utilities.The Tools tab is one place to access common Windows tools such as Task Manager, UAC Settings, Event Viewer, Registry Editor, Command Prompt, and more.

Here's how to access the different utilities from the Tools tab:

1. Switch to the "Tools" tab in the MSConfig window.

2. Select the tool you want to open, then click the Start button.

Everything about the Microsoft System Configuration Tool

The Microsoft System Configuration Tool is a valuable tool that allows you to customize Windows settings to suit your needs.From changing startup options, obfuscating autostart applications, to disabling or enabling services, you can do it all through the System Configuration tool.

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