Windows 10: 'Empty' open windows on Start Up

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  1.    28 Dec 2015 #1

    'Empty' open windows on Start Up

    Whenever I login to my Lenovo laptop (which goes straight to desktop) I always have 5 open windows - this can be seen by alt-tab'ing.
    Two of these (spotify and skype) are clickable, the other three are not named and do not have an icon or thumbnail that you can click on. The only option is to get rid of these 3 windows (by clicking the big X at the top right hand side of each window). If you choose not to close them, they will remain there whenever you switch (alt tab) between windows.

    2 questions.
    How can I find out what these windows are?
    How can I ensure that they are no longer they when I reboot by machine?

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Ztruker's Avatar
    Posts : 6,424
    Windows 10 Pro X64 17134.191
       28 Dec 2015 #2

    Download and run ProcessExplorer. It does not need to be installed.

    Drag-and-drop target to find an image. If you're not sure which application corresponds to which image in Process Explorer, click and drag the little gun sight icon on the Process Explorer toolbar, and drop it on any visible window to find out what process/image it is.
    Once the error message or window is on the screen, start ProcessExplorer and drag the target icon and drop it on the error message window. It will show the process that generated that window highlighted in blue in the PE window.

    Then use msconfig Startup (or Task Manager Startup tab) and Services tabs to find and disable that process.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    31 Dec 2015 #3

    Hi Ztruker

    Thanks for your response.

    Unfortunately there is no error message or window on the screen for me to drag the gun sight icon too, the only way I can view the un-clickable icons is if I hold down Alt-Tab, as shown in the attached screen grab.
    My only option is to close each window in Alt-Tab mode by clicking on the X at the top right.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    As such, I have no idea what these windows are.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    04 Jan 2016 #4


    Does anybody know how I can get rid of these windows on Startup?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    04 Jan 2016 #5

    you could go down the process list , stop the non-windows processes one by one and see if any of the windows vanish , quick and dirty method , but it would give you an idea what's causing them.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    04 Jan 2016 #6

    Add a screenshot of non-windows process from task manager. Have you recently hit by any malware ?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    04 Jan 2016 #7

    By non-windows process, do you mean those listed under BACKGROUND PROCESSES in task manager? There are 90 of those running so they wouldn't fit in a screenshot, many of which I do not know what they are. Does this sound like it is a lot?

    As far as I am aware I haven't been hit by any malware
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8. Ztruker's Avatar
    Posts : 6,424
    Windows 10 Pro X64 17134.191
       04 Jan 2016 #8

    90 is 20 to 30 processes to many (at least).

    From Task Manager, click on the Startup tab. Look through that list and see if any are ones you don't need.
    Record what you are changing so you can put them back if needed.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  9.    04 Jan 2016 #9

    @ milkychips:
    You might also check the 'Startup' folders at:

    C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
    C:\Users\{your moniker}\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

    to see if there are any unrecognized executable files, or others, in those folders.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    04 Jan 2016 #10

    Ztruker said: View Post
    From Task Manager, click on the Startup tab. Look through that list and see if any are ones you don't need.Record what you are changing so you can put them back if needed.
    Agreed. to 'milkychips'- I don't even know why you want Skype and Spotify to open a window on startup. I would start in the Task Manager and see if there are any Publisher entries not common or recognizable. Disable these and anything else you deem slowing down startup (like software updaters) and reboot until problem fixed. Easy enough to re-open Task Manager and re-enable anything later. see sample screen -

    Click image for larger version. 

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      My ComputerSystem Spec

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