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Why does cmd.exe run at startup? Info & Fixes!

CMD Thumbnail
CMD Thumbnail

Whenever you boot your laptop/computer, you might see command prompt running without you opening. It usually closes, so, it’s only for a couple of seconds. It might not close and whenever you try to close it, it might keep on opening up showing this pathway “C:\WINDOWS\system32”. You might be wondering, Why does cmd.exe run at startup? Is it a virus? Is my laptop dysfunctioning? How do I fix this? 

Possible Causes

There could be multiple causes for cmd to keep on popping up. For example, you might have given access to Microsoft to run on startup which requires execution of command prompt commands. Another reason could be other third party applications using cmd to startup. Or, your windows files might be corrupt or missing some files. 

After we have our possible causes, let’s get right into the fixes.


Check Windows Update

Step 1: Go to windows search and type “windows update settings” and press “enter”.

Windows Settings

Step 2: Check if your laptop is up-to-date on windows. If not click install.

System Configuration and Startup Settings

Step 1: Open run box by pressing “Windows key + r”. Type “msconfig” and press “enter”. 

Run Box

Step 2: After the System Configuration Application is open. Go to Services in the menu bar. Check the “hide all Microsoft services” check box. Click Disable all.


Step 3: Go to Startup in the menu bar. Click to open task manager.

Task Manager

Step 4: Disable applications that you might not need on startup.

Startup Apps

Step 5: Click “ok” in the System Configuration application to confirm your changes.

Using CMD to fix

Step 1: Go to windows search in your task-bar and search “cmd”. Open the application as administrator.

Windows CMD

Step 2: In the command prompt type “sfc /scannow” and press “enter”. This command scans all windows files and checks if they are corrupt or missing. 

CMD commands

Step 3: Restart and check if it has fixed the problem

Download Anti-virus Application

If the problem is not solved after trying all the other fixes. It is possible that it could be a virus and it is hiding somewhere. Try using your default windows defender to check if there are any viruses located. After that, remove them completely if found. Since Windows defender is not the most reliable, you should try downloading or buying other antivirus software to bolster your security and search for viruses to fix this bug. Check out the software below!

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Software!

Bitdefender Antivirus Software!

Notron 360 Antivirus Software!

Kaspersky Internet Security!


After completing all these steps it should have solved your query on “Why does cmd.exe run at startup?”. We hope we have been of some help! Still facing problem? Is it fixed? Comment below and tell us!

Read our other articles related to cmd: 


Admin in CMD

Change Drives CMD

CMD Navigation Basics

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