There are some apps that startup as the system boots into Windows. These apps are configured to run as Windows boots up, for example, graphics driver(s), anti-virus programs, etc. These programs start themselves as you turn on your PC and doesn’t need any manual execution for the same. While some of these programs and services are necessary for Windows to function properly, but all aren’t. These programs and services launching at startup take a toll on the overall startup time of your PC. As more services and programs are configured to launch at startup, the time your PC takes to completely boot up will also increase. This is because these apps are also launching during boot and in turn, increasing the start-up time.

Related: How to make laptop battery last long.

You can make apps to automatically launch at startup if you happen to use it regularly after booting into the OS. While some apps offer this behaviour to be configured, but there may be many apps which don’t. For example, you always open, say a web browser or music player app after boot and the respective app doesn’t offer to configure any such automatic start-up option. Not only just apps, you can make any file, document, folder, URL, etc to fire up at boot up easily. If you want to do something similar, this is what you’re looking for. All the methods work with Windows 10, 8, 8.1, and 7 as well.

Making programs to launch automatically when Windows boots is quite easy and involves placing desired shortcuts in a startup folder, the contents of which are launched at startup. To do so, follow the steps below.

Add startup programs to Windows 10

Add startup app(s) for current user only

To add apps/folders/files to launch at startup, you need to place the desired shortcuts in a folder named startup. The startup folder is a common place where such shortcuts are placed in order to launch them at startup. If you so desire, you can even remove some of the unwanted shortcuts to reduce the boot time. To do so, follow the steps mentioned below.

  • Press and hold theWindows key  +to open the Run dialogue box.
  • Type in shell:startup and hit Enter.run
  • This should open the startup folder we’re talking about. In case you’re wondering, you can also type in the below address in the File Explorer’s address bar to browse to this folder.
    %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
  • Now, just place the shortcuts of the apps you want to launch at startup. You can likewise add folders and files shortcuts as well.Startup-folder-current
  • To remove apps, just delete the unwanted shortcuts from this folder to stop them from launching at startup.

That’s it. This is how easily you can add apps, folders, or files to startup while booting. These shortcuts placed will launch while booting into the OS for the current user.

Add startup app(s) for all users

To add apps/folders/files to launch at startup for all users, the startup folder is different. To do so, follow the steps mentioned below.

  • Press and hold theWindows key  +to open the Run dialogue box.
  • Type in shell:common startup and hit Enter.run_all users
  • This should open the startup folder for all users. In case you’re wondering, you can also type in the below address in the File Explorer’s address bar to browse to this folder.
    C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp
  • Now, just place the shortcuts of the apps you want to launch at startup. You can likewise add folders and files shortcuts as well.startup-folder-all-users
  • To remove apps, just delete the unwanted shortcuts from this folder to stop them from launching at startup.

Shortcuts placed in this folder will make the respective apps/folders/files launch at startup for all users.

You can also add or remove apps from startup using registry as well. Registry entries are quite common to make apps run at startup. To do so, follow the steps below.

Add startup programs for current user (using registry)

You can use the registry editor to browse and edit registry entries in your Windows PC. One such use of the same is to add or remove startup programs. To add or remove programs from startup for the current user, follow the steps mentioned below.

  • Press and hold theWindows key  +to open the Run dialog box.
  • Type in regedit and hit Enter to open Registry Editor window.regedit
  • Browse to the following path using the left pane.
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • The entries here are the programs configured to run at startup.
  • To add a program, right-click on empty space and select New and click on String Value.

  • Name it and right click on the newly created entry and choose Modify.
  • Type in the address to the file location of the program executable in the Value Data field and hit OK.
  • To delete, just select the desired entry and delete it.
  • On confirmation prompt, just hit Yes.

All the program entries in here will get executed during startup for the current user.

Add startup programs for all users (using registry)

To add or remove programs from startup for all users, follow the steps mentioned below.

  • Press and hold theWindows key  +to open the Run dialogue box.
  • Type in regedit and hit Enter to open Registry Editor window.regedit
  • Browse to the following path using the left pane.
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • The entries here are the programs configured to run at startup for all the users.
  • To add a program, right-click on empty space and select New and click on String Value.

  • Name it and right click on the newly created entry and choose Modify.
  • Type in the address to the file location of the program executable in the Value Data field and hit OK.
  • To delete, just select the desired entry and delete it.
  • On confirmation prompt, just hit Yes.

All the program entries in here will get executed during startup for all the users.

Using the above methods, you can easily add or remove apps/folders/files to startup for all as well as just the current user. These methods don’t require any additional third party software to be installed and will work on Windows Vista and later.


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