How to add programs to startup in Windows 10

Every time you boot up your computer, you find yourself running through a process of launching all the applications you need for the day. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could automate this process and have these programs launch when your computer starts? Luckily, this is a feature of most operating systems and this tutorial will show you how to add programs to startup in Windows 10.

A few Gotchas first

The Startup folder is a hidden folder, so you’ll need to have show hidden files enabled to see it. If you’re not sure how to do that, just use the Windows + R alternative method mentioned in the steps below instead.

If you drag and drop your shortcut icons, they may get moved to the startup folder. To prevent this, copy the shortcut (Ctrl + C) and then paste it (Ctrl + V) in the startup folder.

How to add programs to startup for your user in Windows 10

You can tell Windows to launch programs only when your user signs in, or when any user signs in. If you’re the only one that uses this computer, you should follow the steps in this section.

Step 1: Navigate to the startup folder at the below location

C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

Note: Username must be the name of the user account you are logged into.

Alternatively, hit Windows Key + R to launch the Run dialog box and type: shell:startup.

Step 2: Once the startup folder is open, simply add program shortcuts to the folder via drag and drop or copy and paste

Windows 10 Add Program Shortcut to Startup Folder

How to add programs to startup for all users in Windows 10

If you’re on a shared computer and everyone that signs into it uses the same program, this is the section for you. The process is extremely similar to the steps for the single user, but the folder location is slightly different and you’ll need to have administrative rights on the computer.

Step 1: Navigate to the All Users startup folder at the below location

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp

You can also get here by typing shell:common startup in the Run (Windows Key + R) dialog box.

Windows 10 run box shell:common startup command

Step 2: Open the folder and add program shortcuts via drag and drop or copy and paste

You’ll likely be prompted to provide administrative permission. If so, simply click the Continue button and sign in with an administrative account (if you’re not already logged in as one).

Windows 10 All Users Startup Folder Admin Prompt

That’s really all there is to it! Next time you start your computer, all programs you added to the startup folder should automatically run.

One final thing I want to mention is that you can also add file and folder shortcuts to the startup folder. The process is exactly the same, just create a shortcut to it and drop it in the startup folder.

Leave a Comment