The Latest Ways to Use the Windows 10 Startup Folder You Should Know

By | April 14, 2022

Chances are you have some program that you open as soon as you boot your computer. It’s a waste of time for you to launch them one by one each time, which is where the Windows startup folder comes in.

Let’s see where to find the Windows 10 startup folder, how it works, and the programs that should and shouldn’t be in it.

What is the Windows Startup Folder?

The Windows startup folder is a special folder on your computer because any program you place in it will automatically run when you start your PC. It lets you start important software automatically so you don’t have to remember to run it yourself.

Note that Windows 10 has its own startup feature which reopens the apps you last opened. It doesn’t rely on the startup folder, and you can stop Windows from reopening your last application if you want.

Where is the Windows 10 Startup Folder located?
You actually have two startup folders on your computer. One of them is the personal startup folder for your account, and it’s located at: C:UsersUSERNAMEAppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsStart MenuProgramsStartup

Another startup folder contains programs that are automatically run for each user on your computer. You can find it at: C:ProgramDataMicrosoftWindowsStart MenuProgramsStartUp

Since these two folders are quite hidden, Windows includes a pair of shortcuts that make accessing them a lot easier. Open a File Explorer window (or Run dialog by pressing Win + R) and you can enter this to access your own startup folder: shell:startup

To access the startup folder for all users, use this instead: shell: common startup

How to Add Programs to Startup in Windows
Many programs offer the option to run at startup in the settings. You should check to see if the software you want to add to startup offers this option as it is the easiest way to do it.

But if not, you can add any program to start by adding a shortcut to the Windows startup folder. This is not difficult to do.

First, find the executable file for the program you want to run on startup. The easiest way to do this is to type its name into the Start Menu to search for it. Once it appears, right-click the program and select Send to > Desktop (create shortcut).

No need to touch initial execution; the shortcut will work fine. It also allows you to remove the shortcut from the startup folder if you change your mind.

Next, jump to your desktop and find the shortcut you just created. Open a File Explorer window to your startup folder (or the all startup users folder if you prefer). Then simply drag the icon from your desktop to the startup folder. You can also cut and paste using Ctrl + X and Ctrl + V if you prefer.

Once you have the shortcut in the startup folder, you will see that the program opens the next time you log in.

How to Disable Startup Programs in Windows
If you see any program in the startup folder that you don’t want to run on boot, simply delete the shortcut.

However, there is another way to disable startup programs. One of the most important is going through the Task Manager, which includes more programs than you’ll find in the startup folder. Disabling some of the items here can help when your computer is running slowly.

Use the shortcut Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager. If you’re only seeing a simple list of apps, click the More details referensi at the bottom to expand to the full Task Manager. Then click the Startup tab at the top.

Here, you will see all programs set to run on startup. You can use headers to sort by Name, Status, or Startup effect. To prevent it from running, simply select it and click the Disable button at the bottom.

You can add some useful columns to this tab. Right-click anywhere in the header (where you see Name, Publisher, etc.) and you’ll see more criteria available. Two useful ones are the Startup type and the Command line.

The Startup Type tells you if the startup program comes from the Registry or Folder. Most will be Registry, meaning that the program set itself to run at startup when you installed it, or via options in its settings. Folder means it’s in one of the startup folders we reviewed earlier.

The Command line field shows you where a program is located on your PC. It’s very helpful to find out where exactly a program is if you need more information. You can jump to this by right-clicking any entry and selecting Open file location.

What Programs Should I Run at Startup?
While some programs are important to run at startup, others waste your computer’s resources and only contribute to it running slowly. Here are some things to know in both categories.
These programs should run at startup:

  • Antivirus software: For your antivirus to do its job, it needs to be running all the time.
  • Backup software: The best backups are set-and-forget; You don’t want to have to remember to start every day.
  • Cloud storage software: If you actively use Dropbox, Google Drive, and similar tools, you should run them at startup to make sure your files are always up to date.
  • Any software you use regularly: Use the clipboard manager to keep track of what you copy and paste? Do you protect your browsing with a VPN? Any such software is a good candidate to run on startup.

On the other hand, you generally don’t need to run these programs at startup:

  • Game and chat clients: Unless you’re only using your PC for this purpose, their heavy load at your boot time isn’t worth popping straight online to your friends. Just open it when you are ready to use it.
  • Apple software: iTunes is so terrible that you might only use it when you have to, and QuickTime is no longer supported on Windows. You certainly don’t need to run this as soon as you boot up.
  • Adobe software: Unless you work within Adobe Creative Cloud applications all day, you don’t need Adobe Reader and similar software running at startup.
  • Manufacturers of bloatware: Bloatware from HP, Lenovo, and other PC manufacturers may appear in your startup programs. There is nothing necessary, so you can remove it from startup and even delete it.
  • Crapware: If you see toolbars, Registry cleaners, or similar junk, you should completely remove them.

If your computer is still slow after removing all these, you may need to try another method to help Windows boot faster

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