Adding startup programs in Windows

We all know that startup programs can sometimes be unnecessary junk that computer manufacturers install just to get a few pennies for each computer sold and we’ve also covered how to get rid of them. Other times, however, you may want to add startup programs, like your email client. Doing so is actually very easy and takes no longer than a couple minutes.

Open the Start-up folder

One of the various folders of the Start menu is named Start-up and, as you’ve guessed, here go all user-defined startup programs (those that run because you installed something or because Windows require them are stored elsewhere). Its full path is a bit long to remember by heart, but Windows provides a handy shortcut for accessing it.

Open File Explorer and click the address bar, then enter shell:startup without spaces in it. In general, this folder should be empty on a clean Windows installation. We can drag and drop (or copy) a shortcut to whatever program we want.

Adding shortcuts to the folder

If the program you intend to open automatically when Windows starts has an icon on the desktop or in the Start screen, you can simply drag and drop it inside the folder. However, chances are that you’ll have to look for it inside the Start menu, where dragging and dropping is not supported. However, there’s a handy trick you can use.

Once you’ve located the program you want to open at startup, right-click it and select Open file location.

This will open a File Explorer window in the containing folder for that shortcut. From there, you can simply copy the shortcut and paste it inside the Start-up folder and you’re good to go (dragging and dropping won’t cut it, because doing so will move it).

About Andrea Luciano Damico 137 Articles
Andrea Luciano Damico is a freelance translator from Italy. Among his interests are linguistics, technology, video games, and generally being a chill guy. He runs Let's Translate.it and Tech4Freelancers.net.