How to Use the Windows Startup Folder

Using the startup folder, you can control which applications start up with Windows. When your computer boots up, chances are you quickly launch a few applications. The Windows startup folder is there to save you from having to run each one of them individually after each boot. Let’s examine the starting folder in Windows, how it functions, and which applications should and shouldn’t be there.

Where Can I Find The Startup Folder In Windows OS?

Any apps you put inside the Windows startup folder will launch immediately when your computer starts up. This is a specific folder on your computer. You can use this to run vital software continuously rather than having to remember to do so. Since both folders are very hidden, Windows comes with a pair of shortcuts that make it much simpler to access them. To access the startup folder, open the  File Explorer window and type this into the bar.

Technically, your machine has two startup folders. One is your account’s starting folder, which may be found here:

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

Shortcut: shell:startup

Programs that start up automatically for every user on your computer are located in the other startup folder. This can be found at:

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

Shortcut: shell:common startup

How To Add A Program To The Windows Startup Folder

Many applications have an option in their settings menu to run when the program begins. Since this is the simplest method, you should check to see if the software you want to execute during boot offers it. If not, you can do the following after you find the program’s executable file first if you want it to start up automatically.

Step 1: Use the Start Menu’s search function to enter the application name.

Step 2: To open it in File Explorer after it appears, right-click the application and select Open file location.

File Explorer

Step 3: The source executable doesn’t need to be changed; a shortcut will suffice.

Note: If you change your mind later, you may just as quickly remove the shortcut from the startup folder.

Step 4:  Locate the shortcut you just made on your desktop next. Go to your starting folder in File Explorer.

Step 5: Drag the new shortcut icon to the startup folder from your desktop or copy and paste it.

The program will begin the next time you log in once you’ve added a shortcut to the startup folder. Doing this can avoid having to open it manually each time.

How To Turn Off Windows Startup Programs

Simply remove their shortcuts if you see any apps in either startup folder that you’d prefer not to execute when the computer boots up. Only the shortcut used to run at boot will be deleted; the apps themselves won’t be. There is another method, and that is by using the Task Manager, which has more apps than you’ll discover in the starting folder.

Step 1: To launch the Task Manager, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + Esc. If you just see a simple list of apps, expand to the entire Task Manager by clicking the More details link at the bottom.

Task Manager

Step 2: After that, select the Startup tab at the top. You can see every application that is slated to launch right here.

Step 3: To sort by Name, Status, or Startup effect, utilize the headings.


Step 4: Select the one you want to stop running, then click the Disable button at the bottom.

Step 5: A few more helpful columns can be added to this tab. The header can be clicked anywhere to see more possible criteria. Command line and Startup type are two beneficial ones.


The Startup Type:– It identifies whether a startup application originates from a folder or the registry. Most of them will be registry-based, meaning they were either configured to run at startup when you installed them or have a setting to do so. The folder denotes that it is located in one of the startup folders we previously examined.

Command line:– You can see the location of a program on your computer by using the Command line field. If you require more information about an application, you can use this to pinpoint its location. Right-clicking any entry and selecting Open file location will take you here.

Bonus: Remove Your Startup Programs And Optimize Your PC Too

Another way of adding or removing your startup programs is by using a third-party tool known as Advanced System Optimizer. This application is an all-in-one optimization program that has many modules to help maintain your PC and ensure that it delivers optimal performance at all times. It has several modules that can update drivers, find and delete duplicate files, fix trivial registry issues, and find and delete unnecessary files. The following procedures are for Advanced System Optimizer, a piece of optimization software that will list every startup item on your computer.

Step 1: Click the download button below to download and install Advanced System Optimizer on your computer.

Step 2: Open the application, then select Regular Maintenance from the left-hand menu.

Regular Maintenance

Step 3: Next, select Startup Manager from the right panel to bring up a fresh program UI.

Step 4: Select the Manage Startup button.

Manage Startup

Step 5: A list of the applications scheduled for a startup will show up. Click the Remove button after selecting the programs you don’t want.


Note: You can add your preferred software if you know where the executable file is located.

The Final Word On How to Use the Windows Startup Folder

You may now add and remove startup programs, view the Windows startup folder, and manage which programs to launch when Windows boots up. You should get some performance gains from this because it’s a great and simple technique to increase the speed of your PC. Remove programs you never use from running immediately.

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