Do you always launch a specific program as soon as Windows boots up? Perhaps it’s your web browser or email client. If that’s the case, you could save yourself a few clicks by having Windows Get a Program Start Automatically for you every time you log in.
Once you get to the desktop, Windows automatically starts several programs – you’ve probably noticed your system tray fill up with icons from apps like OneDrive and your antivirus software. These programs typically run in the background and are hidden by default, so you won’t see any open windows on your desktop. You can, however, use the same mechanism to open any app you want.
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How to automatically launch an app when you login to Windows 10
This is a very simple procedure, but you must first know where to look. You’ll need a shortcut to the app you want to open to get started. Copying an existing desktop shortcut is the simplest way to do this. If you already have a desktop shortcut for the app, simply click it and press Ctrl+C to copy it to the clipboard. Otherwise, you can make a new shortcut by going to the Start menu, finding the app, and dragging it to your desktop.
You can simply add your shortcut to a special Windows folder to make apps open automatically. When Windows starts, it launches all of the shortcuts in the folder, so all you have to do is copy and paste your shortcut. The most difficult part is locating the folder because it is in a system location.
Click in the address bar at the top of the screen to open File Explorer (you can press Win+E from anywhere in Windows). Delete the contents of the folder, then type “% appdata% ” (without the quotes) and press enter. This folder may contain a lot of different subfolders depending on the apps you’ve installed; don’t change or delete anything in here.
Locate the “Microsoft” subfolder and open it. From here, navigate to Windows > Start Menu > Programs > Start-up and drill down through the directories. You can simply copy and paste your app shortcut into the folder once you’ve arrived at this location. The app will start automatically the next time you log in to Windows.
If you want to stop the app from starting automatically in the future, simply go back to the folder and delete the shortcut. Alternatively, open Task Manager (press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to quickly launch it) and go to the “Start-up” tab. All of the Start-up folder shortcuts you’ve added should be listed here. Then, at the bottom of the window, click the “Disable” button next to the app you want to remove.
This method allows you to return to Task Manager in the future to re-enable the app. You’ll never have to use your shortcut again. Instead of the Start-up Start menu folder, Task Manager shows apps that register themselves as start-up apps using internal Windows APIs.
In addition, newer versions of Windows 10 include a “Start-up” page in the Settings app’s “Apps” category. This mimics Task Manager’s functionality by displaying simple on-off toggle buttons for each of your startup apps.
It’s worth noting that this guide assumes you only want the app to open when you log in. Other user accounts on your PC will not be able to use the app. If you want an app to open for every user, follow the steps above but replace “%appdata%” with “%programdata%” in the instructions. To save to this location, you must be logged in as an administrator.
Allowing Program Start Automatically can make getting ready for the day a little easier. Your most-used apps will be ready and waiting on your desktop as soon as your PC boots up. Just keep in mind that having a lot of start-up apps can significantly slow down your system’s performance as they all load.