Quick way to find the Startup Folder in Windows 10 and 11

The Windows 10 Startup Folder contains shortcuts to applications that start after you have logged in to Windows. If you want a program to start automatically you can simply add the shortcut to the program in this folder.

Before Windows 10 you could easily open the startup folder through the start menu. The startup folder is still part of the start menu structure in Windows, only you will have to open it through the explorer these days.

The startup folder isn’t the only location to start programs automatically, they can also be listed in your registry, controlled through Group Policies and Tasks.

Windows 10 & 11 Startup Folder Location

So let’s first take a look at the Windows 10 Startup folder location. There are two startup folders, one personal folder, and one for all users.

You can find the personal Windows 10 Startup folder at the following location:

%appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

You can simply copy and paste the URL in the address bar of your explorer. Another option is to open the startup folder in Windows 10 or 11 is to using a single command in a Run Box.

To open the Windows 10 Startup folder:

  1. Press Windows key + R
  2. Type shell:startup and hit enter
Windows 10 Startup Folder Location
Open Windows 10 startup folder

Startup folder for all users

The startup folder for all users is located at:

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

You can also open the startup folder for all users with a command:

  1. Press Windows key + R
  2. Type shell:common startup
  3. Hit enter

Add Program to Startup Windows 10/11

Programs that you use daily can be started automatically when you logon to your computer. The easiest way to do this, is by adding them to the startup folder in Windows 10 or 11.

To add a program to the startup you first need to make a shortcut to the program and then copy the shortcut to the startup folder:

  1. Open the start menu
  2. Find the program that you want to add
  3. Right-click on the program > choose More > Open File Location
  4. Copy the shortcut of the program
  5. Open the Startup folder with the steps above
  6. Past the copied shortcut in the folder

Windows 10 Registry Startup Location

If you are looking for applications that start up automatically to clean them up, then make sure you also check the Registry.

In the Registry, there are a lot of locations that can contain programs to auto start. But two of them are most commonly used:

HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

To open the registry:

  1. Press Windows key + R
  2. In the run box, type regedit, and press enter
  3. Paste the following path in the address bar: HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
Windows registry startup location programs

You see all the programs that will start automatically after you have logged in. If you want to remove a program from autostart, simply select the record and press delete.

Registry location for all users

The programs that start for all users can be found in the following location:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

Only remove the programs if you know what you are doing. If you are not sure, then make first a backup of the Run folder, by right-clicking on Run (in the left pane) and select export.

This way you can alway restore it.

Task manager

In Windows 10 you can also use the Task Manager to manage the programs that auto-start. In the Task Manager, you will find all the programs and their startup impact.

Each program can simply be Disabled, or Enabled again, by simply right-click on the row.

To open the task manager press Ctrl + Shift + Escape or right-click on your taskbar and select task manager.

Windows Task manager startup
Use task manager to manage program startup

Using the Settings Screen

Another easy method to change the programs that startup automatically is to use the Windows 10/11 settings screen.

  1. Open the start menu
  2. Click on the gear icon to open settings
  3. Go to Apps
  4. Select Startup on the left side
  5. Turn apps on or off
add program to startup windows 10
Windows 10 / 11 Startup settings Screen

Wrapping Up

If you want programs to start automatically then the Windows 10 Startup folder is a really useful location. But keep in mind, the more programs that start automatically, the longer it takes before you can use your computer.

If you have any questions, just drop a comment below.

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