When you start your computer for the first time of the day, or whenever you reboot it, apps will launch alongside Windows. Depending on your preferences, we could be talking about apps like messenger apps, webcam apps, audio control apps, and so on.
Some of these apps are meant to be run in the background and might be necessary, like Google Drive so that it can offer users access to the latest and most up-to-date synched files. However, sometimes these startup apps can slow down a computer’s boot time, especially if you are on an older computer with aging hardware.
Or maybe the apps you want to be launched at startup don’t because the app doesn’t have a setting to launch on startup. This is where the startup folder comes in handy, where you can essentially put apps into it or remove it to manage which apps are launched whenever your computer boots up.
Locating The Startup Folder
When it comes to the startup folder, there are actually two. This is because Windows allows for multiple user accounts on a single computer, so there’s actually a startup folder for all users, meaning that the apps in this folder will launch regardless of who logs into the computer, and the other is for the current user, which means that apps in this folder will only launch for that particular user.
- To locate the startup folder for all users, press Windows Key + R to bring up the Run dialog box, and type “shell:common startup” (without the quotes) and click OK.
- To locate the startup folder for the current user, press Windows Key + R to bring up the Run dialog box, and type “shell:startup” (without the quotes) and click OK.
Adding Programs To The Startup Folder
Now that you’ve located the startup folder, you can start adding applications to it. This is a pretty easy process and if you’re familiar with creating program shortcuts, then this will be a piece of cake.
- Click the Start Menu and locate the program you want to launch on startup
- Right-click the program, go to More and click “Open file location”
- It should open the Start Menu folder with the file already highlighted. By right this is a shortcut of the file and not the original file
- Right-click the app and click Copy
- Open the startup folder
- Right-click in the folder and click Paste
- The app you’ve chosen will now run whenever you start Windows or reboot your computer
- Within the startup folder, you can also choose to delete apps that you don’t want to run on startup
Managing Startup Apps
If you notice that your startup folder is empty and that there are no apps despite the fact that you know for sure that apps do launch whenever you start Windows, don’t worry as they are in a separate location.
- Click the Start Menu
- Type “Startup Apps” and hit Enter
- You should now see a list of apps that run on startup
- You can click the toggle to enable or disable those apps from running
- You will also notice that the apps you added via the startup folder appear on this list if it wasn’t there before