Windows: Startup Folder – Add Program to Startup

A program in Windows can be configured to automatically start on boot by placing its shortcut in a Windows startup folder.

There are two types of the startup folders in Windows – a user startup folder used to autostart applications for the particular user only and a system startup folder to configure the startup of the programs for the all users.

This note shows how to easily locate the startup folders in Windows and how add the programs to autostart by placing their shortcuts in the startup folders.

Cool Tip: How to open a File Explorer from a Windows command prompt (CMD) or PowerShell ! Read more →

Windows Startup Folder

Add Program to Startup

To add a program to startup on Windows, press the ⊞ Win + R to launch the “Run” dialog and execute one of the commands below.

  • shell:startup – to start the program automatically for the current user only
  • shell:common startup – to autostart the program for the all users

The commands above will open the appropriate startup folder in a File Explorer.

To add the program to startup, create a shortcut of the executable file in the original location of the program and simply copy this shortcut to the opened startup folder.

Windows Startup Folder Location

By default, the user startup folder is located at:

C:\Users\<UserName>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

The system startup folder can be found at:

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

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