Where Is The Startup Folder & How To Edit Startup Items In Windows 8

Unlike previous versions of Windows, including Windows 7 and Windows Vista, Windows 8 comes with a revamped Metro Start Menu called Start Screen, which holds all the native and installed Metro apps, shortcuts to system utilities, desktop applications, PC Settings, Audio and Video players and more. Although Windows 8 Start Screen acts as central dashboard for all the most frequently used apps and visited system locations, it makes a bit difficult to search and launch Windows system programs and folders. Amongst Windows 8 User Profile folders, Windows Startup Folder is one which can’t be opened using the Start Screen search, and therefore, you need to manually navigate to Windows Startup folder to add, edit and delete the Windows Startup items. Unlike Windows 7 where one can easily open Startup folder from All Programs link (accessible from Start Menu), Windows 8 users need to manually pin Startup folder either at taskbar or Start Screen in order to gain quick access to items that launch with Windows logon. In this post, we will help you find the Windows 8 Startup folder, so you can easily add and edit the Windows 8 startup items.

Using Windows 8 Start Screen search, you can instantly open Advanced Startup options, view programs that start up automatically with Windows and change Window To GO startup options. It doesn’t include shortcut to Windows 8 Startup folder. However, you can use Window 8 Run console to quickly open AppData folder, which resides inside your User Profile folder, to get to Startup folder.

startup search

Open Windows 8 Startup Folder

To begin, use Windows + R hotkey combination, and enter %AppData%. It will open Roaming profile folder, letting you view installed applications’ folders and navigate through Windows system folders. You will find the Startup folder in \Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs folder.

appdata 2

In order to quickly navigate to Startup folder, open Windows Explorer and input the following path in address bar with your user profile folder name, and then press Enter.

C:\Users\<User Profile folder name>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

This will take you directly to Windows 8 Startup folder.

startup folder

You can use Pin to Start option from right-click context menu to quickly open the Startup folder from Windows Start Screen.

pin to start

Selecting the Pin to Start option will send the shortcut to the folder to Start Screen.

startup folder start screen

View & Edit Startup Items

Windows 8 doesn’t show Startup items in System Configuration utility, casually known as msconfig.exe. The Startup tab includes a link to Windows 8 Task Manager –> Startup window which contains all system and user startup applications and scripts.


The Startup section in Task Manager lets you easily organize startup items. It also gives information about the startup item, such as Publisher name, Status and Startup impact (a built-in tool that measures the time it takes to load the startup item). Right-clicking the item will allow you to disable the startup item, navigate to item’s source path, view Properties and initiate online search to get more information on the selected item.

startup item

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O5R5OXQG4UGCHRUD7P4457LB7I Barrie

    Seems to me this was a lot easier when there was  Start Button and the All Programs link…
    This just seems like yet one more reason to not get Windows 8

  • http://twitter.com/Xilantra Afiq Xilantra Azmi

    Hey just right click on the taskbar and select Task Manager. Its a lot easier..duh~

    • James Carter

      You cannot add items in there though,

      • Josh

        Just right-click on any of the existing items and choose ‘open file location’ and you’re there

        • David


          • darkdevil

            i did it and it worked

            • Drumstix42

              It only works if it’s not a shortcut. If you right click and “Open File Location” it brings you directly to the programs folder, not the Startup folder.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Wells.Digital Mike Wells

      Thanks for simple instructions.

    • ALZHEM

      Ctrl+Shift+Esc, even easier ;-)
      You can do that with one hand in half a second!

  • James Carter

    Nice tip. Thanks.

  • dragon00


  • fakhrul


  • http://www.facebook.com/jayetun.dhar Jayetun Dhar


  • http://www.facebook.com/parmar.dilan Dilan Parmar

    Thanks! Do you know of a software like MagicDisc for Win8?

    • a guy with an answer

      you dont need it, it mounts discs on its own

  • magnificus

    Much quicker: Win+R, then type “shell:startup” (without quotes).

    • gabriel


      it’s the best solution

    • Ovidiu Gogu

      best way, 10x !

    • Brian Martin

      and “shell:Common Startup” for the other startup folder.

  • mvdv

    Problem is that mostly the taskmgr here shows rundll32 entries, and no way to see what they actually run (I suspect the “live” tiles)

  • ilja


  • Romeo

    thnxxx……small but very effective tool

  • curtmcg1rt

    good grief, microsoft.

  • Don12345

    These instructions do not work. I followed them to the Startup and then “New Item” opens a drop-down box and the program I want to add is not listed.

  • Don12345

    Never mind. I finally figured it out. Now, if I could just stop “SkyDrive” from opening up at Startup … and it’s not even on the startup list. Ugh!

  • demyurg

    the interface was supposed to be designed bearing in mind that there could be no access to a fully featured keyboard. Even my grandmother could have done a better job in designing their non intuitive and lousy interface

  • kelvin

    with every os upgrade things get harder to do. well done Microsoft.

  • kelvin

    best to navigate to the ‘start up’ folder and make a shortcut and copy it in the ‘send to’ folder. then when you right click on an application or document you want to start up on rebooting you just send it to ‘start up’. easy. but needs a little setting up and Microsoft should be making things like this easier, not harder.

  • http://www.facebook.com/evan.wang.393 Evan Smart Wang


  • Microsoft Bob

    Just place the shortcuts on your desktop… oh wait, nevermind.

  • Lucky Balaraman

    Good post, thanks, used it to stop TweetAdder3 from trying to instal every time I booted.

    Lucky Balaraman

  • Nazro

    Thank you Iv been trying to find this folder for a while, being not quite use to Windows 8 yet it’s nice to have some help :)

  • jacemace

    This is the startup location for all users. C:ProgramDataMicrosoftWindowsStart MenuProgramsStartUp

  • http://www.mccoard.net Jamie McCoard

    I want to launch desktop IE in Kiosk mode. I have the short cut created and I’ve added it to the startup. The problem is that after login I see the Start screen, when I want the IE window. It does open the IE in kiosk mode, but it’s on the “desktop”. So how do I bring the desktop to the forward point?

  • Frank

    control, alt, delete for task manager? There is no option in there for startup.

  • Vicky

    The last screenshot was just what I needed to get Lync to finally start up properly. Thank you!

  • picheli

    Worked perfectly for what I was looking for – thank you!

  • dombleh

    The most easiest way for me is: open Explorer than search “startup” so I can add any shortcut by drag/drop or delete it.

  • Lloyd

    Is it possible to remove the crap (Store, XBox Weather, Videos, etc) and not have all that garbage pop-up as a choice? The computer we use is a “work machine” that is used to run a specific set of programs. I do not want people modifying things and making the actual programs hard to find. A blank screen with pinned start-up folder with shortcuts to the programs we use is great.


    Press KEYWINDOWS + R and write the command