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How to add items to the Startup folder on Windows 10

If you want to run an app or open a file when your system boots up, you have to add it to the Startup folder on Windows 10. Likewise, any app that’s set to run when you boot to your desktop adds itself to this very same folder. Normally, most apps that need to run at system start up already have a built-inn option to do so. That said, anything that’s in the Startup folder and that can be executed will run at system start up. Here’s how you can add items to the startup folder on Windows 10.

Add items to Startup folder

There is only one thing you need to know about the Startup folder on Windows 10; its location.

Current  user

To find the Startup folder for the current user, tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut and enter the following in the run box that opens. Tap Enter.


This will open the Startup folder for the current user i.e., your user. Any items that you move to this folder will run when you log in. If you have other users configured on your system, this same items will not run at start up for them.

All users

If you want to add items to the Startup folder for all users i.e., have an app or file open whenever a user, new, old, or existing, boots to the desktop, you need to open File Explorer and navigate to the following location.

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

This Startup folder is for all users and items here will differ from the items that you find in the Startup folder for a single user. It goes without saying that since this location is in the Windows drive, adding items to it will require admin rights.

For apps that have a built-in option that allows them to run at start up, you probably won’t see them in either of these folders. You can disable them from starting up from the apps’ own built-in options or you can open Task Manager and go to the Startup tab. That’s where you can disable any and all items, even the more stubborn ones like Adobe Creative Cloud.

Startup folder vs Start folder

It’s important that you know the difference between the Startup folder and the Start folder. Items in the Startup folder will open/run when you  boot to your desktop. Items in the Start folder will appear in the Start menu. In both cases, the items can be customized for all users, or for a single user.

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