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How to open a file on Start up on Windows 10

Running apps, whether they’re desktop apps or UWP apps, on system start up on Windows 10 is easy. You need to know how to set it up but it takes little more than creating shortcuts for apps and moving those shortcuts to the right folder. What you may not know is that the same trick can be used to open a file on start up.

Open a file on start

In order to open a file on start up, you will need to add it to the Start up folder. Technically, you can add the original file however, we strongly advise against it. The start up folder is no where to save a file. Instead, find the file that you want to open on start up, right-click it, and from the context menu, select Create Shortcut.

This will create a shortcut for the file in the same location as the file itself which is fine. You can also use the Send to>Desktop (create shortcut) option and the shortcut will be placed on the desktop. Both options work and in both cases, you will be moving the shortcut to the start up folder.

Once you have the shortcut, open File Explorer and paste the following in the location bar.


Move the shortcut for your file to the folder that opens. That’s all you need to do. The next time you start your system, the file will open in the default app that’s set for it.

Opening files at start up will drag down the boot time. You won’t be able to check the impact from the Task Manager because it cannot measure it for files. The file will show up on the Startup tab but all you can do is disable it from being opened at start up and nothing else.

If the file is particularly large e.g., a database file or a Photoshop file, and the app that opens it is equally resource hungry, your start up time could increase quite a bit. Unfortunately, there’s no way to set the file to open a few minutes after start up from just File Explorer or Task Manager. You can use a scheduled task to accomplish this since it recognizes start up as an event and can trigger events after it. Task scheduler can open both apps and files as an action in response to a trigger so for a delayed start up, that is the best option. A simple task will do the trick.

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