windows 10 startup

What is Windows 10 Startup folder?

Startup programs in Windows 10 are the ones that run automatically as Windows is launched. If you go to the Task Manager utility, you will see a Startup tab, Windows 10’s default startup manager, through which you can disable startup software. But what if you want to expand the list of programs and apps that run as Windows starts up? In this case, you will need to look for the Windows 10 Startup folder.

What is the Windows Startup Folder?

The Startup folder was a folder that you could find via the Start Menu. Programs placed in this folder would automatically launch each time you started up your computer.

Users could manually drag application shortcuts to the Startup folder and the apps automatically launched before or after the user logged in.

If you have Windows 10, the Start Menu is launched by the Windows logo in the bottom left-hand corner. All you do is tap the Windows key on your keyboard or click the Windows logo, and the Start Menu pops up. However, the Startup folder is nowhere to be found.

So, How Do I Find the Startup Folder in Windows 10?

Before we get started, keep in mind that there are now two Startup folder locations in Windows 10, including:

  • One Startup folder that operates at the system level and is shared among all user accounts
  • Another Startup folder that operates at the user level and is unique to each user on the system

For example, consider a PC with two user accounts: one account for Mike and one account for Haynes. A shortcut for Microsoft Edge is placed in the “All Users” Startup folder, and a link for Notepad gets put in the Startup folder for the Mike user account. When Mike logs into Windows, both Microsoft Edge and Notepad will launch automatically, but when Haynes logs into his account, only Edge will start.

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With that in mind, let’s take a look at how you can find the Startup folder in Windows 10.

Open Windows 10 Startup Folder with Explorer

You can navigate to both the “All Users” and “Current User” Startup folders in Windows 10 using the following paths.

Note that you can either navigate to these paths via File Explorer or copy and paste the relative path in the Run box, which gets accessed by pressing Windows Key + R on your keyboard.

If you opt to use File Explorer, you’ll need to enable the “Show Hidden Files” option to see specific folders in the path.

windows 10 startup

The All Users Startup folder is found in the following path:

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

The Current User Startup folder is located here:

C:\Users\[User Name]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

To access the “All Users” Startup folder in Windows 10, open the Run dialog box (Windows Key + R), type shell:common startup, and click OK.

windows 10 startup run

For the “Current User“ Startup folder, open the Run dialog and type shell:startup rather shell:common startup

How to add new programs to the Startup Folder?

If you want certain programs to initiate by default as you start up Windows, you will need to add them to the Startup folder. Here’s how to do that:


Open the Startup folder in File Explorer.

Step 2:

Within the Startup folder, right-click on any empty space and choose New > Shortcut from the menu.

Step 3:

Click the Browse button to bring up a list of available programs.

Step 4:

Select a program or file you would like to appear in the Startup folder and click OK.

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Step 5:

Click the Next button and then the Finish button.

You can now go back to the Startup folder to check if it now includes the new software.

Finally, restart Windows — your selected programs will now open on startup.

The Launch Order For The Windows 10 Startup Folder

Any item placed in either of the Startup Folders will not launch immediately upon login as it did back in the days of Windows 95. Instead, Windows 10 launches programs in a very specific order beginning with necessary system processes and any items in the Task Manager’s Startup tab. The programs you’ve added to the Startup Folders will follow after.

This usually doesn’t take long, but if you have lots of first- and third-party applications and services already configured to launch at boot, it could take a few minutes depending on the processing speed of your computer.

Too many programs in the Windows 10 Startup folder may run the risk of extensive downtime, slowing your computer to unworkable speeds while it attempts to launch each program. It’s a good idea to ensure that you only place necessary programs in these folders and keep the overall count to a minimum.


How to remove programs from the Startup folder?

If you want to stop certain programs from initiating on startup, you will need to remove them from the Startup folder. To do that, open up the folder, choose a program you want to remove, and click the Delete button.


Alternatively, you can use the Task Manager. Right-click the taskbar and choose Task Manager. Click the Start-up tab to bring up the list of programs that are currently in the Startup folder. You can then choose the ones you want to be removed and click the Disable button.