photo of woman writing on tablet computer while using laptop

How to add things to your startup folder in Windows 10

photo of woman writing on tablet computer while using laptop
  1. Introduction
  2. The startup folder
  3. Adding shortcuts
  4. Tl;dr


In a previous post we spoke about how to stop programs from running during startup to improve startup speed but in todays post we’re doing the opposite! I will show you how you can add items to your startup folder so that they run during startup.

Having programs run during startup can be helpful, particularly in a work environment, say you get into work, turn on your machine and login then you go off and make a coffee (or a beverage of your choice, I’m not picky!) then by the time you come back, all of the programs you need have started up without you needing to run a single thing.

The startup folder

Now if you like the sounds of that, the first thing you want to do is press ‘Win+R‘ and type in ‘shell:startup‘, this will open up the folder where your startup programs will go!

Note: You’ll want to only put shortcuts in here, I wouldn’t go putting executables and stuff in there.

startup folder

Adding shortcuts

Now you have this window open you will want to pick a program to run and then find the exe for it, in this example I will use ‘Access‘, I’ve searched for it in the start menu where there will be an option to ‘Open file location‘, you may need to click the arrow underneath to show it.

access in the start menu with open file location

Once you’ve clicked ‘Open file location‘ you will be taken to the location of the file, in this case it takes me to the location of the shortcut for Access. It’ll look something like this, all you need to do is ‘right click‘ and ‘copy‘ it (you can do the same if it’s an executable as it will just copy a shortcut to that file).

right click file and copy

Now simply paste it into your ‘startup‘ folder we opened at the beginning and then that program should now run during startup! Give your machine a restart and test it out.

Why not try putting some batch files in there!


Press Win+R > type ‘shell:startup‘ and run it > copy a shortcut into there for whatever you want to run at startup

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