How to Set an App to Launch Automatically in Windows 10

This guide will take you step by step through the process to set a program so that it automatically starts each time Windows 10 launches.

  1. Start off by holding down the “Windows Key” on your keyboard, and then hit the R key. This will bring up the ‘Run’ dialogue box.
  2. Enter the text:

    shell:common startup

    and then click the OK button.

  3. A Windows Explorer window will open up and display what will probably be an empty folder. Move this window to the side – we’ll be coming right back.
  4. Now click the Windows 10 “Start button” to open the main menu. Locate the program you want to have startup automatically with Windows and right-click its icon. From the context menu that pops up, select More and then Open file location. Please note: if the program you want to have start with Windows isn’t listed in the Windows 10 menu, fear not. Just jump down to step #10 below and carry on from there.
  5. Now another Windows Explorer window will appear. This one will have a list of most of the Apps on your computer in the form of shortcut files.
  6. Locate the shortcut file for the program you want to have start automatically, right-click that file and select Copy
  7. Remember that Windows Explorer window we opened up back in step #3? Time to find it. Anywhere in the empty space of that window right-click and select Paste from the context menu.
  8. In all likelihood a security warning will pop up – click the Continue button.
  9. That’s it – you’re all done! The next time you start up Windows 10, this program will automatically launch.

  10. OK – the program you want to have start up automatically doesn’t have a “Start menu” entry. Not a big deal. Open a Windows Explorer screen and find the actual .exe file. It’s almost certainly somewhere in your C:\Program Files\ or C:\Program Files (x86)\ folders. When you’ve found the file, right-click it and select Create shortcut
  11. Depending on the location of your file, you may get a message saying a shortcut can’t be created in this particular folder – but will offer to create one on your Desktop instead. Click Yes if this is the case for you.
  12. Now head back up to step #6 above and carry on from there.

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