Windows 10 Startup Folder [Location, Access, Items]

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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  • The Task Manager's Startup tab provides you enough insights on what exactly are the apps that launch at startup. But this tool comes in handy for inspection purposes only and you'll need to find other ways to add programs for example.
  • You can do this by adding software directly to the Startup folder. If you're wondering how to find it, look no further, we have it sorted out for you right here.
  • Check out more handy fixes on our Windows 10 Guides.
  • Don't be shy to explore the Tutorials Hub as well for more tech tricks and tips.
where is the startup folder windows 10

Windows 10’s Task Manager utility includes a Startup tab. That is Windows 10’s default startup manager with which users can disable startup software.

However, the Task Manager’s tab doesn’t include any options for users to add programs to the startup. So, some users might look for startup settings on software windows to add new programs to the system startup.

Yet, Windows 10 includes a Startup folder to which users can add programs and files. All software and programs within that folder will run automatically when Windows starts. That folder is buried within a series of subfolders.

Consequently, some users might wonder found to find it exactly.

Where is the Startup folder in Windows 10?

For most users, the Startup folder is located at this address:

C:Users<user name>AppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsStartMenuProgramsStartup

There is also a second All Users Startup folder that should be located under:

C:ProgramDataMicrosoftWindowsStart MenuProgramsStartup

How to Open the Startup Folder With Run

As you can see, the full path for the Startup folder is this:

C:UsersUSERNAMEAppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsStartMenuProgramsStartup

Users will need to replace USERNAME with their actual user account name, and then enter that path in File Explorer. That path will open the folder shown in the snapshot directly below.

However, it’s better to open the Startup folder with Run. To do that, press the Windows key + R hotkey. Then enter shell:startup in the Run text box. That will open the Startup folder when users press the OK button.

To open the all user Startup folder, enter shell:common startup in Run and click OK.

How to Add Software to the Startup Folder

With the Startup folder open in File Explorer, users can now add new program shortcuts to the system startup. In addition, users can also include file shortcuts within that folder.

Then the files the Startup folder includes will usually open with their default software. This is how users can add shortcuts to the Windows Startup folder.

  • Right-click an empty space within the Startup folder and select New > Shortcut.

  • Click the Browse button to open the window in the snapshot directly below.

  • Select a program or document to include in the startup, and press the OK button.
  • Press the Next button.
  • Then press the Finish button. The Startup folder will now include the selected software or file.
  • The software in the Startup folder will open after you’ve restarted Windows.

How to Remove Software From the Startup Folder

Users can remove programs in the Startup folder by deleting them. To do that, select a program in that folder and click the Delete button. That will probably erase the shortcut to the Recycle Bin.

Users can also press the Ctrl + A keyboard shortcut to select all shortcuts within the Startup folder. Then press File Explorer’s Delete button to erase them. Task Manager’s Start-up tab in Windows 10 will also list the programs that users have added to the Startup folder.

Therefore, users can disable the programs with that utility by right-clicking the taskbar and selecting Task Manager.

Click the Start-up tab on that utility’s window. Then users can select the required program and click Disable.

Note: Task Manager doesn’t include a Start-up tab in Windows 7. However, Win 7 users can open the startup manager by entering msconfig in Run and clicking OK. Then select the Startup tab on the System Configuration window.

Windows 7 users can uncheck the item checkboxes on that tab to disable programs starting during startup. So, that’s how users can add new software and files to Windows’ Startup folder.

However, filling that folder up will slow down the system startup. Lots of startup software will also drain system resources. Therefore, don’t add too many things to the folder.


There you go, these solutions should help you manage the startup folder adequately. Let us know if you found them useful by hitting the comments section below.

FAQ: Learn more about the Startup Folder in Windows 10

  • How do I open the Startup folder?

Use the WinKey + R  combination to bring up the Run box and type in one of these commands to open the Startup folder: shell:startup or shell:common startup, followed by the Enter key.

  • Where is the Startup folder?

The full path for the Startup folder is this: C:UsersUSERNAMEAppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsStartMenuProgramsStartup

Note: You will need to replace the USERNAME value with your actual user account name.

  • What is Startup folder?

The Startup folder is an in-built Windows feature (first introduced in Windows 95) that allows users to set up those particular apps and programs that will automatically run when Windows starts.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in May 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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