How to Access the Startup Folder in Windows 10

How to Access the Startup Folder in Windows 10

/ Shayne Sherman

Windows startup folder was an integral part of Windows that goes way back to Windows 95. In the past versions of Windows, the startup folder was easily accessible. Any program or software inside it would automatically run by default when you boot up Windows 10.

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On earlier versions of Windows, the startup folder in Windows would run a batch script that contains a list of programs that would run automatically along with the Windows operating system.

In the past, users would modify the batch script file using a text editor to include custom programs ready for use every time Windows boots up.

Windows decided to add a dedicated graphical interface to its operating system to move away from using command lines and batch scripts to customize their startup folder.

Even though Windows completely changed how to include various programs to run during boot, the startup folder is still present in Windows 10.

How to Access Windows 10 Startup Folder

In previous versions of Windows, the startup folder in Windows can be easily located in the start menu. The startup folder contains programs installed on your computer and is set to run automatically whenever your computer is turned on.

However, when Windows 8 was released, the start menu was removed entirely from the operating system, which gathered a lot of criticism and negative feedback from long-time Windows users. Because of this, the start menu was added back shortly after releasing Windows 10. Now there are two startup folders in Windows 10, which are located in different locations.

Access the Startup Folder Using Windows File Explorer

To access the startup folder in Windows 10, you would need to enable the ‘Show Hidden Files‘ option first. To do this, follow the guide below.

  1. On your computer, press on the Windows key + S and search for Control Panel.
  2. After that, click on Open to launch the Control Panel.
Control Panel

3. Inside the Control Panel, click on File Explorer Options.

File Explorer Option

4. Lastly, click on the View tab and make sure that ‘Show Hidden Files, Folders, and Drives‘ is Enabled.

Show Hidden Files, Folders, and Drives is Enabled

Once you are done enabling this option on Windows 10, you can now locate the Windows 10 startup folder.

To access the ‘All Users Startup Folder’, check out the guide below.

  1. On your computer, press on the Windows key + S and search for File Explorer.
  2. After that, click on Open.
File Explorer

3. On the side menu, click on Local Disk (C:) or the drive where Windows installation files are installed.

4. Now, click on the Program Data folder.

5. Inside the Program Data folder, click on the Microsoft folder, then the Windows folder.

6. Lastly, click on Start Menu > Programs > Startup.

Startup

To access the ‘Current Users Startup Folder‘, follow the steps below to guide you through the process.

  1. On your computer, press on the Windows key + S and search for File Explorer.
  2. After that, click on Open.
File Explorer

3. On the side menu, click on Local Disk (C:) or the drive where Windows installation files are installed.

4. Next, click on the Users folder and select the username of the user you wish to access its startup folder.

5. Lastly, navigate through the following folders App Data > Roaming > Microsoft > Windows > Start Menu > Programs > Startup.

Startup

Now you can customize the programs on the Windows 10 startup folder that you want to be executed whenever Windows is booted on your computer.

Access the Startup Folder Using Run Command

An easier way to access the Windows 10 startup folder is by jumping directly to the folder using the shell command. To use the Run Command, check out the guide below.

  1. On your computer, press on the Windows key + S and search for ‘Run.’
  2. After that, click on Open to launch the Run Command.
Run

3. Lastly, type Shell:common startupto access ‘All Users Startup Folder‘ and type Shell:startup for ‘Current User Startup Folder

Shell:common startup

Enable and Disable Startup Programs on Windows 10

Suppose you want an easier way to manage your startup programs in Windows 10. In that case, you can use the Task Manager to enable and disable programs that are automatically executed during Windows startup.

  1. On your computer, press on CTRL + ALT + DEL key to open the selection menu.
  2. After that, click on Task Manager.
  3. Inside the Task Manager, click on the Startup tab.
wsf 4.3

4. Lastly, right-click on the program you want to change and select ‘Enable‘ or ‘Disable.

Alternatively, you can also customize your startup programs via Windows Settings. To do this, follow the steps below.

  1. On your computer, press on Windows key + I to open Windows Settings.
  2. Next, click on Apps.
wsf 4.4

3. Lastly, click on Startup from the side menu and select the programs you want to include or exclude from being executed on startup.

Startup Apps

Managing Startup on Other Versions of Windows

If you are not running Windows 10 on your system, you can manage your startup programs using MSConfig since the Startup tab is not present on the Task Manager.

The Task Manager is a built-in tool in Windows used to control your system’s behavior when it boots and allows you to modify programs that should run when you turn on your computer.

To use MSConfig to manage your startup programs, check out the guide below.

  1. On your computer, press on Windows key + R to launch the Run Command Box.
  2. After that, type msconfigand hit Enter.
msconfig

3. Lastly, click on the Startup tab inside MSConfig, and there you can add or remove programs that would run during Windows startup.

In summary, Windows did a great job of making it easier for users to manage Windows 10 startup.

Compared to manually editing batch scripts, the graphical user interface is easier to use for non-techy users.

Keep in mind that some programs in the startup list might be essential for Windows to run correctly. Others such as itunes might not be essential on startup. Changing these programs might positively or negatively affect the performance of your computer.