How to launch apps automatically during startup on Windows 10

While a number of apps you install on Windows 10 feature an option to launch automatically when your computer loads, you can also configure any app whether the option is available or not by simply adding its shortcut to the Startup folder.

Also, you're not just limited to desktop applications. You can set Windows Store apps to start automatically as well as files, folders, and websites.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to automatically launch apps, files, folders, and websites on startup to speed up your daily tasks.

How to launch apps on startup

If you work with the same apps or launch the same websites on a regular basis, then use these steps to get them started automatically as you sign in to your Windows 10 account:

  1. Use the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command.
  2. Type the following command to open the Startup folder and press Enter:shell:startup
  3. Click OK.

  1. Use the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command.
  2. Type the following command to open the Applications folder, which contains shortcuts of all your installed applications (including Windows Store apps), and press Enter:shell:AppsFolder
  3. Click OK.

  1. Snap the Applications folder to the left, and the Startup folder to the right.
  2. Select the app you want from the Applications folders and drag and drop to the Startup folder.

  1. Repeat step No. 8 for all the applications you want to launch after signing in to your account.

Once you completed the steps, every time you access your account apps will open automatically. If you want an app to start maximized, just click the maximize button, and then the app will remember the window size.

In the above instructions, we show the steps to add an app, but you can also add files, folders, and shortcuts to websites. For example, if you usually work with an Excel spreadsheet, you don't need to add the shortcut to open Excel. It's easier to right-click, drag, and drop the spreadsheet file in the Startup folder and select the Create shortcut here option from the context menu.

Just remember that each shortcut you include in the Startup folder will cause Windows 10 to take a bit longer to load, as such it's only recommended to keep the list of items small as possible. (You can also refer you our guide to manage apps on startup.)

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.