How to find the Windows 10 Startup Folder location

Windows 10 can run apps automatically at Startup. Some of these apps like Windows Defender, are the stock apps that the OS added to the startup list. Another user can be added or removed. Some apps have a ‘Run at startup’ option in their preferences which makes it easy to add them to the list of startup products. Apps that do not have this option must be manually added to the startup list by adding them to the Startup folder.

Windows 10 Startup Folder Setup

Windows 10 starter folder

The Startup folder is a system folder that contains apps, files, and scripts that will open when Windows 10 boots to the desktop. This folder should not be confused with the Start Menu folder which is for storing Start Menu apps / tiles.

there is two types of starter packs; a user-specific package, and a starter package for all users. The user-specific folder contains everything a user wants to run at startup but the start-up folder for all users contains items that run at startup for all users who log in to the system.

Windows 10 Startup Folder Setup

The only trick to adding something to the startup folder is to know where it is.

To find the user-specific starter folder, follow these steps;

  1. Tap on the Win + R keyboard shortcut. to open the run box.
  2. In the run box, apply %AppData% and tap on the Enter key.
  3. In the folder that opens, go to Microsoft>Windows>Start Menu>Programs>Startup.

Alternatively, you can enter this in the File Explorer location bar but replace your username with your username,

C:UsersUsernameAppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsStart MenuProgramsStartup

To find the starter package for all users, follow these steps;

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Go to See the tab.
  3. Enable ‘hidden objects’ to reveal hidden files and folders.
  4. Open the C drive.
  5. go to ProgramData>Microsoft>Windows>Start Menu>Programs>StartUp

Or enter this in the settings bar in File Explorer and tap Enter.

C:ProgramDataMicrosoftWindowsStart MenuProgramsStartUp

Add apps to Windows 10 startup folder

Adding apps to the startup folder is simple. You can follow the same process for both types of Startup folder however, for the Startup folder for all users, you need admin rights to add something.

  1. Right click on the app, file, or folder you want to add to the startup folder.
  2. Choose Go to> Desktop (Create Shortcut).
  3. Open the startup folder.
  4. Cut the desktop shortcut for the app and insert it into the startup folder.

Note: Windows 10 normally prevents scripts from running at Startup but all other file types, including Autohotkey scripts, will work. If you want the app to run with admin rights at startup, you need to change the shortcut.

Remove apps from Windows 10 startup folder

To remove an app, file, or folder from the start folder, open it and delete the item.


Knowing where the startup folder allows you to easily cut the apps running on boot. If you prefer, you want to keep non-essential apps out of this folder so that your system finishes booting faster. You can always run apps manually when you need them.

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