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How to change programs in Windows 10 Startup

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How to change programs in Windows 10 Startup

When you start an operating system or a user session, a series of programs automatically start without you doing anything at all. In Microsoft systems, such as Windows 10, this process is called autostart . Some of the applications that start with this service are imposed by Microsoft; the other can be configured by the user. Read on to find out which programs should start automatically, how to add programs to the Windows 10 Startup folder? And how to remove them..

  1. How exactly does automatic startup work in Windows 10?
  2. Why configure programs in Windows 10 Startup
  3. How to access the Start folder in Windows 10
  4. Add programs to Windows 10 Start: this is how it works
  5. Remove Startup programs in Windows 10
  6. What programs should start automatically?

How exactly does automatic startup work in Windows 10?

As soon as you start the system or log in, Windows 10 automatically runs all the programs or files on the autostart list . Until Windows 8, this list could be viewed and modified directly in the Start menu, but from version 8.1 onwards this changed, and today the Start folder in Windows 10 is only available in personal user files .

Apart from the specific folder for each user, there is a higher order autostart folder and the files and programs inside are executed with the login of any user (All Users), although, as a general rule, their management remains reserved for the system administrator. Furthermore, Windows 10 can also access this folder on its own, if you need to, for example in the context of a software installation..


Automatic start does not it should be confused with another function with a similar name: Autorun . Autorun is a new function that allows you to set the operating system to carry out a certain action automatically if you insert or connect an external data medium such as a CD or USB stick.

As a general rule, in the Windows 10 Startup folder there are only shortcuts to the programs that we want to start automatically, but you can also add any other files that you want to be run as soon as you log in (eg, scripts). Apart from the automatic start programs, there are also other files in the Windows 10 Startup that are permanently integrated into the operating system and that also have an automatic start feature . Here are included, for example, the keys? Run ?,? RunOnce ?,? RunServices ? Y ? RunServicesOnce ? in the Windows registry (registry database)..


Most malware uses registry key autostart to infiltrate these points in the registry, so that every time the user starts the system, it runs automatically in the background without being seen.

Why configure programs in Windows 10 Startup

Good management of the Start folder in Windows 10 has several advantages. In this context, the main advantage of adding applications, services or scripts to the automatic start is obvious: if you work with programs or processes that you need to run every time you log in, the automatic start saves you a lot of time . If you are an administrator, you can even set it for all users through a common folder.

However, as practical as the automatic start of processes, services and applications is in principle, it must also be taken into account that it can have the opposite effect if it overloads the computer's resources and slows down the login and use of the system . Therefore, you will only save time if your computer is powerful enough to start all the applications without losing its performance. If you notice that the performance of your computer has been compromised, you should keep an eye on the Startup folder: Windows may run too many programs or programs that are too demanding with each system startup, even if it is not necessary. Consider removing programs from the Windows 10 Startup to prevent this problem.


If you notice recurring performance problems, you should also check if your system memory is loading with processes that you don't really need . In that case you must empty the memory. In our step-by-step instructions to empty your memory we explain how to do it.

How to access the Start folder in Windows 10

As we said, in Windows 10 the autostart folder is no longer listed in the start menu, despite the fact that both the specific folder for each user, as well as the common one, are still in the start menu directory . The specific paths to access these folders are the following:

  C:\Users\NOMBRE DE USUARIO\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup  

Both folders are quite hidden in the directory structures of the Windows 10 partition, so the operating system also offers the ability to access the directories using a shell command . For this purpose, open the Run dialog box through the start menu or by using the key combination [Windows key] + [R] and entering one of the following entries (depending on whether you want to access the specific folder of user or common folder):

  shell:common startup  

Add programs to Windows 10 Start: this is how it works

Many programs offer in the Settings the possibility of being activated automatically with the system startup. So, first of all, you should check if the software you are interested in has this option. If that's the case, you can use this feature and save yourself the steps we describe below.

Adding programs to Windows 10 autostart is not a complicated task. You just need to create a shortcut to start the executable file (has extension .exe ) and save it in the folder autostart . If you don't know where the corresponding startup file is located, use the Windows search option . Enter the name of the application and click with the right mouse button on the correct result, then select the menu item? Open file location ? (Open file location):


If you have hidden the Windows 10 search function you can show it again at any time by right-clicking on the Windows icon and then selecting "Search".

Then, right-click the file (Windows will automatically mark it) and select? Send to ? Y ? Desktop (create shortcut) ? (Send to> Desktop (create shortcut):


Now you just have to copy the shortcut that you have created to the Startup folder, either by copying and pasting or dragging it:


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Remove Startup programs in Windows 10

Naturally, all the programs that you have added to the Windows 10 autostart can be removed from the folder. To do this, you just have to delete the folder's shortcuts . In the case of the common folder, you will only be allowed to delete files if you have administrator rights. If you have set the automatic start in the settings of a program , you can also disable it in those settings.

In addition, it is also possible to delete certain automatic start configurations through the task manager , although keep in mind that here you will also find programs and services that do not appear in the automatic start folders. To open the task manager, hold down the [Ctrl] and [Shift] keys and press the [Esc] key . Once open, access the tab? Home ? (Start-up):


You will then see a list of the autostart programs for your version of Windows 10, including details from the advertiser, the current status (enabled / disabled), as well as the effects of the program in question on system startup (under / high / not measured). If you are an administrator, you will also be able to consult additional information about whether these are automatic start entries in the folder or the registry key and where exactly the program in question is stored.

To remove a program, click on the corresponding line in the task manager and select? Disable ?:


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What programs should start automatically?

Windows 10 automatically loads the basic services that the Microsoft operating system needs to function properly , without you having to worry about managing these processes. On the other hand, if we talk about the management of installed software , you have full powers as an administrator.

Among the programs for which automatic startup is essential or, at least, recommended, we highlight the following:

  • Security software (antivirus programs, firewalls, etc.): Windows 10 offers its own range of software that protects the system against possible attacks. However, if you have disconnected these applications and use your own software, it is important that it starts from the moment you log in as a user, so the automatic start function is perfect for you.
  • Backup software : if you use software to make backup copies of your data, you must also add it to the programs at the start of Windows 10. This way you will not forget to connect the backup service.
  • Frequently used software : Other candidates to add to the Startup folder are programs that you use often. Here we can cite, for example, clipboard managers, VPN programs or cloud storage solutions or email software.

To make Windows 10 autostart as efficient as possible, you should discard all unnecessary applications, scripts, and services . Among the most frequent programs that are usually loaded at the start of the system and are not strictly necessary are video games, chat programs, Adobe or Apple applications such as QuickTime or Adobe Reader and utility tools such as registry key cleaners or everything type of toolbars.