How to Access the Windows 10 Startup Folder

windows 10 startup folder

In earlier Windows versions before Windows 8, the Startup Folder could be easily accessible via the Start Menu. It was a particular folder responsible for automatically launching of programs contained within it as soon as the user logged onto the PC.

Users were able to manually place various shortcuts to their specific applications in the Startup Folder. Using shortcuts, such apps could be launched automatically. Thus, the apps were ready for use as soon as the OS was booted. Similarly, some software applications were able to place the shortcuts to their apps in the Startup Folder while installation for ensuring efficient functioning of the app.

However, in last 2012 with the launch of Windows 8, everything changed. Microsoft ditched the Start Menu from the operating system to make room for the newly introduced “Tiles” feature on the Windows environment resulting in numerous controversies. Despite the fact that Startup Menu was removed making it difficult for the end-user to access the Startup Folder, the fact that the Startup Folder was a pivotal component of Windows could not be changed. Thus the question emerged – Where is startup folder in windows?

For its brilliant uses, the Startup Folder continued to exist and serve the users in the same intended. However, it was less preferred with even lesser importance in comparison to the new methods of managing startup applications from Task Manager as introduced in Windows 8.

Startup Folder on Windows 10

Owing to the failures of Windows 8, Microsoft returned the user-favorite Start Menu in
Windows 10. However, it still lacked a direct access to the Startup Folder. But, unlike Windows 8, Windows 10 Startup Folder serves a special purpose. Many legacy applications in particular ones created before Microsoft’s introduction of the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) rely heavily on the functioning of Startup Folder.

Moreover, a user can also place application shortcuts in the Startup Folder for a quicker and faster way to launch applications at boot. Even though Microsoft doesn’t provide direct user access to the Startup Folder in Windows 10 as opposed to the earlier versions of the operating system, the Startup Folder is still available for use in Windows 10.

Please read below to understand how one can access and use the Startup Folder on Windows 10 with ease and convenience.

Types of Startup Folders

Firstly the most important thing to note about the Startup Folder in Windows 10 is that there are two separate locations for Startup Folder in Windows 10.

One is for the system level and is applied to all user accounts, and the other is a unique location correspondingly specifically to the current account signed in by the user. Both of these folders work together to determine which applications must launch on the startup post the user login.

For consideration let us see an example, suppose there are two user accounts on your PC:  One account for someone called Jane and one account for a guy by the name of John. Microsoft Edge is a conventional browser used by all the accounts and hence, is placed in the All Users Startup Folder.

Furthermore, Jane loves to use Notepad every time while once she logs in and therefore, a shortcut for Notepad can be placed in the Startup Folder relevant only to the user account of Jane. Thus whenever Jane logs into her account, both Microsoft Edge and Notepad will launch automatically, but for John, just Microsoft Edge will start.

While the marginal distinction between the All Users and Current User Startup Folders seems trivial, it is impertinent to remember that it helps if you’re troubleshooting the issues corresponding to a particular application. As to why it isn’t opening, the user-based licensing or access restrictions, etc.

Direct Path to the Windows 10 Startup Folder

To configure the application shortcuts which can be launched automatically, you can directly
navigate to the Startup Folder for All Users and Current User in Windows 10. The Startup Folders are located at the following paths.

Method 1: Using File Explorer

The first method to access to the Startup Folder is to open File Explorer and navigate to the
below paths. However, first, you need to enable the Show Hidden Files option using the right click to see all the routes available in the File Explorer.

The All Users Startup Folder can be found at the following path:

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp

The Current User Startup Folder can be located at:

C:\Users\[Username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

Once you open the location in the File Explorer, you can drag and drop the shortcuts of all the applications which you want to launch at the startup for all users and the current user. However, when configuring the application shortcuts for all the users, you will get a UAC prompt that you need Admin rights to perform this action.

Method 2: Using Run Command or PowerShell

Another approach to access Startup Folder instead of remembering and navigating the path of the Startup Folder every time in File Explorer you can directly access the folders using PowerShell run command in Windows 10.

To access the All Users Startup Folder in Windows 10, press (Windows Key + R) key on your keyboard, and type the below command and click on “Okay” or press Enter.

shell:common startup

Windows 10 Startup Folder

Similarly to access the Current User Startup Folder, follow the same procedure but with the
following command:

shell:startup

Windows 10 Startup Folder

Using these commands, a separate File Explorer windows will open up with the Startup Folder for all users and the current user. Now you can proceed to configure the necessary the application shortcuts using drag and drop.

Conclusion:

In the end, it is crucial for you to note that the items placed in the All Users or Current
UserStartup Folders don’t launch immediately on log-in. The ideal process followed by
Windows is to first load the necessary system processes and items in the Startup tab of the Task Manager.

Once it is done the items in the Startup Folders are launched. Mostly, the initial steps required to the startup the applications don’t take long, and you can see the designated applications in your Startup Folder launch in seconds once you log in.

However, if you have overloaded the number of applications in the Startup Folder, then it may take a couple of minutes for the applications in the Startup Folder to launch on your desktop.

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