You can specify what programs you want to run on Windows boot. All you have to do is add the script, executable, or shortcut in to the startup folder. Alternatively you can use scheduled tasks to manage startup scripts. This will show you how to use both methods.
Using startup folder to launch scripts
The easiest way to trigger scripts to run at startup is to drop then inside the startup folder.
To easily navigate to the startup folder, Windows has an alias
You can get to the startup folder a couple ways:
- Open the Run dialog with
- In the command prompt, enter
Simply copy your files that you want run on startup in to the folder.
For example, in Windows 10, these paths work for me for user and global:
%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp
Enable and disable startup apps
Many apps run on startup that do not have any files in the startup folder.
You can manage the startup apps from the
Task Manager | Startup tab or
In addition you can disable scripts from your startup folder so you don't have to remove them to disable them. Right click on an item to enable or disable it.
Using scheduled tasks
An alternative to the startup folder is scheduled tasks. You can schedule a task to run on startup.
For a GUI, run
to create, delete, enable, disable, and otherwise manage
all scheduled tasks.
To manage scheduled tasks from the command prompt, use
This program will allow you to create, delete, and run
scheduled tasks. You can get help about the commands
by running one of the following:
schtasks schtasks /? schtasks /Run /? schtasks /End /? schtasks /Create /? schtasks /Delete /? schtasks /Query /? schtasks /Change /? schtasks /ShowSid /?
Remember to run an administrator command prompt for these commands. Example for creating a script to launch on startup as local user on login:
schtasks /create /tn "MyCustomTask" /sc onlogon /tr "cmd.exe /c pause"
You can tell a script to run as system on start like this:
schtasks /create /tn "MyCustomTask" /sc onstart /ru system /tr "cmd.exe /c pause"
After this, you should understand how easy it is to launch your own programs on startup.
If you want to run a long-running or background service, consider
setting up a Windows service so you can manage it with