How to Add Custom Startup Programs to Windows 10

Windows comes bundled with a feature that enables programs to start up upon boot. This feature could be helpful, for instance, for cloud-syncing services. But in other cases, they may increase boot time considerably. Booting your PC along with other apps can constitute a significant drawback on your productivity. You may want to shorten this time.

Some users may prefer to have a couple of essential applications start up with Windows upon booting. You can resolve all these peculiar needs in a few simple steps in Windows 10. This article will show how to create a custom startup app list.

Identify and Disable Apps that You Don’t Need

To modify the list of custom apps, you must first identify the unnecessary apps that take up your startup time. You can then disable these apps from the startup list. Follow the steps below to identify and disable these apps.

1. Click on the “Search” icon in your taskbar. Type in the word “Task Manager,” and then click on the app to launch it.


2. In some cases Task Manager will start up with minimal details. Click on “more details” for a fuller list.


3. Now that Task Manager is in “full details mode,” click on the “Startup” Tab.

4. The next page should show you a list of all the apps on your PC that have startup permissions.


5. For any app you don’t want to start up at boot-time, click on it and select “Disable.”


6. A good tip is to look at the startup impact tab. If the startup impact is “Low” or “Medium,” you can choose to leave it enabled. If it is “High” or “Not measured,” then disable it.

Now you are set. This first step is important, as those unimportant apps consume a lot of processor resources and can slow down your PC remarkably.

Add Your Preferred Apps to the Startup List

For the sake of clarity, what you are doing here is to point Windows to your preferred app. You will do this by copying the app’s shortcut directory to a specified location in Windows. Windows will start these apps along with your PC the next time you boot up the computer.

1. Click on the Win key and scroll to the app that you want to include. For instance, MS Word or Excel.

2. Right-click on it and select “More.” Now choose “Open file location.” Windows Explorer should open up to the file’s location now.


Note: if there isn’t an option for “Open file location,” then this app can’t be started during boot-up.

3. Right-click on the shortcut icon for the app you want to include. Click on “Copy.” Another way to do this is to use Ctrl + C on the selected shortcut app. Minimize the folder.

4. Press Win + R. This combination will start the Run program in Windows. Now type shell:startup inside the text-box of this program. Click “OK.” You will be directed to the startup app folder.


5. Right-click and paste this shortcut app you copied in the previous step here, or you can use the Ctrl + V combination.

6. Repeat this process for all the apps you wish to include in the startup folder.

Note: if you delete any app shortcut here, it will be automatically be removed from your startup list. You can confirm this using Windows Task Manager.

Now reboot your device to enable these new settings to take effect.

Wrapping Up

Productivity for creatives is tied to how much they can customize their PC to serve their clients’ needs. Using the startup feature is one effective way to achieve this goal. Go ahead and add your most essential apps to your startup folder, and improve your workflow in Windows 10.

Nicholas Godwin
Nicholas Godwin

Nicholas Godwin is a technology researcher who helps businesses tell profitable brand stories that their audiences love. He's worked on projects for Fortune 500 companies, global tech corporations and top consulting firms, from Bloomberg Beta, Accenture, PwC, and Deloitte to HP, Shell, and AT&T. You may follow his work on Twitter or simply say hello. His website is Tech Write Researcher.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox