Changing Your Startup Applications

Customize your startup experience by choosing which apps start when you turn on your computer.

    Computers are meant to be convenient, but do you ever find the start up process takes too long opening things you don’t want? Hey computer, I don’t need Spotify prioritized. I’ll open it if I need video game music to help me concentrate! You can absolutely change what apps launch at startup. Here’s how 

    Change Through Settings

    Click the start menu at the left of your taskbar, then click the cog to go to settings.  

    Settings is located in the bottom left, just above the power button.

    In Windows Setting, navigate to apps settings.

    Apps settings are located in the middle of the list.

    On the left, you should see app setting categories. Click Startup at the bottom of the list.  

    In windows 10 you can just toggle apps on and off.  Goodbye Spotify.  

    When it’s blue, the application will open at startup.

    Also, note the startup impact below each toggle button. This is a basic reference to how much time and processing the app takes at startup. So if you’re on the fence about turning off something at startup, this information may sway you to get a faster startup.  

    Change Through Task Manager

    If you prefer, you can also change these settings using task manager.

    Start from anywhere on the taskbar. Right click and then click task manager. 

    You can get to task manager a number of ways, but the easiest is to right-click the taskbar.

    In task manager, you want to click more details. It’s possible the screen will already be expanded when you open it up, in which case you can skip this step.

    If your task manager doesn’t look like this, you may already have more details opened.

    At the top of the detailed view, there are a bunch of tabs. Go to the startup tab.

    The startup tab is located in the middle as a default.

    In there, select the app you want to change.  Click disable to stop an app from launching at startup. If it is an app that is already disabled, the button at the bottom will say enable. You can click that to turn launch at startup back on.  

    The startup impact is listed on the leftmost column for your reference.

    Add New Apps

    You may notice that not every application will be in the list to toggle on and off. If you want to add an app to launch at startup but don’t see it on the list, you will just have to take a few more steps to get it working.

    Find a shortcut to the application you want. In the example below, I opened the start menu and went to Word. Right-click on the icon, and then go to more which has a little arrow.

    You can always use the search function instead of navigating through the start menu.

    Click open file location. You should see the shortcut for this app 

    Now you want to find the startup folder. On my computer, it is under a very long local address. Rather than memorize and navigate to that location, I recommend searching for the run application.

    Just hit the search icon and start typing run. It will pop right up.

    In there, type “shell:startup”, and hit enter.

    Type exactly as pictured and you will be brought straight to the correct folder.

    You can copy and paste the shortcut to this folder.

    That’s it. That app will now launch at startup.  

    Try it Yourself

    With Windows 10 you can fiddle with a lot of optional settings to better streamline your workflow. Startup is just one of the many customizable features and I highly encourage you to take the time to adjust your settings to save yourself time in the future.  

    For more Windows 10 content, check out our Windows 10 video library.

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