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You can play an audio file, watch a video, or run an executable file when your Windows 10 computer starts. All you need to do is add the program or file to your Windows 10 startup folder.

There’s a Startup folder in Windows 10 that lets you run any app or file when your computer starts. So, if you don’t know where this folder is, or how to add programs into it – we’ve sorted it out below.

Where is Startup Folder Located in Windows 10?

In Windows 10, the Startup folder is discreetly hidden from users. Therefore, you don’t accidentally place a program in the startup folder.

The hidden or ‘lesser-known’ file path of Startup folder also saves your computer from malware attacks.

During software installations, malware can create their shortcuts without your permissions. If such a shortcut gets placed in the startup folder, your Windows 10 system starts crashing every time it boots up.

So, if you want to locate the Startup folder – follow the address below.

%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

Paste this address in the address bar of a File Explorer window and press the Enter key to open the Startup folder.

You can also open the Startup folder by typing ‘startup’ in the Start menu search box. Once you see the folder from the search results, double-click on it to open it.

3 Simple Ways to Add Startup Programs in Windows 10

Now that you know where the Startup folder is located in Windows 10, you can try out the following ways to add programs.

1. Copy and Paste

Pasting a copy of the programs is the easiest way to add them to your Windows 10 startup folder. All you need to know is the file path for both – the program and the startup folder – on your Windows 10 computer.

You’ve already learned the file location of startup folder on Windows 10. Now, go to the folder that contains the program you want to run with Windows Startup.

  • Select the program – it could be an executable (.exe) file, a folder, a media file, a document or even a link
  • Right-click on it
  • Click on ‘Copy’ from the drop-down menu

Copy and Paste

  • Or, you can click on the file and press ‘Ctrl’ and ‘C’ keys to copy it
  • Once your file is copied on the clipboard, go to Startup folder location
  • Here, click on the empty space and press ‘Ctrl’ and ‘V’ to paste the program
  • You can also right-click and select ‘Paste’ from the menu

Make sure you don’t use ‘Send to’ or ‘Move to’ options while pasting the program. You must always paste a copy of the program and store the original program file as it is.

2. Create Shortcuts

Now, the second way to add Startup programs on Windows 10 is a lot similar to what you learned above. Instead of pasting a copy of the program, you create its shortcut in Startup folder.

To add shortcuts in Startup folder,

  • Select the program and right-click on it
  • Click on ‘Create Shortcut’ from the menu
  • It creates a shortcut file of the program in the same folder
  • Select the file and press ‘Ctrl’ and ‘C’ keys to copy it
  • Now, go to the Startup folder

Create Shortcuts

  • Paste the shortcut by pressing ‘Ctrl’ and ‘V’ keys

The Startup folder on your Windows 10 computer can contain numerous program shortcuts. Keep pasting/creating the shortcuts in your startup folder and avoid running into any technical glitches.

Also, don’t move the program file from its original file location. Your computer won’t be able to run the startup programs if you change the file path.

3. Add Programs to Registry Startup Paths

Is it a case that you want only a few programs to run once during Windows startup? In such case, you can add them to different registry startup paths.

You make a program run once or each time, depending on your preference, by placing them in the following registry paths.

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

Every time your Windows 10 system boots up, you’ll find programs running via these registry paths.

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