How to Manage Startup Programs in Windows 10

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Whenever a Windows machine boots up, several applications are started automatically either in the background or foreground to help you get started with your work. Some of these applications are absolutely essential ones while others are optional and can be removed or disabled as per your needs. But, managing these startup applications is not that easy. The following tutorial will teach you how to easily manage these startup programs. We'll learn how to add, delete, and temporarily disable and enable these programs. So, let's get started and see how we can manage these applications.

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Before we start, be aware that piling up a lot of startup programs may result in sluggish boot-up times and it may also consume a lot of system resources. So, go slow and add only the essential ones.

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Some core system programs added by Windows itself cannot be managed by users. You can only manage general end-user applications. The entire process is easy and even a layman can learn it quickly.

Adding Custom Startup Programs

First, we'll learn about adding applications we want to automatically start whenever we boot up our PC. It's a two-step process and can be completed within a minute.

Command to open Windows startup programs folder

First of all, press the Windows + R key combination and type in shell:startup command in the text box as shown in the image above. This command will open the startup programs folder.

Startup programs folder path in Windows 10

This is the folder where you'll add the programs you want to start automatically on boot up.

Now for a demo, let's say we want to automatically start the Skype application on Windows bootup. To do so, first, we have to select the application's option from within the Windows start menu.

File location option from the application shortcut

Right-click on the application, hover on the More option, and click the Open file location option from the context menu. If that option doesn't exist, you cannot add this program to the startup folder.

Copy application's shortcut to the startup folder

Now, all you have to do is to copy the application's shortcut to the Startup folder you opened earlier. Make sure you copy-paste it and not cut-paste it.

And, that's it! Now the Skype application will automatically start every time you'll boot up your PC. You can repeat this same process for any application.

Removing Existing Startup Programs

The process to remove existing programs from the startup queue is dead simple. First of all, open the Startup folder once again by using the Windows + R key combination. Now, type in shell:startup command once again in the text box and finally hit the OK button.

Delete application's shortcut in Windows 10

Now, select the application's shortcut and right-click on it. From the context menu, click the Delete option as shown in the image above.

And, that completes the removal process. For example, in our case, the Skype application will no longer automatically start on boot up

Disabling and Enabling Startup Programs

Apart from permanently deleting the startup program, we can also temporarily disable and enable them. This keeps the program intact in the startup folder but its auto-start action is disabled.

You can easily enable the previously disabled startup program. Let's see how to do these actions.

You can do it in two different ways.

Startup apps list in Windows settings

Go to Settings → Apps → Startup → Startup Apps option. Here, you can find the list of all the startup programs. You can easily use the sliding buttons to enable or disable these programs.

Task manager startup tab

There's another way to do it. Open the task manager and switch to its Startup tab. Here, right-click on the program's entry and select the Enable or Disable option from the context menu.

I find the latter method more convenient as I can quickly open the task manager through the Ctrl + Shift + Esc shortcut. You are free to use either method.