12 Mar

How to add Startup items to Windows 8


You want to be able to add startup items that run when Windows starts. In previous versions of Windows, you could easily add them to the “Startup” folder in the Start menu which is no longer visible.


  1. Open the Windows 8 start screen by doing one of the following:
    • Press the Windows key
    • Move mouse to the bottom left of the screen. When the start screen icon appears, click once.

    OR (as commented by Rick) Press the ‘Windows key’+’R’

  2. Type %appdata%ย and press Enter. This should take you to “C:\Users\<User-Name>\AppData\Roaming”.
  3. Navigate to “\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup”. The full path should now look something like:
  4. “C:\Users\<user-name>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup”.
  5. Add shortcuts to the programs you want to automatically start into this folder.

You can now add any shortcuts you want to start when you start your computer.

The start up item you place in this folder will also start, not only when you turn your computer off and back on, but will also start if you log off then log back on again.

98 Responses to How to add Startup items to Windows 8

  1. Thanks so much!!!

  2. Just as a note, winkey+r will still give you the run box to enter %appdata%. Helpful little howto.

  3. Thanks!

  4. Brijesh zadafiya May 11, 2013 at 04:08


  5. thank you so much

  6. But you left out the crucial step! How does one “add any shortcuts you want”? I am now sitting here staring at the folder but have no idea how to actually put a program into it! Please spell it out for dumbos like me. I will be very grateful if you do.

    • David Henderson May 22, 2013 at 13:28

      You need to add shortcuts to the program you want to autostart into that folder.
      Apologies for this not being so clear i have updated the post

    • this is how far i got:

      right click…
      select new
      select short cut

      hope that helps a bit. i can’t get it to work yet though beyond that…

    • ok then for the item you want to add to startup put in its address/location on your pc. if you dont know it use browse to search your entire pc…

    • Once you have the folder open, right click and click new>>shortcut.

      In the wizard that opens, browse to the program you wish to autostart.

      Click Next

      Type a name for the shortcut and click Finish

      Job done

  7. malcolmthemole May 24, 2013 at 13:13

    after trying a couple of dozen websites instructions on how to add to startup……. FINALLY ONE THAT WORKS…………


  8. Thiruvenkadam.B June 5, 2013 at 05:39


  9. Wow! MS have done really done quite a job of hiding that. We wouldn’t want people have easy control over their system now would we.

  10. Thanks a lot, that was very helpful

  11. thanx it helped

  12. What an abortion of an operating system.
    And thanks for the writeup, it was very helpful

  13. Perfect, thanks for the help.

  14. Thanks for the help

  15. Thanks. Exactly what I needed.

  16. awsm..thnkz fr ua grt info…itz wrkng… :-*

  17. Nice solution and quick….

  18. Thanks

  19. Thanks for helping me look smarter to my friends. ๐Ÿ˜‰ REALLY helped me!

  20. just type shell:startup in run

  21. thanks

  22. Jordi Lรณpez August 22, 2013 at 09:00

    Fantastic!!! It works!!!!

    Many thanks!!!

  23. You can get to the startup folder by entering “shell:startup” in the Run (Win+R) dialog box. Just a quick shortcut to where you need to go…

  24. Thanks a lot, but why did the hide as this was present in the programs sub menu in older versions?

    • Under the hood (ie on the drive) it’s the same location it’s been in previous Windows versions, just with the removal of the Start Menu they’ve taken away the Programs menu that was previously the easiest way to find that folder.

  25. Thank you so much!

  26. This is great..Thanx!

  27. Very Thanks Krab

  28. I think Kallipais needed a better explanation of adding the shortcuts.

    It isn’t a full response but, if the item is at least on your desktop or the taskbar, shrink the startup folder window enough so that the particular item is visible and then drag it to the folder, holding down the Ctrl key to ensure that it is a copy and not removed from where you are dragging it.

    Perhaps that could be phrased better, lol

  29. Many thnx David ๐Ÿ™‚
    Simple & helpful steps

  30. thanks, very helpful and straight to the point

  31. Thank You

  32. Thanks bro..

  33. It’s work! Thank you very much

  34. Even easier winkey+r… enter “shell:startup” (without quotes) hit enter Viola… directly to your startup folder.

  35. Per Microsoft KB article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2806079

    Try typing:


    from the Run window. Takes you to the same location!

  36. so good its amazing

  37. Thanks! It worked. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Page bookmarked. XD

  38. Are you serious?! That’s GROTESQUE! (I though it was) so easy before – and now (if find it) so complicated.
    Get real, M$!

    M$ and other associated phrases are limited to comments dated before 1999 – admin

  39. Hi, great help!

    You can also use the information you found, to make a short cut (right mouse button) on your Desktop – then put this as the thing you want for the shortcut to do:

    “%appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup”

    That will show as “Start-Up” with a nice icon on your desktop.
    Just double click whenever you need to add some start up shortcuts.

  40. Thank you so much …..:-)

  41. Thanks, worked very good
    I dono why Microsoft is regretting/forgetting these little things.

  42. Thanks.. this was very helpful

  43. Thanks!

  44. Thanks a lot!!!

  45. Thanks a lot

  46. Tanz I love u guys

  47. An easier way: Start->search for ‘startup’ and the startup folder should show, drag and drop into it whatever you want to start with Windows

  48. Thank you very much! This was very helpful! Have the best of the day!

  49. Ebrahim@tadbir.net January 10, 2014 at 20:25

    It only works when you login with ‘administrator’

  50. when i tried to put batch file in start up directly – doesn’t work, then i tried to move shortcut of that file there with administrator right from properties of shortcut – Doesn’t work.

    Now what i do ?

    • Russell Gulvin April 25, 2014 at 16:32

      Hello Edward,

      Can I ask what the batch file does, what did you create the batch file with and does the batch file require running as admin?

  51. really great. thnk u man

  52. Thanks for your solution.

  53. Thanks for the solution.
    I think MS should add some app or something like that to achieve this.

  54. its working good..

  55. Little suggestion:
    Just type:
    C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
    In the box of the Windows Explorer address… Or in the Run window.

    The same way you used %appdata%, you can use %username% directly…


  56. You can certainly see your expertise in the works of art you write. This industry desires additional enthusiastic copy writers just like you who aren’t fearful to say what is required. Constantly stick to your heart.

  57. OK, I can add items to the Startup folder, but when I start the PC I get the start screen. I need to have the program I put in StartUp running full screen so someone can start using it immediately without needing to know how to find it.
    Can anyone explain how I do that?
    I have already used netplwiz to make the PC start with a particular user, but how to get past the start screen on startup?

    • Russell Gulvin March 31, 2014 at 09:58

      Hello Marttin, To make your computer boot to the desktop you will either need to install a third party software like http://www.classicshell.net or install windows update’s to bring your computer up to Windows 8.1.
      Windows 8.1 now has added settings that can be found by right clicking on the “Task bar” then clicking “Properties” and opening the “Navigation” tab.
      Hope this helps.

  58. worked like a charm

  59. Thanks; just what I wanted to know!

  60. Thanks
    Really helped

  61. Perfect, thanks for the help.

  62. thanks a lot

  63. Thanks …its helpful

  64. Really Helpful. Thanks

  65. Thanks, it works!

  66. Hi Guys I find the reason for the startup issue is because people are copying the program file itself. don’t do that. copy a shortcut to the folder and it will work fine. It seems simple but I find that is the problem. for some strange reason it will only run the shortcut for certain apps and not the application file itself. Try it and see if it works

    • David Henderson February 20, 2015 at 12:29

      We would strongly advise against this. As you are hiding the issue and not resolving it. In the case of cooling system. Following your advice may cause irreversible damage to your system.

  67. that will make life easier

  68. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed! Very useful info particularly the last part cegdebedeagd

  69. Just Write
    Shell:startup in Run & hit Enter
    you ll be in startup paste a shortcut & thats it


  70. Thanks!!

    Good guide!

  71. Thank you very much for this brief explanation, it has really helped me! ๐Ÿ˜€

    I’d suggest that you added another path to the %appdata% folder which is by launching the search “feature”. That can be easily done by pressing “Windows” + “S”.

    Thanks again for the tip

  72. Umer Iftikhar January 7, 2016 at 16:06

    very nice. thanks a lot

  73. Thank you so much!

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