Learn How to Add Applications to Windows 10 Machine Startup Menu

In windows 10, we can’t use “MSCONFIG” to disable or enable the system startup programs/applications. I know, you must be familiar with this if you’re a Windows 8 person:). So, let’s make it clear this is not new in Windows. Microsoft had removed system startup options from MSConfig.exe. We just need to use the task manager (taskmgr.exe) to control startup applications/programs/files etc… in Windows 10. How to add or remove applications/programs/files etc… to startup options in Windows 10? I’ve done this using PowerShell for a change. In this post you will also get some tips about¬†How to add/create shortcut of applications or programs using powershell in Windows 10. Powershell is Super cool ūüôā Probably, Deepak (powershell MVP) can help us¬†to improve the PS commands used below:)


You can disable startup applications from Windows 10 Task Manager (taskmgr.exe).  Also, when you want to enable one application like Lync every time Windows 10 machine starts up, then you can use the task manager StartUp tab for the same. So what is system startup applications/programs and what is the advantage of using startup application? Ok, startup applications are the apps which get started/launched automatically whenever Windows 10 machine restarts or/and user login to a machine.


How about adding a new application or program to Windows 10 Startup menu for a user? What are the ways to add a application to Windows 10 machine startup? So, there is no easy way to add application or program to startup menu in Windows 10. Also, there is no button in Windows 10 – Task Manager – Startup tab to add a new application. I think, Microsoft doesn’t promote¬†users adding loads of startup applications in Windows 10. Probably because this will impact the performance of the machine. So I would also suggest NOT to add lots of applications to startup menu in your Windows 10 machine.

How to add apps programs or  files to system startup in Windows 10? Follow the steps !!

So, if you’re using PowerShell to create shortcut then you can directly go to STEP 4 !

1. Press Windows Key + R to launch RUN . When you want add an application to windows 10 startup options then you need to login with that users id and password.


2. Type “shell:startup” in “Run” windows and click / tap OK button.


3. The above command “Shell:Startup” will launch new File Explorer window in your Windows 10 machine.

In my scenario the startup folder for my profile Anoop was located in following location C:\Users\Anoop\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup 


%userprofile% (environment variable to get into current user profile)

When you want add an application to windows 10 system startup options then you need to login with that users¬†id and password. The next would be create a shortcut of that application in Startup folder (how to launch Startup folder of a user in Windows 10? use the RUN command¬†“Shell:Startup). As you can see in the following screen capture, I’ve created a shortcut for application called Lync 2013.


4. How to add/create a shortcut of application or program using powershell in Windows 10 ?

I’ve created a variable called STARTUP and assigned to current user’s Startup folder path. Then use the following command to create the shortcut for calculator. In this example, you need to run following 2¬†PowerShell commands¬†to create a calculator shortcut on Windows 10 machine startup folder (you need to run the PS commands¬†with administrative privileges).¬†So 2 or 3 things you need to remember here.

a) $Startup is powershell variable

b) -Name¬†“Calculator.lnk” is the place where you want enter the name of Shortcut (Startup) Application name. In my scenario it’s¬†Calculator ! Extension must be same for all the shortcut file and that is .LNK.

c) -value¬†“c:\windows\system32\calc.exe” is the place you want enter the actual file path of the application or program EXE. In my scenario it’s “c:\windows\system32\calc.exe

$StartUp="$Env:USERPROFILE\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup"
New-Item -ItemType SymbolicLink -Path "$StartUp" -Name "Calculator.lnk" -Value "c:\windows\system32\calc.exe"


PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> $StartUp="$Env:USERPROFILE\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup"
PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> $startUp
C:\Users\Anoop\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> New-Item -ItemType SymbolicLink -Path "$StartUp" -Name "Calculator.lnk" -Value "c:\windows\system32\calc.exe"
Directory: C:\Users\Anoop\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
Mode LastWriteTime Length Name
---- ------------- ------ ----
-a---l 3/12/2015 1:33 PM 0 Calculator.lnk

So, with powershell, we are able to create shortcut with in few second rather than going through all the Wizards like mentioned below. If you don’t want to use PowerShell you can follow the screen shots below to create a shortcut of applications in Windows 10. Remember that I couldn’t find any ways add modern/universal app in Windows 10 to add to Windows 10 startup.


Windows10-Add-Apps-to-Startup-7 Windows10-Add-Apps-to-Startup-8Windows10-Add-Apps-to-Startup-7Windows10-Add-Apps-to-Startup-8



5 thoughts on “Learn How to Add Applications to Windows 10 Machine Startup Menu”

  1. Hello Sir,

    I need one small help, i want to deploy one application from SCCM using MSI file which is succeeded. But at same time my client want to make this application available in start-up every time.

    Please help me how can i manage this from SCCM or any other way i can make this app available in start-up for all devices.

    • It seems you need to go through the “re packaging” process for that MSI to make the shortcuts available in Desktop and other places. I hope you have a packaging team who does the repackaging of applications


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