How to Add Programs to Startup Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding programs to startup in Windows 11 is a great way to ensure that your most frequently used apps are ready to go as soon as your computer boots up. It’s a relatively simple process that involves accessing the Startup folder or using the Task Manager. With just a few clicks, you can have your essential programs launch automatically, saving you time and effort every time you start your computer.

Step by Step Tutorial: Add Programs to Startup Windows 11

Before diving into the steps, it’s important to know that adding programs to startup can make your computer boot up slower if you add too many. However, it’s very handy for those must-have applications you use every day.

Step 1: Access the Startup Folder

Open the Run dialog box by pressing the Windows key + R, type shell:startup, and hit Enter.

The Startup folder is a special folder in Windows where you can place shortcuts to programs you want to run automatically when Windows starts. By opening this folder, you are preparing to add the programs you want to the list.

Step 2: Add Program Shortcuts to the Startup Folder

Drag and drop shortcuts of the programs you want to start automatically into the Startup folder.

If the program you want to add doesn’t have a shortcut, you can create one by right-clicking on the main executable file of the program, selecting ‘Create shortcut’, and then moving that shortcut to the Startup folder.

Step 3: Use Task Manager for More Control

Open Task Manager with Ctrl + Shift + Esc, go to the ‘Startup’ tab, and enable or disable programs from the list.

The Task Manager gives you more control over the startup process, allowing you to enable or disable existing startup items without having to access the Startup folder. This is also where you can see the impact each program has on the startup time.

After completing these steps, the next time you start your computer, the programs you added to the startup will launch automatically. This can be a big time saver, especially if there are certain applications you always use when you turn on your PC.

Tips: Make the Most of Startup Programs in Windows 11

  • Only add essential programs to startup to avoid slowing down your computer’s boot time.
  • If your startup is getting cluttered, review and clean the list periodically.
  • Use the ‘Disable’ button in the Task Manager for programs you don’t want to remove completely but don’t need to start every time.
  • Check the impact of each program on the startup time in the Task Manager and remove those with a high impact if they’re not critical.
  • Remember that adding too many programs to startup can lead to longer boot times and potentially a slower overall performance of your computer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Startup folder in Windows 11?

The Startup folder is a special folder where you can place program shortcuts that you want to run automatically when you log into Windows.

Can adding programs to startup slow down my computer?

Yes, adding too many programs to startup can slow down your computer’s boot time and overall performance.

How do I remove a program from startup?

You can remove a program from startup by deleting its shortcut from the Startup folder or disabling it in the Task Manager.

Can I control the order in which programs start?

Windows does not provide a direct way to control the order of startup programs, but generally, they start in the order of their impact on boot time.

Is it possible to add a program to startup for all users?

Yes, you can add a program to the shared Startup folder by running shell:common startup in the Run dialog, which affects all users on the computer.


  1. Access the Startup folder using the Run dialog.
  2. Add program shortcuts to the Startup folder.
  3. Use Task Manager for more control over startup programs.


In conclusion, managing your startup programs in Windows 11 is a breeze once you get the hang of it. By following the straightforward steps we’ve outlined, you can tailor your computer’s startup process to fit your unique needs, ensuring that you’re greeted with your essential apps every time you fire up your PC. Remember, while it’s tempting to have every program under the sun launch with Windows, moderation is key. A cluttered startup can dramatically slow down your system, so be judicious in your choices.

With these tips in hand, you’ll be well on your way to a more efficient and personalized computing experience. So why not take a few minutes today to fine-tune your startup programs? Your future self will thank you every time you boot up with ease and speed. Whether you’re a power user looking to maximize productivity or just someone who appreciates a finely tuned machine, mastering the art of startup programs is an essential skill in your Windows 11 toolbox.

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