How to Make a Program Run at Startup

By Contributing Writer

Making a computer program run at startup is a convenience that no computer user should ever overlook. If a computer system is turned on every morning and three pieces of software are manually loaded inside of a year the user has had to load these programs over 1,000 times! In the interest of efficiency, spend a few minutes and set these programs that you use everyday to autostart for you.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Windows computer

Make a Program Run at Startup

Step 1

Double-click on the "My Computer" icon to see your disk drives. Alternately, click the "Start" button and click on "My Computer." (Windows Vista has renamed "My Computer" to "Computer.")

Step 2

Double click on the "C:" drive, (to open it up) then the "Documents and Settings" folder. Double-click on "Your User Name" (whatever that may be for you), then double-click on the "Start Menu" folder, again on the "Programs" folder and finally double-click on the "Startup" folder.Microsoft Vista employs another method to get to the "Startup" folder. Click on the "Start" button, click "All Programs" and choose the "Startup" menu choice by double-clicking on it.

Step 3

Create a shortcut to the program that you wish to autostart using Windows Explorer to navigate to the "Programs" folder. In Windows 2000 and XP this folder is found in Windows Explorer by clicking on the plus sign next to "My Computer" then clicking on the plus sign next to "Local Disk (C:)." Click the plus sign next to "Documents and Settings," again on the plus sign next to "All Users," then the plus sign next to "Start Menu," and finally the plus sign next to "Programs" folder.In Microsoft Vista, click on the "Start" button, then select "All Programs," then right-click on the program's folder name and select "Explore." Select the program that you wish to create a shortcut to, right-click, select "Copy" and then moving to your desktop, right click on the desktop and select "Paste Shortcut."

Step 4

Drag this newly created shortcut from your desktop into the "Startup" folder by positioning your mouse pointer over the shortcut. Click and hold the left mouse button while dragging the shortcut to its destination. When you are at the "Startup" folder, release the left mouse button.

Step 5

Close the Startup folder. Your program will now automatically start every time you boot up your system.

Tips & Warnings

  • When you want to stop a program from automatically starting, open up the "Startup" folder (as described above), select the program shortcut you wish to remove, highlight it with a single click of the right mouse button and select "Delete" from the menu. Now close the "Startup" folder.
  • Each program that you add to your Startup folder will increase the time it takes your computer to boot. It is recommended that you only add programs that you NEED to autoload.