How To Automatically Start A Program

Dear Computer Lady,

How do I get a program to open when starting up, i.e., I want Outlook to open automatically when I boot up the computer.

Thanks, John

Dear John,

If you want an app or program to automatically start when you boot up your computer, all you have to do is place a shortcut to that app or program in the Windows 10 startup folder. The trick is finding that startup folder. The rest is pretty easy.

The startup folder is usually located in your user folder, but it is buried pretty deep. If you wanted to locate it using Windows Explorer, you would need to follow the following path:


In that path, you would replace USERNAME with whatever your user name is.

An easier way to open the startup folder is to use some keyboard shortcuts. Here is how:

1. On your keyboard, press the windows logo key and the letter R. This will open the “Run” dialog box.

2. In the Run dialog box, type the following


3. Press the “Enter” key on your keyboard to open the startup folder.

4. Now that you have the startup folder open, you need to get a shortcut for Outlook (or whatever program you want to automatically start) in that folder. The next few steps will do that for you.

5. Press the windows logo key on your keyboard and type Outlook (or whatever program you are looking for)

6. A link to your program will appear in the search results at the top of the start menu. Right-click on the link, and click on “Open File Location”.

7. You now have one explorer window open with the startup items, and another open with the shortcut to Outlook. Using your right-mouse button, drag the Outlook shortcut to the startup window.

8. When you release the right mouse button, a context menu will appear. Click “Copy Here” to create a copy of that shortcut in the startup menu.

9. Close both Explorer windows.

Now, when you start your computer, the program you just placed in the startup folder will automatically open.



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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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    • DiggerP
    • February 23, 2017

    Hi John.

    ” How do I get a program to open when starting up, i.e., I want Outlook to open automatically when I boot up the computer.”

    Sounds like a great idea , but be aware that it could cause quite a delay when starting up,
    especially if you have a lot of mail in Outlook.
    If it does……

    You may want to read this:

    Launching Outlook at startup (in a smarter way)

    Peter E.

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