Article Count: 9136

Windows 7: Automatically Launch a Program at Startup


There may be broken links in this article, the GROK staff has been notified and is working to resolve the issue.

[Return to Windows 7: LSU Overview]

* Note:  This information is written to meet the specific needs of LSU Faculty, Staff & Students.  

Location of the Startup Folder

Most programs are not automatically set up to open, when the computer is first started. This article will show how to add a program to the Startup folder, which will allow the program to launch upon starting up Windows 7.  In this example, C: is the drive letter of your computer's System Drive, where the Windows folder is located.

  • For a Single User on a Specific Computer:

C:\users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

  • For All Users on a Specific Computer:

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

  • For All Computers in a Specific Group of Computers:

Use Group Policies, which is a feature in Active Directory.  

View the Microsoft article on How to Run Programs Automatically When User Logs On.

For more information, see the Active Directory: LSU Overview.

Add a Program to the Startup Folder

1. Select the Start menu and find a program to be set into the Startup folder.

2. Right-click on the desired program and select Send to > Desktop (create shortcut).

Screenshot of the opened start menu with send to desktop highlighted

3. Right-click on the Startup folder & click Open.  (Help me find the Startup folder!)

Screenshot of the start up folder with the open option highlighted

4. Select the shortcut (located on the Desktop) and drag it into the Startup folder.

Screenshot of the startup folder window with the shortcut highlighted

5. The program will now automatically start every time the user logs into Windows 7.

NOTE: To stop this program from launching at startup in the future, right click on the shortcut, within the Startup folder and select Delete.

Screenshot of the right click menu with delete option highlighted

Alternate Method

1. Open the Start menu and the application icon to it from the folder where the application is;.

2. Drag it to the Desktop to make a shortcut of the application.

3. Drag the shortcut to the Start Folder.


  • To configure Notepad to run when any user logs on to a specific computer:

1. Edit the following group policy:

Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Run These Programs at User Logon

2. Type the full path name of the program. In this example, type the following path name:


  • To configure Notepad to run when a specific user logs on (regardless of the computer he or she uses):

1. Edit the following group policy:

User Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Run These Programs at User Logon

2. Type the full path name of the program.

Related Information

pctools by Symantec:

Referenced from:

7/21/2015 3:02:39 PM

We love feedback! Please Help us improve this article.
GROK is a resource of Louisiana State University developed and maintained with support of the LSU Student Technology Fee. We love getting feedback from the general public, but our support efforts are generally dedicated to the LSU community. Thanks for your understanding!