Since Windows 95, Microsoft has made adding programs to the Startup folder as easy as navigating to a folder in Windows Explorer and dragging shortcuts or programs directly into it.
The Startup folder, conveniently displayed on the Start menu, made it easy to see which programs would start when Windows started. However, in Windows 7, the Startup folder is a hidden system folder that is not in the same location as the Startup folders in Windows XP.
This article shows an easy way to add programs to the Windows 7 Startup folder for both the current user and all users of the computer.
Suppose you have Microsoft Word pinned to the Start menu and you want Word to open every time you start Windows 7. The easiest way to do this is to add a Word shortcut to your Startup folder.
However, you can add Word to your Startup folder only for the current user or for everyone using your computer. Below are instructions for both use cases of Word as an example.
Whether you are adding Word to the Startup folder for the current user or for all users, the best place to start is by placing a Word shortcut on your desktop. Before you start, make sure you are using an account with administrator rights in Windows 7.
To create a shortcut on the desktop, right-click the program icon from the Start menu on the desktop and select â€œCreate shortcut hereâ€ from the menu that appears when you release the right mouse button.
The startup folder for the current user
Now, you just need to add the new shortcut you just placed on the desktop to the current user’s startup folder. However, remember that in Windows 7, the Startup folder is a hidden system folder. Rather than opening a folder and looking for it in the Windows folder structure, Microsoft has made it easier to find the Startup folder.
To find the current user’s Startup folder, click Start All Programs, and then right-click the Startup folder. Then choose “Open” from the menu.
This will instantly open Windows Explorer directly to the current user’s startup folder. Note that the startup folder for the current user is located at:
C: Users AppData Roaming Microsoft Windows Start Menu Programs Startup
Just drag the new shortcut from the desktop into this folder and restart your computer. Word should now load on Windows startup.
Startup folder for all users
If you want Word to load for everyone when Windows boots up, you need to follow a similar set of instructions with one minor change. Start by clicking Start All Programs and right-clicking the Startup folder as before. However, this time, instead of choosing Open, select Open All Users.
Windows Explorer opens again, but this time its location is:
C: Program Data Microsoft Windows Start Menu Programs Startup
Now you can simply drag a new Word shortcut into that folder and Word will load on load for everyone on your computer.
Unlike Windows XP, Windows 7 makes the Startup folder a hidden system folder for all computer users. Instead of trying to find and unhide your startup folder, use the tricks in this article to add any program to the startup menu for the current user or all users of your Windows 7 computer. Enjoy!