Auto Start or Open Programs in Windows 11

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This post shows students and new users how to automatically startup or open programs when they login to Windows 11.

The just released preview of Windows 11 comes with a new user desktop and some cool features, including centered Start menu and taskbar, rounded corners windows, themes and colors that will make any Windows device stand out.

One legacy feature that’s also available in the new Windows 11 is the ability to automatically start up or open programs everytime you login to Windows.

Windows allows programs to automatically install themselves in Windows startup configuration settings. For programs that are designed to startup automatically, there’s nothing to do. They will automatically start up everytime Windows starts.

Programs that are not designed or built to automatically start up or open, you will have to manually configure and set them to start.

Also, when you’re a student and new user and you want to learn how to use Windows, the easiest place to start is Windows 11. Windows 11 is a major release of the Windows NT operating system developed by Microsoft. Windows 11 is the successor to Windows 10 and it’s expected to be released later this year.

To get started with starting programs when you login, follow the steps below:

Find Program Details

Windows has a Startup folder that automatically start any program that is added to the folder. In order to start auto start a program, you should know some details of the programs you wish to start.

For example, if you wish to always start Microsoft Edge browser after you login, you’ll need find out what commands and switches or options are used to start Edge up.

You can find that out easily by looking at the program’s properties page.

For Edge, right-click on Edge icon and select Properties as highlighted below.

microsoft edge browser properties

When the program’s properties page opens, on the Shortcut tab, take notes of the program’s Target path. Or click the button to Open File Location of the program. The Target path has the program’s executables.

For Microsoft Edge, it’s located in:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft\Edge\Application\msedge.exe"

Take notes of the program’s target and copy.

microsoft edge browser target location

Automatically Start Programs in Windows 11

With the program’s details you discovered from above, press the Windows key + R on your keyboard to open the app Run box.

Or you can simply click on Start and type Run to search.

windows 11 run app

In the box, type this command in the box and press Enter.

windows 11 automatically start programs

When you press Enter, it will open Windows program startup folder. From there, right-click a blank area and select New item –> Shortcut as highlighted below.

windows 11 auto start program startup

Now copy the program’s Target path you copied above and click Next.

windows 11 startup folder shortcuts

Type a name for the shortcut and finish.

windows 11 auto start program complete

When you’re done, a new shortcut will be created in the Startup folder.

windows 11 startup folder edge shortcut

That’s it!

Now everytime you login to Windows, Edge will automatically start and open up for you.

Take a look at Windows Task Manager. You should see Edge as starting up.

startup program taskbar edge

You can also create startup programs from Task Manager Startup tab. Click File and select Run new task.

task manager startup program new

The task wizard shows up with the same shell:startup command used above. This time, you can startup programs with administrative privileges.

task manager startup program administrator

That should do it!


This post showed you how to create programs in Windows 11 that automatically start up everytime you login. If you find any error above, please use the comment form below to report.

1 Comment

  1. Way too complicated for me!

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