Starting Applications Automatically when Starting Windows

by Barry Dysert
(last updated October 3, 2016)

1

You may have applications that you want to automatically start every time Windows is started. This is easy to do by using the Task Scheduler. Say that your program is called "C:\EXE\Monitor.exe" and you want it to start every time Windows is started.

First, you need to start the Task Scheduler. The easiest way to do this is to simply use the search capabilities of Windows. Search for "Task Scheduler" (without the quote marks), and then open it once it is located. Ensure that the selected node in the left vertical pane is "Task Scheduler Library." (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Task Scheduler main screen.

This main screen is broken into five basic areas. The left vertical pane is the navigation pane, allowing you to create folders and sub-folders in which to keep your scheduled tasks. (I just use the default "Task Scheduler Library.") The top center pane lists all of the scheduled tasks in the node that's been selected in the navigation pane. Note the vertical and horizontal scroll bars on this pane, which implies that it contains a lot of information that you can scroll around to see. The bottom center pane lists the details of the task selected in the upper pane. It contains six tabs that are all related to the task selected in the upper pane. The right vertical pane is split into upper and lower areas. The upper area lets you perform actions on the library selected in the navigation pane and the lower area lets you perform actions on the task selected in the middle of the screen.

To create a scheduled task, select the node in the navigation pane where you want it to reside (again, I normally use the default "Task Scheduler Library") and then, in the upper-right area of the screen, click the "Create Basic Task" link. This starts a wizard that guides you through the creation of your task. Remember, we want to run the program called "C:\EXE\Monitor.exe" each time Windows starts. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. The Create Task Wizard first screen.

Type a name and a short description of what your program does, and then click Next. Windows displays the second step of the wizard. (See Figure 3.)

Figure 3. The Create Task Wizard second screen.

This second step is where you indicate when your program is going to run. Since we want the program to run when Windows starts, click the "When the Computer Starts" radio button. Click Next to move on to the third wizard step. (See Figure 4.)

Figure 4. The Create Task Wizard third screen.

This third screen is where you indicate the action you want taken when the task runs. We want to have a program run, so you should click the "Start a Program" radio button. Click Next to move on to the fourth step. (See Figure 5.)

Figure 5. The Create Task Wizard fourth screen.

This fourth screen is where you provide the name of the program that's supposed to run. You can also supply arguments to the program as well as have it start in a particular directory. Type the program name and click Next. (See Figure 6.)

Figure 6. The Create Task Wizard summary screen.

This summary simply summarizes the information you've supplied on the previous screens. Assuming you're satisfied with everything, clicking the Finish button causes your scheduled task to be created. The task is then executed the next time you start Windows.

 This tip (11895) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Controlling the Mouse Pointer Speed

One of the personalization settings you can control is how fast the cursor moves when you move your mouse. You can fine-tune ...

Discover More

Understanding Windows Slide Show

If you have folders containing pictures, you may want to display them in a slide show. This tip explains how to do it.

Discover More

Moving the Videos Library

The Videos folder is one of several system libraries created in Windows by default. This library is specifically optimized to ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Disabling Automatic Updates

If you don't like that Windows automatically downloads and applies updates in the middle of the night, you can gain some ...

Discover More

Adding the Administrative Tools Option to the Start Menu

It's useful to have the Administrative Tools easy to get to. This tip shows you how to add the Administrative Tools option to ...

Discover More

Changing Regional Settings

Windows makes it easy to set your system to accurately reflect your regional settings. This tip sets you well on your way.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three minus 2?

2016-10-03 07:26:12

Lars Hallstrøm Eriksen

The Task Scheduler includes tasks triggered by logon or startup. Confusingly, there are also lots of tasks in the Task Manager, Startup tab (click More details in Task Manager if tabs are not shown). The startup tasks in Task Manager are not the same ones as in Task Scheduler. They include lots of startup processes created by installed programs plus the tasks in the Startup folders. By the way, the Startup folders are gone from the Start menu in Win10, but they still exist in the file structure, and the shortcuts in there still get executed at startup. (I have Win10 upgraded from Win7.) The startup folders are located here:
"C:UsersusernameAppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsStart MenuProgramsStartup"
"C:UsersDefaultAppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsStart MenuProgramsStartup" (I believe the latter one used to be called "All users" in WinXP and Win7.)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.