Home Tech How To Make A Program Run At Startup On Any Computer

How To Make A Program Run At Startup On Any Computer


When you install Programs, they often add themselves to the startup process on Windows, Mac OS X, and even Linux.

However, you can decide to  add your own favorite programs to the startup process and have them launch automatically after you log into your computer.

This is particularly useful for background applications or tools that automatically perform a function, but you can even add desktop applications and they’ll pop up when you log in.


On Windows 7 and earlier versions of Windows, the Start menu contained a “Startup” folder to make this easy. On these versions of Windows, you can simply open your Start menu, locate a shortcut to an application you want to start automatically, right-click it, and select Copy. Next, locate the Startup folder under All Apps in the Start menu, right-click it, and select Paste to paste a copy of that shortcut.

This folder is no longer as easily accessible on Windows 8, 8.1, and 10, but it’s still accessible. To access it, press Windows Key + R, type “shell:startup” into the Run dialog, and press Enter. Yes, you’ll need to use the folder — you can’t simply add shortcuts from the Task Manager’s Startup pane.

Shortcuts you add to the “shell:startup” folder will only launch when you log in with your user account. If you’d like a shortcut to launch itself whenever any user logs in, type “shell:common startup” into the Run dialog instead.

Paste shortcuts into this folder and Windows will automatically load them when you sign into your computer. On Windows 10, you can just drag-and-drop shortcuts from the “All Apps” list in the Start menu directly into this folder.

Mac OS X

On Mac OS X, the same interface that allows you to disable startup programs also allows you to add your own custom ones. Open the System Preferences window by clicking the Apple menu and selecting System Preferences, click the “Users & Groups” icon, and click “Login Items.”

Click the “+” button at the bottom of this list to add applications, or drag-and-drop them into the list of applications. They’ll load automatically when you sign into your computer.


Different Linux desktops have different ways of doing this. For example, on Ubuntu’s Unity desktop, open the Dash and type the word “start.” Click the “Startup Applications” shortcut to see a list of startup applications. Click the “Add” button in this list to add your own applications. Type a name and provide the command to launch the application. You can also just use this tool to run a command at login.

The GNOME desktop seems to have removed the old gnome-session-properties tool, but this option is still available in GNOME Tweak Tool, which is even installed by default on some Linux distributions. Examine your Linux desktop’s settings windows to find the appropriate tool.

You can also manage this from the hidden ~/.config/autostart/ directory, which all desktops should read. The period in front of .config indicates that it’s a hidden directory, while the ~ indicates that it’s in your home directory — so, at /home/username/.config/autostart/. To open it, launch your desktop’s file manager, plug ~/.config into its address bar, and press Enter. Double-click the “autostart” folder or create it if it doesn’t yet exist.

Add .desktop files to here to have programs start automatically at startup. These .desktop files are application shortcuts — you can often create them by dragging-and-dropping an application onto your desktop or even just into the ~/.config/autostart/ window.

If you’re not using a desktop environment but just want to automatically run a command — or several commands — each time you log in, add the commands to your .bash_profile file located at ~/.bash_profile, which equates to /home/username/.bash_profile.

There are other ways to make programs launch at startup, of course. For example, you could add registry entries to do this on Windows. But these are the easiest ways to do this.

Subscribe to TN Daily!


  1. Magnificent beat ! I would like to apprentice at the same time as you amend your web site, how could i subscribe for a weblog web site? The account aided me a acceptable deal. I were tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided brilliant transparent concept

  2. A large percentage of of whatever you say is astonishingly accurate and that makes me wonder why I hadn’t looked at this with this light before. This particular piece really did turn the light on for me personally as far as this specific subject matter goes. Nonetheless at this time there is actually just one factor I am not really too comfortable with so whilst I make an effort to reconcile that with the actual main theme of your issue, allow me observe what the rest of your subscribers have to point out.Nicely done.

  3. I am definitely loving the theme/design of your weblog. Do you encounter any kind of web browser compatibility situations? Some of the website visitors have complained regarding my real estate courses blog not working properly in Internet Explorer but appears amazing in Opera. Are there any advice to help repair the matter?

  4. Thank you so much for the amazing content! I seriously enjoyed it.I’ll be sure to take note of your page and will often come back later on. I want to suggest that you continue your nice job, maybe blog about full movies online as well, have a fantastic afternoon!

  5. Appreciating the persistence you invested in this blog and comprehensive material you offer. It really is nice to find a blogging site occasionally which is just not the similar expired rehashed information. Amazing read! We have saved your website and I’m adding the RSS feeds to my own auto accident attorney page.

  6. Good day, I’m so thrilled I found out this site, I really discovered you by accident, while I was researching on Google for home furnace. Regardless I am here now and would just love to say many thanks for a marvelous article and the all-round exciting website (I also adore the theme/design), I don’t have sufficient time to read it entirely at the minute though I have bookmarked it and moreover included your RSS feed, so once I have time I’ll be back to read a lot more. Make sure you do continue the superb job.

  7. I’m really interested to learn which website platform you are utilizing? I’m having several small security difficulties with the most recent website on canon printer installation online so I would love to find something far more secure. Have any recommendations?

  8. Hey there I am truly thrilled I discovered this blog page, I really discovered you by accident, when I was searching on Aol for bitcoin converter. Anyways I’m here now and would simply enjoy to say thank you for a marvelous posting and the overall thrilling site (I also enjoy the theme), I don’t have the time to read it entirely at the minute though I have bookmarked it and also included the RSS feed, so whenever I have plenty of time I’ll be back to go through a lot more. Please do maintain the amazing job.

  9. Admiring the time and effort you put into your website and thorough info you offer. It really is great to come across a website occasionally which isn’t the similar expired re-written material. Amazing read! We’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding the RSS feeds to my standard shipping website.

  10. There are actually some intriguing points in time in this article but I do not know if I see all of them center to heart. There’s some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good post , thanks and we want extra!

  11. I’ve been browsing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  12. Admiring the persistence you put into your site and comprehensive information you offer. It really is awesome to discover a site every now and then that is not the same expired re-written information. Wonderful read! I’ve bookmarked your webpage and I’m including your RSS feeds to my own websites to watch free movies site.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here