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Windows 11 Startup Folder: what is it and how to enter it?

We are going to explain what it is and how to find the Windows 11 Startup folder. Actually, it is not only one but two folders in different places. These are folders that will give you control over the applications or programs that run at startup when you start Windows. Let’s start by explaining exactly what these folders do. Also, why there are two of them and what each one is for. Then, we will also go on to tell you how you can enter them to use them.

What is the Windows Startup folder

The Windows 11 Startup folder is a folder in which you can add applications. Its particularity is that the programs you add will start together with the operating system. This means that when you turn on or restart the computer, these applications in the folder will run automatically.

So, if you want a particular program or application to start automatically when you turn on your computer, then you just need to add its shortcut to the Startup folder. It is quite easy once you know where to find it. However, there is something you should keep in mind. The more applications you add, the slower the computer will start. In fact, launching these applications becomes one of the Windows startup steps. Therefore, abusing this folder can be bad and make it run slow.

Some applications that you install may be automatically added to this folder without your permission. Hence, the normal thing to do is to go to the task manager to prevent apps from starting with Windows. However, what you are going to do with Windows startup folders is the reverse process. That is to say, to make a program run automatically when the operating system starts.

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On Windows, you can find two different Startup folders. Moreover, both are hidden and in different locations on the system. One of them is for configuring the applications that start at logon with a specific user. The other one is for the ones that will start at general startup with any user.

This will give you more flexibility in case you share a computer with other people. In fact, you have the possibility that your decisions to add applications at startup will not impact Windows performance when logged on with another user.

How to Find Windows Startup Folders

To find the Windows Startup folders, the first step is to go to the file explorer and view the hidden files, which are hidden by default. To do this, open the file explorer and in the top bar click on the View menu. A menu will open in which you have to click on Show, and once inside click on Hidden items.

Once you can see the hidden items, you can navigate to the Windows Startup folders. There are two different folders, and you can enter both from the file explorer and the application launcher that appears when you press the keys Windows + R. It is the window where it says Run.

  • User’s startup folder: In the file explorer, you have to go to: C:\Users\YourUser\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup. You can also press Windows + R, and in the Run box type shell:startup.
  • General startup folder: In file explorer, you have to go to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp. You can also press Windows + R, and in the Run box type shell:common startup.

And now, you can add shortcuts to the Home folder you have chosen. To do this, right-click on the folder and select the Shortcut option to select the application you want to add.

You can also find the .exe file of the program or application and drag it into the startup folder with the right mouse button pressed instead of the left mouse button. This will open a menu with the option to create the shortcut.


Windows 11 startup folder is an essential feature that allows you to manage your startup programs and applications. It’s important to know that there are two hidden folders that you can access to manage your startup programs. By following the steps mentioned in this post, you can easily access these folders and manage your startup programs with ease.

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