Windows 8: Where did the Startup folder go?

I am a long time user of the Start menu’s “Startup” folder to run several apps that I want to launch after on logon. With the new Start menu now not showing this folder, I decided to figure out how to accomplish this task.

I go into this already knowing the location this folder sits on disk. It is the merger of the following two folders:

  • C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
  • C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp

My question is how to get a shortcut to my favorite startup apps into these folders without having to navigate to these deep directories.

The best solution I have found for this is the following Shell commands that can be run from the run box (WIN+R):

  • shell:startup
  • shell:common startup

This will do.

Comments (30)

  1. Randall Lind says:

    Let say I am a newbie or avg user. I doubt this will be easy for them.

  2. John says:

    Not hard at all, and works from the Start screen, too!

    [WinKey] shell:startup [Enter]

    and you're there! Thanks, Jason!

  3. Jason_E says:


    I agree that this is not easy for a newbie, but I would counter that the task itself is out of bounds for a newbie also. 99% of apps that have an option to run at startup handle this in their install or configuration. Sysinternal's autoruns.exe will show you the normal extensibility points used by developers to allow apps to run as a part of startup. On the other side of the fense, I have escalated this concern internally so the Windows team understand this implications of the Start menu change to the use of the Startup folder.

    Thanks for the comments!

  4. Dilan P says:

    The shell commands from the Run menu was very useful! Thanks

  5. Artur Caracol says:

    I'll be using the Run Menu solution you provided. Thanks for the info.

  6. Jerry says:

    I would say that the person who wrote that addictivetips article would benefit more from being linked to THIS one than vice versa, as their rambly suggestion doesn't even come close to this excellent solution.

    Well done, thank you very much!

    I also found "shell:start menu" and "shell:common start menu" came in handy when setting up a bunch of new Windows 8 workstations.

  7. Pete says:

    I would like to have an audio clip play at start up.  Will this work?

  8. GGGss says:

    Pfffft ..; win 8 !! U even cannot copy / paste shortcuts from the lame start menu – you really have to make the shortcuts pointing to the location of the program. What were they thinking??

    10 more workstations to go : i'll construct a batch file for this task!

  9. James062 says:

    Brilliant thanks , Easy and quick 🙂

  10. turbowebguy says:

    I will definitely use the shell command in the future. You answered my question in less than a minute! Thanks.

  11. Priya says:

    Thanks i was searching for this article now i found two good article on this topic…/how-to-add-any-programs-and-files-to-startup-folder-in-window8.html

  12. Fm says:

    Nice one dude, this is good as I would consider using this if I can't find my way via the programming.

  13. sgtmaj says:

    Win 8 still allows you to create new toolbars, just use the URLs in the first post to create two new toolbars with the start menus in them, simplifies things

  14. Frank says:

    Looked everywhere and couldn't find the start menu location. Your answer was very helpful. Thanks


    20 Aug 2012 6:28 AM


    Not hard at all, and works from the Start screen, too!

    [WinKey] shell:startup [Enter]

    and you're there! Thanks, Jason!

  15. Quatza says:

    Nice… Thanks

  16. Armani S. Valtier says:

    You should have said to open the Start screen then type shell:startup because most people don't use the Start screen; they find some software to bring back the start menu.

  17. .mau. says:

    is there a simple way to merge the two locations, so that I may have a single toolbar equivalent to "shell:common programs"?

  18. RICKYBERNA says:

    Press KEYWINDOWS + R  and write the command


  19. Eliran says:

    Start => Run => C:UsersAll UsersMicrosoftWindowsStart MenuProgramsStartup

    it's working for me on windows 8.1

  20. ssatterwhite says:

    Microsoft removed allot of shortcuts in Windows 8, one of them was the Startup folder shortcut. I use the run command shell:startup. This site explains it better than I can.…/some-useful-shortcuts-to-the-control-panel-shutdown-and-startup-menu-for-windows-8-and-microsoft-server-2012

  21. Kelly says:

    There is a file called "program" that I can disable or enable in my startup folder – but I cannot view the properties.  Is this spyware? How Can I find out??

  22. Nathan says:

    Works in Windows Technical Preview (Windows 10)

  23. Akash Kumar says:

    Thanks for the shell command………it is the most easy way…….

  24. Dee Jay Randall says:

    For the current logged in user:

    C:Users%USERNAME%AppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsStart MenuProgramsStartup

  25. Anonymous says:

    go to (type) “run” on window then type shell:startup and copy the sturtcut of a program in to the folder and reboot computer.

  26. Can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said so I’ll leave you with this short-&-sweet praise:



  27. John Seabrook says:

    I use BGInfo on all the servers in our legacy platform lab to keep the system data on screen and refreshed per log-in. I use the icon in the Startup group to kick it off. This is much easier than setting up a Scheduler job. Thanks for info on how to populate the group even the Administrator can no longer browse to.

  28. Very good article! We will be linking to this great article on our site.

    Keep up the good writing.

  29. Landrick says:

    Not depreciated … still works like a champ.

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