How to Add Programs to Startup Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding programs to startup in Windows 11 can streamline your workflow by launching essential software as soon as you boot up your computer. Here’s a quick guide: Open the Task Manager, navigate to the “Startup” tab, and enable or add the programs you want to start automatically.

How to Add Programs to Startup in Windows 11

In this section, I’ll walk you through the steps to add programs to the startup process in Windows 11. This will ensure that your chosen software launches automatically whenever you start your computer.

Step 1: Open Task Manager

First, right-click on the taskbar and select “Task Manager.”

The Task Manager is like the control center for what’s running on your computer. Opening it is straightforward, but if you don’t see the taskbar, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc or search for “Task Manager” in the start menu.

Step 2: Navigate to the “Startup” Tab

Second, click on the “Startup” tab at the top of the Task Manager window.

The “Startup” tab lists all the programs that can be set to run at startup. It’s a handy way to manage what gets loaded when your computer boots up.

Step 3: Enable Existing Programs

Third, find the program you want to enable, right-click it, and select “Enable.”

If the program is already listed, you simply need to enable it. This doesn’t add new programs but activates existing ones to start with Windows.

Step 4: Add New Programs

Fourth, open the program’s directory, right-click the executable file, and select “Create Shortcut.” Then, move the shortcut to the “Startup” folder.

To add a completely new program, you need to create a shortcut first. Once the shortcut is in the Startup folder, Windows knows to launch it every time you start your computer.

Step 5: Verify Changes

Finally, go back to the “Startup” tab in Task Manager to ensure your program is listed and enabled.

Double-checking your settings ensures that everything is configured correctly and your chosen programs will run at startup.

After completing these steps, the programs you selected will start automatically whenever you boot up your computer. This can save you time and make sure essential software is always ready for use.

Tips for Adding Programs to Startup in Windows 11

  • Choose Wisely: Only add essential programs to startup to avoid slowing down your computer.
  • Use Task Manager: This is the easiest and most straightforward way to manage startup programs.
  • Check Performance Impact: Task Manager shows the startup impact of each program, so you can make informed decisions.
  • Keep it Clean: Periodically review and clean up your startup list to maintain system performance.
  • Backup Settings: Keep a note of your startup programs, so you can easily reconfigure them if needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don’t see the “Startup” tab in Task Manager?

You might be using the simplified view. Click “More details” at the bottom of the Task Manager to expand it.

Can I add any program to startup?

Yes, but it’s best to add only trusted and essential programs to avoid slowing down your system.

How do I remove a program from startup?

Go to the “Startup” tab in Task Manager, right-click the program, and select “Disable.”

Will adding too many programs to startup slow down my computer?

Yes, adding too many programs can significantly slow down your startup time and overall performance.

What if the program I need isn’t listed in the “Startup” tab?

Create a shortcut of the program’s executable file and place it in the Startup folder manually.

Summary of Steps

  1. Open Task Manager.
  2. Navigate to the “Startup” tab.
  3. Enable existing programs.
  4. Add new programs by creating shortcuts.
  5. Verify changes in the “Startup” tab.


Adding programs to startup in Windows 11 is a straightforward process that can greatly enhance your productivity by ensuring essential software is ready to go as soon as you boot up your computer. Whether you’re enabling existing programs through the Task Manager or adding new ones by creating shortcuts, these steps are designed to be user-friendly and effective.

Remember, managing your startup programs wisely can keep your computer running smoothly without unnecessary delays. It’s a good habit to periodically review and adjust your startup items to maintain optimal performance.

If you found this guide helpful, feel free to explore more Windows 11 tips and tricks to get the most out of your system. Happy computing!

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