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How can I control the order of startup programs in Windows? without any need of 3rd Party app. Upon searching, I came up with this article from which suggests 2 ways to do it, either using an app called WinPatrol (which is not I'm willing to use) or using a custom batch script.

While I find the "batch script" way more appropriate for my needs I have doubt in doing that as follows.

  • Since the startup programs in Windows usually have registery entries mentioning that they're supposed to be run at starting of Windows.
  • Having same apps called using start command of Windows (as mentioned in HTG article) would launch that app twice?

I may not be precise in elaborating my question, but I want a way to control the sequence of my existing startup programs. And I understand the risks involved in changing startup order, especially with Antivirus and other necessary apps.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

You can do it using Windows Task Scheduler:

enter image description here

Create a task with boot initialization trigger for each application that you want(the task will start the program/service that you want) and add a specific delay(such as 20s, 25s, 30s...) timer on initialization for each one.

Here you can see an example about creating a task on task scheduler.

In order to adjust the order of programs in the registry, you will need to remove them from this registry path (deleting the entries) and replace the registry start for the scheduler start method.

I hope this could solve your problem. Good look, Have fun :D

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For triggers that are at a certain time e.g. 9pm, what is the point of having a delay? For example if you delay it for 15 minutes wouldn't that be the same as setting the trigger to 9:15pm with no delay? – Celeritas Feb 3 at 5:48

This is the method I use.

Go to:

C:\Users\YOUR_USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

("Startup" folder is also under "Start" > "All Programs")

Find the .exe of what you want to startup. Create a shortcut. Drag the shortcut into the "Startup" folder. Then rename them all in the order you want:


Restart Windows.

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Note that this only works for those entries in the Startup folder. It does nothing to those defined in Registry. – Doktoro Reichard Jul 5 '14 at 23:00
Correct, Doktoro. As I mentioned, you create shortcuts and place in the Startup folder if they don't already exist. For example, I use this method to startup a web dev stack of web dev programs in a certain necessary order, so that I dont have to manually open every program in the right order after every startup. Registry editing is not necessary for that purpose, unless you want to be very specific about when the stack loads in regards to other processes, programs, etc. – Tracy E. Hieatt Jul 18 '14 at 7:43
You missed the point. As the comments in the accepted answer allude to, most programs when installed create startup entries in the Registry, and not in the Startup folder. You would have to do something similar to what was suggested earlier, which is to delete the entries in the Registry and remake them in the Startup folder. – Doktoro Reichard Jul 18 '14 at 7:51

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