Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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 HowToGeek.com 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.

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can do it using Windows Task Scheduler:

enter image description here

Create a task with boot inicialization 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 examble about creating a task on task scheduler.

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

share|improve this answer
+1. An elegant solution using built-in features. –  user3463 Apr 24 '12 at 17:21
But what about applications which are already added to startup? (those registered in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run). Do I need to mention same apps again in the Actions of created task? –  Kush Apr 25 '12 at 10:05
@Kush Yes, actually you will need to remove them from this registry path(deleting the entries) and replace the registry start for the scheduler start method. However, you must create a task for each program that you want to start(and add a sequencial delay such as 10, 20 and 30 seconds for each start task for each program that you want to start).. –  Diogo Apr 25 '12 at 11:37

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.

share|improve this answer
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. –  T. 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

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.