I have some programs I use a lot and would like them to start when I login to Vista.

How can I make a program start when I login to Windows Vista?

7 Answers 7


You can copy shortcuts to the programs you wish to run into the following directory:

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

  • And for those wondering, this works for Windows 7, too! I am happy to say. Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 17:23
  • @Cyberherbalist, what about Windows 10?
    – yaakov
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 4:36
  • @TricksfortheWeb, I don't know yet! Quite new to W10 at this point! Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 14:34
  • Tried it out, it does work on Windows 10.
    – yaakov
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 15:02
  • Start System Configuration by pressing Win + R (to open Run). Type msconfig and give permission if needed. In the Startup tab check the program you want to start. If that doesn't work (the program might not be in the list of startup programs), try:

  • Go to C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup (Username should be substituted for your username. Also note that AppData is a hidden directory). Make a shortcut to the program you want started and put the shortcut in the Startup directory.

The next time Vista starts the program should also start.


The easiest way would be to add a shortcut to the Startup folder in your start menu, but if you don't want to do that you can use regedit to add a key to the registry at this location:


Also, if you want this to happen for any user that logs in to the system you do the same but add your key here instead:


I think they are started in alphabetical order.


If your startup application needs elevated privileges, you can create a new task in Task Scheduler that runs a program at startup, with highest privileges. No UAC prompt this way, just one when you create the task.

  • There is a question covering this: superuser.com/questions/46/…
    – Jonas
    Commented Aug 7, 2009 at 8:29
  • I actually added a similar answer to that as well, but I couldn't find that question when answering this one Commented Aug 8, 2009 at 2:14

Quick Startup is free and easy to use.

Quick startup screenshot

  • 1
    Definitely nicer than the System Configuration program in Windows. Although, Quick Startup might be a bit overkill at times as it requires installation.
    – Jonas
    Commented Aug 5, 2009 at 9:35
  • 1
    it does require an installation true.. but then its much easier and nicer to use
    – rzlines
    Commented Aug 5, 2009 at 9:38
  • +1 @Rogue thanks for posting this, looks like a good app :)
    – user4100
    Commented Aug 5, 2009 at 10:15

Press Win + R, print %APPDATA%/Microsoft/Windows/Start menu/Programs/Startup and press Enter. New explorer window will be opened. Paste there shortcuts of programs you would like to start on logon.

To view complete list of programs that are configured to run during system bootup or login you could use free Autoruns program.


Go to the Start Menu, click on the Run command and in the box that will open type:

%HOMEPATH%\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

Paste or create any shortcuts that you want.

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