What is the command to type in the Windows Run that opens the user's Startup directory?

  • it's of a format similar to %windir% for Windows and %appdata% for application data
  • the site Computer Productivity has lots of the shortcuts, but not Startup

I'm trying to reduce RSI, so I try to use keyboard shortcuts for as much as possible.

  • "binged" is why Micros~1 search engines keep failing. Jun 2, 2009 at 7:49
  • Just completed my answer, with a suggestion as to where you could have seen a shorter version of that directory.
    – VonC
    Jun 3, 2009 at 6:08
  • "Keyboard shortcut" is used for key combinations like Ctrl-C rather than typed commands (even if those commands save time).
    – Roger Pate
    Aug 29, 2010 at 20:45

7 Answers 7


It's the "shell" command. For example, I can type


in the Run dialog to pop open the \Start Menu\Programs\Startup directory.

There are a LOT of the "shell" commands, and a long listing is at Access special folders easily using the shell command.

  • 6
    If you need the startup for all users, use shell:Common Startup
    – Michael S.
    Feb 14, 2013 at 15:34

Create a small VBS program startup.vbs:

set objShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
objShell.Run("""" & objShell.SpecialFolders("Startup") & """")

This would open current user's startup folder in Windows Explorer. This would work in every still supported Windows version, in every language.

You can use "AllUsersStartup" instead of "Startup" if you need. You can read about SpecialFolders property here.

  • Nice tip - I'm trying to use PowerShell for all my scripting, and it's easy to forget the good things that are in VBScript
    – SteveC
    Jun 4, 2009 at 6:09
"%USERPROFILE%\Start Menu\Programs\Startup"

does work on Windows XP.

As far as I can tell, there are no further shortcuts. You can see here a list of all variables and there is no other way to reference Startup.

However, you may have seen a shorter version in some scripting language macros, like Autoit:

@StartupDir     current user's Startup folder
  • yeah I got that, but I've got this annoying recollection of a tip which was a lot shorter
    – SteveC
    Jun 2, 2009 at 15:05

For Windows 7 or Windows Vista, start run:

c:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\startup
Start Menu\Programs\StartUp

If it doesn't work, try:

%UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp

Or you can go define your own variable - %st% for example. In Windows XP it was under System Properties - Environment.

Also, the Command Prompt, combined with tab completion and doskey aliases is pure awesomeness, in my opinion.


The variable is %username%. So, for my account (roaming) in Windows Vista:

  • Start, run,

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

cd "%appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup"

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .