I'm going to be fixing a family friend's computer later and won't be interacting with the computer owner personally, so I would like to have a readme.txt to automatically open the first time (and only the first time) he boots the computer so he can see what I did to fix the problems and what he should avoid having these issues in the future. Is there anyway to do this?

  • 16
    As a humorous side-note: your friend won't be reading it, so don't worry about it :)
    – horatio
    Oct 27, 2011 at 18:27
  • Not just a txt file in the middile of his desktop called 'Read Me' or such? :)
    – HaydnWVN
    Nov 2, 2011 at 10:03
  • 1
    You could place a ReadMe.txt including a few swearwords in the filename on the desktop. The swearwords will increase his curiousity heavily and he'll read it - trust me!
    – wullxz
    Nov 19, 2011 at 14:15

6 Answers 6


Open the Registry Editor, and add the filename as string to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce when you are logged in as that specific user, or to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\... which opens that file for ány user.

  • This is the best way to accomplish this; the batch file approach suffers from a greater possibility of, say, an antivirus software freaking out and blocking it.
    – Shinrai
    Oct 27, 2011 at 18:22
  • +1: Well, when the daily vote limit expires, I'll upvote this. The batch file methods are so unneccessary. You can just put the document in the startupfolder/runonce and Windows will execute the associated program.
    – surfasb
    Oct 27, 2011 at 18:38
  • @Shinrai You're right, but can't eliminate the option anyways :P Oct 27, 2011 at 18:44
  • @NGLN I forgot about that key, and agree that would probably be the better option Oct 27, 2011 at 18:44
  • @Luke - I'm not disagreeing, just saying this is a better way to accomplish it.
    – Shinrai
    Oct 27, 2011 at 18:48

Just leave him a post-it note... or two. Assuming you leave one note for each problem you fix... I assume you'll end up like this:

Just leave him a note

  • haha, I like it, I may have to do that.
    – bmbaeb
    Oct 27, 2011 at 20:14

Make a .BAT file in his Startup folder

@echo off
start /w notepad.exe C:\Path\To\filename.txt
del C:\Path\To\this_bat_file.bat

Just rename filename.txt and this_bat_file.bat to the proper names

  • Looks like it should do exactly what I need, I'll give it a try tonight. Thanks.
    – bmbaeb
    Oct 27, 2011 at 18:21
  • Better to put the full path of the file(s).
    – horatio
    Oct 27, 2011 at 18:27
  • You can put in full paths, that's true. That would help it out quite a bit Oct 27, 2011 at 18:43

Assuming this is a Windows machine, you could use Task Scheduler that is built into Windows.

  • 2
    This is actually a very good solution. The task schedule includes a method for indicating that a task should only run once. ElvisFan, would you mind editing your answer with a bit more info about how one would configure this?
    – nhinkle
    Oct 28, 2011 at 4:36

Interesting - but why not just an email, so he can review it again if he likes?

Assuming you have your reasons, the method Luke mentions is a good one. On Windows 7 the startup folder for a user is:

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

Or you can try putting one in the default:

C:\Users\Default\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup (<-- may have to create directory)


Considering your question , you wants to give some useful information and guides for him.

So I prefer instead of showing one time you may request him to save that document for his future reference.

So write the document and store it in some folder and put the shortcut link on Startup folder(Start->All Programs).

In the end of the document ask him to to remove the shortcut link.

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