I know how to open Windows Task Manager and access the new Startup tab, but changes made there seem to apply to ALL users. How do I make changes that apply to just some users?

A non-administrator can't change those settings, so having a program start up that's only useful to admins is not very useful, especially when the program just shows an error and even more especially when that error window cannot be dismissed until an administrator's information is entered. It would be better to simply not have that unnecessary program run at startup for that non-admin's user account. (Admin access is available to make whatever changes are needed to answer this question).

I am trying to disable a particular program from starting up JUST for particular accounts - or alternatively, enable it for only particular users.

I used to be able to do this by putting different shortcuts in each user's Startup folder in the Start Menu. I am looking for a way to do this WITHOUT installing external/third-party software. I would prefer not to have to edit the registry directly, but it's not out of the question.

This is not about controlling the sequence of startup programs, it's about controlling which user(s) see which startup programs.


As mentioned, there is one folder, C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup for each user, in addition to the System Startup folder at C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp.

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    To make it easier: %appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup and %programdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp – Pavel P Jan 18 '18 at 5:25

Per comment by Frank Thomas:

Use the Windows Task scheduler, set to run on specific users logins.

  • This answer would be helpful if you placed the contents from the third-party article in your answer. – Ramhound May 4 '15 at 0:19
  • Why the downvotes? Is it unfair to assume that readers can easily look up how to use Task Scheduler if they don't already know how? – WBT May 4 '15 at 18:56
  • You shouldn't assume the technical knowledge of the reader. An answer should stand by itself. So if you have to use Task Scheduler explain how to use it to accomplish the task. – Ramhound May 4 '15 at 19:15
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    You have to assume some technical knowledge. What's the right level? We don't write manuals these days explaining how to move a mouse, click, start up the computer, open a basic program and manipulate windows, etc. We used to. Some people still don't know how to do those things. Yet it's fair to assume that technical knowledge. The details of how to get to Task Scheduler vary between versions of Windows...not specifying that here makes the answer more general, robust, and longer-lasting (esp. as it also works on versions other than Windows 8). – WBT May 4 '15 at 19:21
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    Alright. Well my original comment was because you provided a link-only answer which is still the case since it just points to a comment, when that's no longer the case the answer I will likely be helpful. If you take the 5 minutes it would take to make those edits indicate as much and I will reverse my vote – Ramhound May 4 '15 at 20:03

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