Startup Apps in Windows 10: How to Stop Apps From Running on Startup

May 6, 2021 • Zachary Amos


Startup apps in Windows 10 are on by default, so they’ll launch themselves when you boot up your computer. Some of these apps are necessary for the computer to run, but others may not be. When installed, some will even ask for permission to run on startup and will do so afterward.

These apps use resources when they launch themselves and can slow down your computer on startup, depending on the impact they have. Fortunately, it’s not hard to tweak the apps that Windows 10 launches on startup. With a few clicks in the right menu, you can easily control which apps launch when you turn on your computer.

Deactivating Startup Apps in Windows

The easiest way to turn off all of the unnecessary startup apps is through Windows 10’s Startup menu. To access it, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Click the gear-shaped Settings icon.
  3. On the menu that appears, click Apps.
  4. Then, click Startup on the sidebar menu.

You’ll see a list of apps that are set to launch on startup. Each app will also have a description of the impact it has on startup performance, ranging from “No Impact” to “High Impact.”

Windows calculates impact based on how much CPU and disk usage an app needs to get started. The more resources it takes up while launching, the higher the impact.

To stop an app from launching on startup, click the on/off toggle next to the app. Apps that are switched off will still appear in the startup app list, but they won’t launch on startup. 

You can also prevent apps from running on startup with Task Manager. To do this:

  1. Right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager. (You can also open Task Manager using any other method.)
  2. Once Windows Task Manager is open, select the Startup tab.
  3. You’ll see a list of apps that run on startup, which you can organize by name, startup impact and status.
  4. To disable an app, scroll down until you find it in the list. Then, select the app, and click the Disable button at the bottom right. 

Adding Startup Apps

You can also set additional apps to launch at startup, even if they don’t appear in the list of startup apps.

This feature is useful if there’s an app you use frequently and want to be available as soon as possible after booting up your machine.

To set an app to run at startup, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Scroll until you find the app you want to launch at startup. If you can’t find it, you can start typing the name of the app to automatically begin searching for the app.
  3. Once you’ve found the app you want to launch on startup, right-click the app icon. On the menu that appears, hover over the “More” option, then select “Open file location.”
  4. If you don’t see this option, it either means the app can’t run at startup, or that you need to enable it via the Startup settings menu.
  5. With the file location still open, press the Windows Key and R at the same time. The Run window will open.
  6. In this window, type shell:startup and press enter. This will open the startup folder.
  7. Navigate back to the app’s file location. Copy the app icon from this location and paste it in the startup folder. 

Once you’ve followed these steps, the app will launch on startup. Pasting additional app icons in the startup folder will allow you to set extra apps to launch on startup.

Each app you add is likely to have an impact on startup performance, however. If you set too many apps to launch at startup, you may find that your computer is just about unusable until these apps have finished launching themselves.

Adjusting Startup Apps in Windows 10

With Windows 10, you can control which apps launch on startup. If you find that your computer is slow to start on launch, following the steps above and readjusting which apps launch on startup may help.