Clean Up Windows 10 Startup Folder

When certain kind of programs are installed in Windows, a shortcut icon is placed in this special folder known as Startup.

Upon installing programs add themselves to this folder so they they can be executed automatically once the system boots up. However the downside of this feature is that over time several software programs will begin to eat up precious system resources and as a result, the system will lag a lot more and be unresponsive. This tutorial teaches how to remove unnecessary programs from the Startup folder so that the computer can be at its optimum performance levels.


Solution 1: Disabling The Programs in Startup Folder

If you wish to temporarily disable the startup programs and hence determine which application eats up the most resources during the process, then this solution is ideal as later you can simply restore to the previous state without putting any significant effort.

  1. Right-click on the Windows taskbar and select , then select Task Manager from the menu that opens.

    Opening up the Task Manager
    Opening up the Task Manager
  2. In the Task Manager window, find the Startup tab and switch to it.
  3. Right-click on any app and select Disable from the menu that will open. This will prevent it from loading up when Windows boots up.

    Selecting Disable from the context menu
    Selecting Disable from the context menu

Solution 2: Manual and Permanent Deletion

It’s important to note that the Startup folder is just one of several locations which Windows uses to find out about startup programs. Since this tutorial only covers this folder, we will not touch other areas. However, it’s still useful to remove certain apps.

Remove Disabled programs (from Solution 1)

Once you disable a program, it is removed from the main Startup folder and is shifted to another folder where it is kept just in case the user decides to Enable it in the future. But if you wish to remove it permanently, here are the steps you need to follow.

  1. Open up the start menu.
  2. Search for Run, and then click to open it from the Search Results.

    Opening the Run command
    Opening the Run command
  3. Type shell:startup and hit Enter.
  4. Determine which shortcuts you wish to remove from the list of available shortcuts.
  5. Right-click on each shortcut you wish to remove and select Delete from the context menu to delete it.

    Removing shortcuts
    Removing shortcuts

Remove Enabled programs from the Startup folder

The former example is suitable for removing Disabled programs from the Task Manager. However, if you want to enable the application so that it can launch itself at Windows startup, but it’s shortcut is nowhere to be found, this is what you need to do.

  1. Navigate to the following location from the File Explorer, enter in the address and press Enter:
    %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp
  2. Right-click on any shortcut and then Delete. Do this for as many programs you wish to remove from the Startup folder.

Raza Ali Kazmi

Raza Ali is content editor and publisher at Sorcim Technologies.