How to add or remove startup programs in Windows 11

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Catherine Le Nevez

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When you have been using your computer for some time, you find that the startup process will gradually slow down. Even if you're using a solid-state drive, you'll find that what used to take only a second or two now takes five to six seconds.

While this isn't much time compared to hard drive computers we had in the past, the extra four seconds means you're now waiting three times longer than when you didn't have any apps installed.

Startup programs that slow down your PC

As you add apps and features to your PC, you will notice that some of them open automatically the moment you log in. These include cloud services, keyboard and mouse drivers, messaging apps, and more.

Having the most used apps immediately available the moment you turn on your computer is useful. However, apps you don't really use that open on startup reduce your PC wake-up time and unnecessarily consume computer resources. Some of these include gaming services, unnecessary drivers, and even pre-installed apps.

So how can you avoid this? Checking which apps open and which remain closed when the computer starts.

How to remove startup programs in Windows 11

To prevent apps from opening when you log in, you need to go to your computer's settings. 

Press the Windows key + I.

Once the Settings window opens, go to App in the menu on the left. In the main app window, go to Start . You will now see a list of apps that launch when you log in. Choose the apps you don't use from the list, then click the slider in the right column to turn it off.

When finished, the apps you choose not to launch will no longer open once you log in. This will make your computer run faster and remove unnecessary apps during the boot process.

How to add startup programs to your Windows 11 PC

You can pin the programs you want to open automatically in the Start folder on the Start menu. It's not easily accessible, so you have to use the Windows key + the command R to open Run . You must then type shell: startup in the text field and press OKAY.

A new File Explorer window will then appear called Start . You then need to access the executable file of the program you want to start automatically. Click with il right mouse button on the program, choose Show more options , then select Create link from the legacy context menu.

Once the shortcut is created, move it to the Startup folder. Your computer will automatically open the apps you have added in that folder every time you log in, thus saving you time and effort.

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