How to Fix Windows 10 Programs When They Fail to Launch at Startup

There are programs on your PC, such as OneDrive, Skype, or f.lux, that you need running as soon as you boot up Windows. This saves you some time as you don’t have to individually open each program.

If you notice that some or all of the startup programs are failing to launch, there are a few settings you can tweak to get them running again.


1. Check the Windows Startup List

If you noticed one of your programs doesn’t launch at startup, you should start the troubleshooting process by taking a look at the startup list. The easiest way to access it is through Task Manager.

  1. Right-click the Start button and select Task Manager.
  2. Open the Startup tab.
  3. Check the program’s status. If it’s set to Disabled, select the program and click the Enable button from the bottom of the window.
  4. Restart your computer and check if the program is now launching at startup.

2. Check the Startup Folder

While few users may know about it, the Startup folder allows you to set programs to automatically run when Windows starts.

To access this folder, bring up a Run dialog by pressing Windows key + R. Then, type shell:common startup and click OK. Check if the program that you want to launch at startup is there. If not, copy and paste the program EXE file inside the Startup folder

Note: Even if there are programs that you often use, you shouldn’t add every one of them to the startup list to avoid slow boot times in Windows 10

3. Run a DISM Scan

There’s a chance that programs fail to launch at startup because of a missing or corrupted system file. Usually, you should run an SFC command when dealing with this problem. However, if there are multiple damaged system files in the local image, the SFC command will not be enough.

In this case, the DISM scan will be more efficient.

Launch Command Prompt with administrative rights and run the following commands while respecting the order:

  • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
  • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
  • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

4. Use Task Scheduler

One of the reasons why a program might not launch is because it requires administrator permission to run. To avoid this problem, you can use Task Scheduler to launch the program every time with administrative privileges.

5. Check Program Settings

Many programs include a Launch at startup option as part of their settings. Check the program’s settings and make sure the option is enabled.

For example, to launch OneDrive at Windows startup, click the Help & Settings icon and open the Settings tab. The option is listed under General.

The instruction will vary for different programs, so if you can’t find the setting by yourself, visit the developer’s site.

6. Reinstall the Program

Sometimes, the reason for a certain program not launching at startup is the program itself. Especially if Windows successfully launches other programs.

In this case, you might be dealing with a corrupt program or a faulty installation.

Uninstall the program and download it again from a trustworthy source. Follow the instructions while setting it up, and you should have no problem running it when Windows starts.

7. Edit Windows Registry

If nothing worked until now, you can give editing the Windows Registry a shot. Before trying this method, create a restore point so you don’t end up accidentally messing up the Registry.

Open Registry Editor with administrative privileges.

  1. Head to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Run.
  2. In the right pane, right-click on the empty space and select New > String Value.
  3. Give it a suggestive name.
  4. Right-click the newly-created key and choose Modify.
  5. In the Value data field, enter the program’s path.
  6. Click OK.

Get Your Programs Running on Startup Once Again

Hopefully, one of these methods helped you get programs launching at startup again. When adding new programs to the startup list, take some time and remove those you’re not using anymore, so they don’t slow down your computer.

Setting your programs to launch at startup is just one of the ways you can automate tasks on your computer to save time.

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