Want a specific program to run every time Windows starts? Maybe you created your own program or downloaded something off the Internet. Either way, it’s relatively simple to add a program to the startup in Windows XP.

There are mainly two ways to go about doing this. One is to add a shortcut to the EXE file in the Startup folder in Windows and the other is to use Scheduled Tasks. In this article, I will explain how to use both methods.

Table of Contents

    Add Programs to Startup Folder

    This is my preferred method because it’s just really easy. To do it, go to the following directory on your computer:

    C:\Documents and Settings\User\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

    User can be either All Users or a specific user. If you want the program to run for any user that logs into the computer, go to the All Users folder. If you want to run it for only a specific user, then pick that user and go to their startup folder.

    startup folder

    Now go ahead and find the program that you want to have startup when Windows starts. Make sure you locate the EXE file. Now simply right-click on that EXE file and choose Create Shortcut.

    windows xp startup

    Now just take that newly created shortcut and copy and paste it into the Startup folder. Should look like this:

    add program to startup

    That’s it! Now restart your computer and you’ll see that the program will automatically start up once you log into Windows! Pretty easy eh!

    Creating a Scheduled Task

    The second way you can add a program to startup in Windows XP is to create a scheduled task that runs the program.

    Go to Start, then Control Panel and click on Scheduled Tasks.

    scheduled tasks

    Click on Add Scheduled Task to create a new task.

    add scheduled task

    The wizard will start. Go ahead and click Next. The first thing you have to do is choose the program you want to run at startup. A list comes up automatically, but you can also click Browse and choose one specifically.

    add startup program

    Click Next and then choose when you want it to run. In our case, we will choose When I log on. You can also choose When my computer starts, but that will mean it could load before you even log into Windows.

    windows startup programs

    Click Next and then enter the password for your Administrator account. Make sure you enter a password, otherwise the task will not run.

    startup programs

    Click Next and click Finish. That’s it. Now you task will show up in the list of scheduled tasks. Go ahead and restart your computer and the program should load just fine.

    So those are two simple ways to add startup programs to Windows XP! If you have any questions, post a comment here and I’ll try to help. Enjoy!