Since the Start Menu has been removed from Windows 8, some of the features of the start menu are not accessible directly. Take an example of the startup folder. The startup folder can not be accessed from the new Metro start screen of Windows 8.

The startup folder is quite a handy folder if you want to add/remove items in Windows startup. For example, if I want to open certain files or folders whenever I logon to Windows, I would copy the shortcut of those files and folders to the startup folder.

In previous versions of Windows, accessing the startup folder was quite easy. You could go to the Start Menu and add remove items to the Startup folder by drag and drop operations. Although Windows 8 has totally changed this approach but fortunately the Startup folder is still there and can be accessed using Windows Explorer.

There are two types of startup folders. One is the common startup folder. Items included in the common startup folder will be launched for all users regardless they have added those items or not. The second one is the user specific startup folder. Items included in this folder will be launched for that user specifically and not for all users on the computer.

The common startup folder in Windows 8 can be accessed here:

%programdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

The user specific startup folder in Windows 8 is located here:

%appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

You can open the Run dialog box (WinKey + R) and copy and paste the above paths to open the startup folder.

Windows 8 Run dialog box to open startup folder

There is another method to open the startup folder in Windows 8. Just open the Run dialog box and issue the following commands:


This command will automatically open the user specific startup folder. If you want to open the common startup folder, run the following command:

shell:common startup

If you are not comfortable with these commands, you can pin the startup folder to your Windows 8 Start screen. Here’s how:

Open the following folder through the Run dialog:

%appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\

Locate the Startup folder, right click it and select Pin to Start Screen.

Pin startup folder to start screen

Start screen startup folder

Now you will be able to access the startup folder through the Start screen which would make it very similar to the previous versions of Windows.

To view, edit, enable or disable the startup items, go to the task manager and select the Startup tab.

Windows 8 Task Manager

Before actually going with enabling and disabling the startup items, be sure that you know what you are doing otherwise this may mess up your computer pretty badly.