Ahh.. the good old Startup folder, the one where QuickTime and Adobe Reader will sneakily add their shortcuts so that their background processes will always launch at Windows login and run perpetually whether you need it or not. There was a time when I would run the command “msconfig” after every software installation just to make sure no programs are hiding in the startup folder. Well, it’s good Microsoft got rid of Startup in Windows 8 … at least, for Modern UI apps. But then, when some feature gets removed, you desperately want to get it back. This tutorial teaches you how to run Modern UI apps as soon as you login to Windows 8.
Making Modern UI apps automatically launch at Windows login involves the following step.
- Locate the app’s name from Windows Registry.
- Create a shortcut to launch the app from the desktop.
- Move the shortcut to the Windows 8 startup folder.
Every Windows 8 application has a special name. You will find those names at the following location in Windows Registry - HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\[app-name]
Simply browse through the names of all the sub-folders under the “Classes” directory and see if you can identify the apps you are looking for. That might sound tricky, but it’s not. The names are plain and simple like bingweather, bingfinance, wlcalendar etc, and will contain a “URL Protocol” in the format “URL:appname”.
You will find the app names of all default Windows 8 apps, but third-party apps might be a little difficult to find. They might not even exist in the Registry.
The following is an (incomplete) list of names for built-in Windows 8 apps:
- Bing search app: bingsearch
- Finance app: bingfinance
- Maps app: bingmaps
- News app: bingnews
- Sports app: bingsports
- Travel app: bingtravel
- Weather app: bingweather
- Music app: microsoftmusic
- Video app: microsoftvideo
- Calendar app: wlcalendar
- People app: wlpeople
- Games app: xboxgames
- Messaging app: mschat
- Store app: ms-windows-store
Once you have an app’s URL Protocol name, right-click on your desktop and create a new shortcut. In the location field enter:
%windir%\System32\cmd.exe /c start "" "App's URL Protocol name:"
For example, to launch the calendar application enter:
%windir%\System32\cmd.exe /c start "" "wlcalendar:"
Pay attention to the colon (:) at the end, before the closing quotes.
Double click on the newly created shortcut to test it. It should launch the Modern UI app.
Open Windows startup folder by typing shell:startup in the Run dialog box and pressing Enter. The Run box can be launched by pressing the Win+R key combination.
Move or copy the shortcuts created in step 2 to inside the startup folder. That’s it.
Now when you login to Windows 8, these shortcuts will be run and the associated Modern UI app will launch.