Find Windows Startup programs in PowerShell

There are tons of applications out there that are more useful if they keep running in the background. Th easiest solution to make sure they are always running in the background is to set them to automatically start with Windows. Sometimes you might want to review these applications, and while there are many ways to do this, today we’re going to take a look at how you can find Windows Startup programs in PowerShell.

How to find Windows Startup programs in PowerShell

Of course, you can always find startup items in Task Manager (I’ll also go through that a bit later) but if you’d rather use PowerShell for the purpose, here’s how to do it.

find Windows Startup programs in PowerShell

The first thing you need to do is open the PowerShell console. You can simply click on the Start button, type ‘powershell’ then click on the first result to launch PowerShell.

find Windows Startup programs in PowerShell

Then, copy and paste the following cmdlet in the console and hit Enter to run it:

Get-CimInstance -ClassName Win32_StartupCommand | Select-Object -Property Command, Description, User, Location | Out-GridView


A window looking like the one in the image above should appear.  Of course, the list will be different, depending on what applications you have installed which are set to auto-start with the system.

As you can see, it’s easy to find Windows Startup programs in PowerShell but you can also use the Task Manager for the same purpose.

You can fire up the Task Manager by pressing the now famous Ctrl+Alt+Del key combination.

find Windows Startup programs in PowerShell

The Task Manager also lets you easily disable or enable Startup programs, which is a bit more useful than the PowerShell view, which simply lists them.

However, you cannot remove the programs from the Startup list via Task Manager. If you want to do this, you will need a third-party tool.

When was the last time you cleaned up your Startup items? Have you ever found anything suspicious in there?

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