Every time you boot your computer, you probably have a few programs you always start up immediately. Here's how to set them to start up automatically whenever you turn on your PC. Whether you always seem to have iTunes running, or you want Skype always on in the background in case you get a call, most people have one or two programs they want to boot with their computer out of convenience. Luckily, it's pretty easy to do, both on Windows and Mac OS X. Here's how.
You may have noticed that you have a folder called "Startup" in your Programs menu. Anything you put into this folder, Windows will launch on startup—so setting an app to automatically launch is easy:
- First, open up Start > All Programs, and search through the menu for the app you want to start at boot. Right-click on it and hit "Copy". This will copy the shortcut.
- Find the Startup folder in All Programs and right click on it. Hit "Open", and it'll open up in Windows Explorer.
- Right click anywhere inside that window and hit "Paste". Your desired program's shortcut should pop right up in the folder, and the next time you log into Windows, that program will automatically start up.
If you ever want the program to stop launching with Windows, then just head back to the Startup folder (by repeating step 2 above) and delete the shortcut.
On a Mac
If you're using a Mac:
- Open up System Preferences (the icon in your dock with the gears) and head to the Accounts pane.
- Click the padlock icon in the bottom left corner and type in your password when prompted.
- Go to the Login Items tab at the top of the window, and click the plus sign at the bottom. Find the app you want to automatically launch, and hit Add. The next time you reboot, that app should launch with your desktop.
To stop that app from automatically launching, just head back to the Accounts preference pane, click on the app, and hit the minus sign at the bottom of the window.
Just make sure you don't add too many programs to your startup menu, or your computer could take a really long time to boot up!