How To Get WhatsApp to Open at Startup in Windows 10

WhatsApp is primarily a mobile app but it has had a Windows version for a little while now. It looks and feels much like the mobile version and does all the things you would expect, just from your desktop. Today I’m going to show you how to get WhatsApp to open at startup in Windows 10. That way, you’re always contactable whatever device you use.

Alongside the mobile and desktop apps there is also WhatsApp Web which allows you to use the chat app in your browser. There is also a Chrome extension to use it too. Anyone would think the company really wants you to use their product…

WhatsApp desktop works okay. It still requires you to link it with your phone and have your speakers switched on to play notifications but otherwise is pretty good. I found that notifications were sometimes intermittent. I would receive a notification on my mobile app but not on the desktop. Occasionally, it shuts itself down for no reason too. Your experience may differ though.

Add WhatsApp to startup in Windows 10

Having WhatsApp start automatically when you boot into Windows 10 is a time saver. It also means you won’t forget to start it when you’re going to be using your computer for a while, which is almost as important. You have to be selective about what you add to startup as it does delay boot time in Windows but I’ll cover that in a little bit. First, how to get WhatsApp to open at startup in Windows 10.

  1. Download and install WhatsApp desktop from the Windows Store. If you’re in Windows 10, this link should open the Microsoft site and the Windows Store app together.
  2. Right click the Windows Start button and select Settings.
  3. Select Apps.
  4. On the next window, click on Startup.
  5. Select WhatsApp and toggle it to on.

If you don’t see WhatsApp in the list, you will have to use the Task Manager method.

  1. Right click on an empty part of the Windows Task Bar and select Task Manager.
  2. Select the Startup tab.
  3. If WhatsApp is in the list, right click and select Enable.

This will add it to startup along with the other enabled apps in that list. Keep that window open for a moment.

If WhatsApp doesn’t appear in either of those lists, we will have to add it to startup manually.

  1. Select the Windows Start button and find WhatsApp.
  2. Right click, select More and Open file location.
  3. Select Windows Key + R to open a run dialog, type ‘shell:startup’ and select OK. This will open your startup folder.
  4. Copy the WhatsApp shortcut into the Startup folder.

The Startup folder is at C:UsersUsernameAppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsStart MenuProgramsStartup. Typing ‘shell:startup’ takes you straight there.

Adding programs to Windows 10 startup

If you go back to the Startup window within Task Manager, you should see a list of programs set to start automatically. To the right, you should see a column that says Startup impact. This tells you how much impact an app has on boot time. In other words, how much having that program start automatically slows your computer down when booting.

The more programs you have starting automatically, the longer it will take your computer to boot up. Many programs seem to think they are important enough to start automatically with Windows. Most of them are wrong. Go through that list and see what is set to start automatically. Ideally, you should have only your antivirus, firewall, audio driver, OneDrive if you use it, Malwarebytes if you use it and any device driver that runs outside Windows core. As you’re reading about adding WhatsApp to Windows startup, you may as well leave that enabled too. Anything you use all the time is fine to leave enabled.

Everything else can be disabled. The fewer programs you have set to start automatically, the faster your computer will boot. Printer drivers, peripheral features, other programs and all those ‘helpful’ applications that add themselves to startup can be safely turned off.

Disabling a startup item does not stop it working when you select it. Neither does it uninstall it or stop it working normally. All it does is stop the program loading in the background when Windows starts. The impact of this is a faster boot time but a delay of a couple of seconds when you do open the app. I would take that any day!

You can use the same method to get any app to open at startup in Windows 10. Just add a shortcut to the Startup folder and it should boot with Windows every time. Just be careful how many you add!

4 thoughts on “How To Get WhatsApp to Open at Startup in Windows 10”

Andrew Lim Mao Tung says:
I still can’t find the shortcut in Windows 10 build 19041
Gina says:
That worked for me, so thank you!
Walter Conger says:
Thanks, but Open file location doesn’t appear after selecting More for WhatsApp in Start-up. any other suggestions.
Pat says:
Agree. Had similar experience
Kristena Tunstall says:
WhatsApp doesn’t have the “open file location” when you right-click on it. I’ve found where the exe file is. However, when it’s added to the Startup folder, it ends up causing problems where the cursor continuously blinks, and the Whatsapp application ends up only showing a black rectangle instead of actually launching the program. It’s as if it’s in a holding pattern during the startup phase and never fully launches. Does anyone know a workaround to get this to work correctly?

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