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Autorun a Python script on windows startup

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  • Difficulty Level : Easy
  • Last Updated : 14 Sep, 2021

Adding a Python script to windows start-up basically means the python script will run as the windows boots up. This can be done by two step process –

Step #1: Adding script to windows Startup folder 
After the windows boots up it runs (equivalent to double-clicking) all the application present in its startup directory. 


C:\Users\current_user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\ 

By default the AppData folder under the current_user is hidden so enable hidden files to get it and paste the shortcut of the script in the given address or the script itself. Also the .PY files default must be set to python IDE else the script may end up opening as a text instead of executing. 
Step #2: Adding script to windows Registry 
This process can be risky if not done properly, it involves editing the windows registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER from the python script itself. This registry contains the list of programs that must run once the user Login. just like few application which pops up when windows starts because the cause change in registry and add their application path to it.

Registry Path:


Below is the Python code : 


# Python code to add current script to the registry
# module to edit the windows registry
import winreg as reg
import os            
def AddToRegistry():
    # in python __file__ is the instant of
    # file path where it was executed
    # so if it was executed from desktop,
    # then __file__ will be
    # c:\users\current_user\desktop
    pth = os.path.dirname(os.path.realpath(__file__))
    # name of the python file with extension
    # joins the file name to end of path address
    # key we want to change is HKEY_CURRENT_USER
    # key value is Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
    key_value = "Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run"
    # open the key to make changes to
    open = reg.OpenKey(key,key_value,0,reg.KEY_ALL_ACCESS)
    # modify the opened key
    # now close the opened key
# Driver Code
if __name__=="__main__":

Note: Further codes can be added to this script for the task to be performed at every startup and the script must be run as Administrator for the first time.

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