How to run your own application when Windows Starts?

by [Published on 17 Sept. 2008 / Last Updated on 11 July 2008]

This article explains a registry entry which you can use to run your application instead of Windows default Shell (Explorer.exe).

By default, the Windows default Shell (Explorer.exe) is initiated to show the user desktop. You can change this behavior by replacing the Explorer.exe with your own application name at the registry.

Key: HKEY_Local_Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

Entry Name: Shell

Value: Explorer.exe

Replace Explorer.exe with your application name. Please make sure you enter the exact path of the application. You need to ask your users to log off and log on for the changes to take affect.


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The Author — Nirmal Sharma

Nirmal Sharma avatar

Nirmal Sharma is a MCSEx3, MCITP and was awarded the Microsoft MVP award in Directory Services and Windows Networking. He specializes in Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Directory Services, Failover Clusters, Hyper-V, PowerShell Scripting and System Center products. Nirmal has been involved with Microsoft Technologies since 1994. In his spare time, he likes to help others and share some of his knowledge by writing tips and articles on various sites and contributing to PowerShell-based Dynamic Packs for www.ITDynamicPacks.Net solutions.

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