How to automatically start a program minimized in Windows

Some Windows programs are more convenient to have running in the background and out of the way. We'll show you how to avoid needing to manually minimize a program every time you run it.

Some Windows programs are better run in the background and out of the way. To avoid having to manually minimize a program every time you run it, you can configure the program's shortcut so it will automatically run minimized. Here's how:

In our example, we're going to configure TechSmith's Snagit software to automatically start up in a minimized window. Snagit is a screen-capture program that doesn't need to be run in the foreground. Snagit doesn't have a setting to allow it to start it up minimized, so we'll configure Windows 7 to do it for us.

Step 1: Right-click on the shortcut of the program you want to start minimized and select Properties.

Shortcut properties
Screenshot by Ed Rhee

Step 2: Click on the drop-down menu under Run.

Run minimized drop-down
Screenshot by Ed Rhee

Step 3: Select "Minimized," then click the OK button.

The next time you start the program, it'll start up minimized and out of the way. If the program has been written to minimize to the notification area in the system tray it'll show up there; otherwise, it'll minimize to your taskbar.

Windows 7 notification area
Screenshot by Ed Rhee
Note: This works in Windows XP and Vista as well.
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