Starting multiple applications on boot with a time delay

I recently moved to a new state away from my team's home office.  I will be permanently working from home - using my home desktop as my main work station.  I can't code on my home desktop due to intellectual property concerns (this requires remoting into my work servers).  However, I can accomplish many of the non-development tasks; check email, response to code reviews, conduct meetings, write papers/drafts, etc.  As you can imagine, these tasks take many different applications than I normally use at home.  A short list of work-focused applications looks like:

  • Skype for Business
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Outlook
  • OneNote

I religiously trim the applications that get startup privileges on my home desktop.  I want it to boot quickly and be ready to go within 20 seconds.  However, I've also noticed that I forget to launch important applications like Skype and Outlook if they're not launched at boot.  This has caused me to miss important meetings - woops.

Thus, I created a delayed task in the task scheduler to run at boot.  On my first attempt at this, I added all the programs I wanted to delay launch to the actions tab.  However, I noticed that only the first application was ever launch.  I have no idea why it didn't launch the other applications but we can get around this by using a batch file.

These steps were done on Windows 10.

  1. Find a location for your script/batch file.  Your documents library is a good place.
  2. Create a new file and name it something like "StartApplications.bat". The most important thing is to make sure the extension of the file is ".bat" - you may need to make extension visible in order to do this.
  3. Right-click the file and select "edit"
  4. For each application you want to start, add a start command on a new line in the batch file.
    1. Type start "" <path to application>
    2. Replace <path to application>  with an actual path
    3. Example: start "" "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\OUTLOOK.EXE"
  5. Save the file
  6. Hit the windows key and type "task"
  7. Task scheduler should be the "best match" - hit enter
  8. In the "Actions" pane on the right side, click "Create Task"
  9. Enter a name e.g. "Start Applications"
  10. Click on the "triggers" tab
  11. Click the "new" button
  12. Click the "begin the task" drop down and select "at log on"
  13. Check "delay task for" and select a desired time. I used one minute.
  14. Click "Ok"
  15. Click the "actions" tab and click "new"
  16. Click "browse" and navigate to your batch file you created
  17. Click "ok"
  18. Click "ok"

Restart your computer and see if your applications launch successfully!