How to run programs automatically when a user logs on

This article describes how to use group policies in Windows 2000 to configure a program to run automatically when a user signs in.

Original product version:   Windows 2000
Original KB number:   240791

Summary

You can apply a policy to an individual user or to a computer, and you can use any valid program (custom, third-party, or Windows 2000 programs such as Microsoft Internet Explorer). For example, use the appropriate method to configure Notepad.exe to run when a user signs in:

  • To configure Notepad to run when any user signs in to a specific computer:

    1. Edit the following group policy:
      Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Run These Programs at User Logon

    2. Type the full path name of the program. In this example, type the following path name:
      c:\%windir%\system32\notepad.exe

  • To configure Notepad to run when a specific user logs on (regardless of the computer he or she uses):

    1. Edit the following group policy:
      User Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Run These Programs at User Logon

    2. Type the full path name of the program.

Note

If the program doesn't run, make sure the path is correct. The program doesn't run (and no error message is displayed) if the path isn't found.