Tech Tips

Useful "Run" Commands

Question: The Windows Start menu has a "Run" option - what can it be used for? Answer: More often than not, the "run" option in Windows' Start Menu is used simply to launch the command prompt (by clicking "Run," typing "cmd" and pressing Enter). There are many other useful actions that you can perform from the "Run" command, a few are included below.

NOTE: the most convenient way to use these tips is in combination with the "Windows Key-R"keyboard shortcut, which brings up the "Run" without the need to click the Start button.

Also, these commands are specific to Windows XP - they should still work in newer versions (Vista) and older versions (2000, 98, etc) of Windows, however.

iexplore This command will start Internet Explorer and open the specified address (replace "" with an actual URL). The same technique will work with Mozilla Firefox - simply type "firefox" instead of "iexplore".

taskmgr This command will open the Windows task manager.

control This command will open the Control Panel.

services.msc This will open the "services" window, which allows you to control the various Windows background services.

winword The "winword" command will load Microsoft Word - other MS Office apps can be launched in the same way, E.g. excel (for Excel), powerpnt (for PowerPoint), etc.

notepad This command loads the text editor Notepad. You can also launch most other Windows accessories the same way: calc (for the calculator), charmap (the Character Map tool), mstsc (Remote Desktop Client), wordpad, etc.

c:\folder\ If you type the path of a folder into the "Run" box and press enter, this will open the specified folder - for example, c:\program files will open the Program Files folder. There are also a few special folders that you can open simply by typing in their name, rather than the full path - E.g., the commane my documents will open your "My Documents" folder, while the command favorites will display your Internet Explorer bookmarks.

This is only a brief overview - there are dozens and dozens of other commands that you can use in the "Run" window. But in general, any command that works in the command prompt will also work via the "Run" window.


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