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If you like to use shortcuts to get tasks done in the most efficient way, there is a large collection of commands you can run from the run dialog (XP/Vista/7/8) or the Start Menu (in Windows Vista/7/8.) In this guide, I’ll show you how to run the commands and what effect they have.

Where to Run Commands

Note: see below for an even quicker method for Windows Vista/7/8.

To run the commands, listed below, in Windows XP (can also be used in Windows Vista/7/8):

1. Click the Start button and click Run (or press Winkey+R):

2. Type the command in the Run dialog and click OK (or press Enter.)

To run the commands, listed below, in Windows Vista/7/8, you can also use the Start Menu search function:

Press the Start button (or press the Winkey), type the command, and press Enter.

If the command fails, use steps 1 & 2 above.

Environment Variables

Environment variables can be used to open common folders in Windows. You can even append strings to the end of an environment variable to go directly to a folder i.e. %UserProfile%\Music

Command Launches
%ALLUSERSPROFlLE% Open the All User’s Profile
%HomeDrive% Opens your home drive e.g. C:\
%UserProfile% Opens your user profile
%temp% Opens the temporary file folder
%systemroot% Opens the Windows folder

Commands to Run

Most of the commands, listed below, will work; however, some commands such as QuickTime.cpl (requires Quick Time) or gpedit.msc (requires Business, Professional, or Ultimate Windows versions) may not run depending on installed components, Windows versions, Windows editions etc.

Command Launches XP Vista/7/8
access.cpl Accessibility Controls
hdwwiz.cpl Add Hardware Wizard
hdwwiz.cpl Device Manager
appwiz.cpl Add/ Remove Programs
control admintools Administrative Tools
wuaucpl.cpl Automatic Updates
fsquirt Bluetooth Transfer wizard
calc Calculator
certmgr.msc Certificate Manager
charmap Character Map
chkdsk Check Disk Utility
clipbrd Clipboard Viewer
cmd Command Prompt
dcomcnfg Component Services
compmgmt.msc Computer Management
control panel Control Panel
timedate.cpl Date and Time Properties
ddeshare DDE Share
devmgmt.msc Device Manager
directx.cpl Direct X Control Panel
dxdiag Direct X Troubleshooter
cleanmgr Disk Cleanup Utility
dfrg.msc Disk Defragment
diskmgmt.msc Disk Management
diskpart Disk Partition Manager
control desktop Display Properties / Personalization
desk.cpl Screen Resolution
control color Window Color and Appearance
dn /vtsn32 Dr. Watson System Troubleshooting Utility
verifier Driver Verifier Utility
eventvwr.msc Event Viewer
sigverif File Signature Verification Tool
findfast.cpl Findfast
control folders Folders Properties
OR control fonts
Fonts Folder
freecell Free Cell Card Game
joy.cpl Game Controllers
gpedit.msc Group Policy Editor (Select editions)
mshearts Hearts Card Game
iexpress Iexpress wizard
ciadv.msc Indexing Service
inetcpl.cpl Internet Properties
Iexplore Internet Explorer
javaws Java Control Panel (lf lnstalled)
toy.cpl Joystick Properties
main.cpl keyboard
OR control keyboard
Keyboard Properties
secpol.msc Local Security Settings (Select versions)
lusrmgr.msc Local Users and Groups (Select versions)
logoff Logs You Out Of Windows
winchat Microsoft Chat
winmine Minesweeper Game
OR control mouse
Mouse Properties
netsetup.cpl Network Setup Wizard
notepad Notepad
nvtuicpl.cpl Nview Desktop Manager(If installed)
packager Object Packager
odbccp32.cpl ODBC Data Source Administrator
osk On Screen Keyboard
ac3filter.cpl OpensAC3 Filter(If installed)
password.cpl Password Properties
perfmon Performance Monitor
telephon.cpl Phone and Modem Options
powercfg.cpl Power Management
control printers Printers and Faxes
printers Printers Folder
eudcedit Private Character Editor
QuickTime.cpl Quicktime Preferences (lf installed)
intl.cpl Regional Settings
regedit Registry Editor
regedit32 Registry Editor
mstsc Remote Desktop
ntmsmgr.msc Removable Storage
ntmsoprq.msc Removable Storage Operator Requests
rsop.msc Resultant Set of Policy (Select versions)  
sticpl.cpl Scanners and Cameras
control schedtasks Scheduled Tasks
wscui.cpl Security Center
services.msc Services
fsmgmt.msc Shared Folders
shutdown Shuts Down Windows
mmsys.cpl Sounds and Audio
spider Spider Solitare Card Game
cliconfg SQL Client Configuration
sysedit System Configuration Editor
msconfig System Configuration Utility
sfc /scannow System File Checker(Scan Immediately)
sfc /scanonce System FC (Scan Once At Next Boot)
sfc /scanboot System FC (Scan On Every Boot)
sfc /revert System FC (Return to Default Setting)
sfc /purgecache System FC (Purge File Cache)
sfc /cachesize=x System FC (Set Cache Size to size x)
sysdm.cpl System Properties
Taskmgr Task Manager
nusrmgr.cpl User Account Management
utilman Utility Manager
explorer Windows Explorer
firewall.cpl Windows Firewall
magnify Windows Magnifier
wmimgmt.msc Windows Management lnfrastructure (WMI)
syskey Windows System Security Tool

Windows 7: wuapp

Windows Update Launches
winver Windows Version
tourstart Windows XP Tour Wizard
Write Wordpad  

Which commands did I miss? Let us know in the comments.

About Rich

Rich is the owner and creator of Windows Guides; he spends his time breaking things on his PC so he can write how-to guides to fix them.

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13 thoughts on “Use Run Dialog Commands to Access Windows Programs and Tools [Updated]”

  1. Anonymous says:

    interesante aporte

  2. Scott says:

    Great list! I just wanted to mention that if you type some of these commands using Windows 7 Start menu search they do not work (I am assuming Vista has a similar result). A work around is to start typing what the command is supposed to launch. Example, “control folders” does not launch Folder Properties; but if you type “folder ” not only do you get some more options under the Control Panel heading the first one selected should be Folder Options (at least it was for me). Worst comes to worst I guess you can just use the Winkey+R to open Run and than type the commands as they appear in the list above.

    1. Rich says:

      Thanks for checking and for your contribution Scott.

  3. CD Printing says:

    I have Windows XP OS for almost 10 years and this was the first time I know about this. Definitely an awesome list. Keep posting more useful info.

  4. Uvais says:

    ipconfig /all
    ipconfig /displaydns
    ipconfig /flushdns
    ipconfig /release
    ipconfig /renew
    ipconfig /registerdns
    ipconfig /showclassid
    ipconfig /setclassid

  5. Octan Studios says:

    just so you know taskmgr works in windows 7 and 8

  6. Daffy1948 says:

    The command to fix the master boot record

  7. Rich says:

    Glad you found it. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. redwindspkt says:


  9. Karthiknbca says:

    very useful the cmd

  10. Stuart Lynch says:

    wupdmgr was changed in Windows 7 to ‘Wuapp.exe’ so to launch Windows update in windows 7, run ‘wuapp’.

    1. Rich says:

      Thanks Stuart, I’ve update the guide.

  11. Stuart Lynch says:

    Also there are others like, 
    Microsoft Office Word – “Winword”
    Microsoft Office Excel – “Excel”
    Microsoft Office Outlook – “Outlook” 
    Paint – “mspaint”

Comments are closed.

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