Best Keyboard Shortcut (Run Command)

Posted on 20. Nov, 2012 by in Articles

This is hands down the most useful and powerful keyboard shortcut on the PC (Microsoft Windows XP, Windows 7 etc). Knowing how to use the Run Dialog Box Shortcuts will save you alot of time and help you get things done quicker.

It has 3 main category of uses which I’ll go through. But first, here’s how you access it…

Open the Run Box

  • Press Windows button + R
  • You will see a box like the one below (the beauty of this command means you can open the run box from anywhere. You don’t have to minimize your screen and goto the desktop)
  • From here, you can enter a range of commands
  • Eg1. Type calc and press enter (or click ok). This will open the calculator

  • Eg2. Type and it will open youtube (or any other website you enter) in your default browser.

Use #1 – Windows Applications & Services

  • The best thing about the run command shortcut is you can access it anywhere. You don’t have to minimize the desktop or even use the mouse.
  • There are many useful commands. (Get all of them in this Run Command List Cheat Sheet I created) of other useful commands:
    • control – opens control panel
    • winword – opens Microsoft Word
    • excel – opens Microsoft Excel
    • recent – opens recently opened documents
    • notepad – opens notepad (of course!)
    • firefox – opens Firefox browser
    • iexplore – opens Internet Explorer
  • Here’s a few geekier commands!
    • ncpa.cpl – opens network connections
    • powercfg.cpl – opens power options properties
    • devmgmt.msc – device manager
    • msconfig – system configuration utitlity

Use #2 – My Documents, My Music etc.

  • Open the run box and enter in a single fullstop “.” followed by enter
  • This opens up your user folder. Eg. C:\Users\YourNameHere
  • Folders like “My Documents”, “My Music” and “Downloads” are stored in your user folder.
  • Any folder you see here, the run box can access.
    • Eg. Open the run box (windows key + R).
    • Type “Desktop”. This will open the desktop folder
  • NOTE: It can’t handle spaces. So entering in “My Documents” won’t work. But you shouldn’t be entering in something as inefficient as “My Documents” anyhow! So here’s the solution:

Use #3 – Custom Shortcuts (feel the power!)

  • This allows you to create custom shortcuts to any folder, document or application

Example 1: Custom shortcut to any folder

  • Goto any folder. Eg. “My Documents”.
  • Right click and select “Create Shortcut”
  • A new shortcut is created that looks like this:
  • Rename it (click it and press F2) to something like “dox” (renaming it to 3 characters or less is a good idea to make things faster)
  • We now cut and paste this new shortcut in your user folder.
    • Cut this new shortcut (click it and press “ctrl + x”)
    • Open your user folder (“windows + R”. Then type fullstop “.”)
    • Paste it (“ctrl + y”)
  • Done! Now when you open the run box and type “dox”, My Documents will open.

Example 2: Custom shortcut to any document

  • Follow the instructions from Example 1, but just choose a document instead of a folder.
  • This comes in really handy for documents you use regularly.

Example 3: Custom shortcut to any application

  • The process here is the same as the other 2. The tricky part here is finding the application’s *.exe file.
  • Eg. I have a personal information manager I use called Milenix MyInfo.
  • To find the *.exe file:
    • “Windows + E” – This opens the file explorer
    • Goto C:\Program Files or C:\Program Files (x86)
    • Look for the folder. The name should either be the manufacturer or the software name. In this case, either “Milenix” or “MyInfo”
    • Once you find it, look for the name of an exe file. In this case, it was “MyInfo.exe”.
  • Then follow the instructions from the previous examples (create a shortcut, rename the shortcut, copy and paste it to your user folder).

Download The Cheat Sheet

  • The best way to remember these is to print off a cheat sheet and stick it on y0ur wall to remind you.
  • Access the free resources section to download the run command list cheat sheet.

Thanks for reading about this top keyboard shortcut.

Continue to enjoy the efficiency of the run command!

2 Responses to “Best Keyboard Shortcut (Run Command)”

  1. Johan

    12. May, 2013

    Very nice guide, thanks alot sir! :)

  2. Emmanuel Okirhie

    07. Mar, 2015

    I really, sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, appreciate you for your comprehensible tutorials. it helped me a lot because I like using shortcuts and that makes me different from my colleagues. Thanks for kindred support & God bless.

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