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 www.youtube.com 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!