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Windows Run Commands for Developers

by Pascal Arnould

The other day I wanted to bring up the Windows “Program and Features” panel using the run command (Win+R or just start typing in the Start screen in Win 8). Something I’ve done countless number of times in the past. For some reason, I had a complete blank and couldn’t recall what that particular command was. So I thought it would be good to have a couple of tips and some of the most useful run commands for Developers (and everybody else) in one place.

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Run… Program

If you enable indexing on your Program Files folders, all your programs will then be available either in the Run dialog or in the Windows 8 start screen.

1. Go to the Control Panel

2. Type in Indexing in the search box

3. Open the Indexing Options dialog

4. Click on Modify and select your Program Files folders

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You should then see the folders in the Included Locations list:

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Close the Indexing Options window. Once indexing is completed, you can start your programs using the Run dialog.

For example, I can now launch Sublime Text like this:

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But did you know?

You can create your own run commands. Here’s an example on how to create a run command for Sublime Text.

  1. Open the Run Dialog (Win+R) and type in %windir%
  2. Once Windows Explorer is open, select New item > Shortcut in the menu (or right-click somewhere in the blank area)
  3. Create the shortcut using the wizard specifying the alias for the run command (e.g. st3)

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From now on, you will be able to quickly open your program either by typing the command on the start page (if you’re using Windows 8) or in the Run Dialog.

Run Commands Cheat sheet

Description Command
About Windows winver
Add Hardware Wizard hdwwiz.cpl
Add/Remove Programs appwiz.cpl
Administrative Tools control admintools
Advanced Startup Options bootim
Advanced User Accounts netplwiz
Application Data Folder %appdata%
Authorization manager azman.msc
Calculator calc
Certificate Manager certmgr.msc
Performance Options systempropertiesperformance
Character Map charmap
Check Disk Utility chkdsk
ClearType Tuner cttune
Colour Management colorcpl
Command Prompt cmd
Compare files comp
Computer Management compmgmt.msc
Control Panel control
Device Manager devmgmt.msc
Disk Cleanup Utility cleanmgr
Disk Management diskmgmt.msc
Disk Partition Manager diskpart
Screen Resolution desk.cpl
Display Switch displayswitch
Ease of Access Center utilman
Event Viewer eventvwr.msc
File History filehistory
Firewall firewall.cpl
Folders Properties control folders
Fonts Folder fonts
Home Drive %homedrive%
Home Directory %homepath%
Internet Explorer iexplore
Internet Options inetcpl.cpl
Keyboard Properties control keyboard
Local Group Policy Editor gpedit.msc
Local Users and Groups lusrmgr.msc
Log Off Windows logoff
Magnifier magnify
Microsoft Management Console mmc
Microsoft Paint mspaint
Mouse Properties control mouse
Network Connections control netconnections
Notepad notepad
On Screen Keyboard osk
Paint mspaint
Performance Monitor perfmon
Power Configuration powercfg.cpl
Program Files folder %programfiles%
Region and Language Settings intl.cpl
Registry Editor regedit
Remote Desktop mstsc
Restart Windows shutdown -r
Scheduled Tasks control schedtasks
Security Center wscui.cpl
Services services.msc
Shared Folders fsmgmt.msc
Shutdown Windows shutdown
Snipping Tool snippingtool
Sounds and Audio mmsys.cpl
Backup/Restore User Names and Passwords credwiz
System Configuration msconfig
System Information msinfo32.
System Properties sysdm.cpl
Task Manager taskmgr
Temporary Folder %temp%
Time and Date Settings timedate.cpl
User Account Control Settings useraccountcontrolsettings
Volume Control sndvol
Windows Explorer explorer
Windows PowerShell ISE powershell_ise
Windows PowerShell powershell
Windows Root Directory %windir%
Windows Root Drive %systemdrive%
WMI Management wmimgmt.msc
WMI Tester wbemtest
XPS Viewer xpsrchvw

This list is intentionally cut down as I don’t think a lot of the other commands are that relevant. If you want a more comprehensive list check out one of these links:
Complete List of Windows 8 Run Commands
Run… Command

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