If you frequently RUN Windows System Utilities and apply changes to your profile, then you may know most of the tips given here. If you are only starting out, then you definitely need to know these small tips that can make your life easier. These tips constitute a series. Please read all the series posts.
In this article, we will discuss the different ways by which we can RUN a Windows utility. In order to run a program directly (by typing its name in the RUN box) it should be in a folder specified in the PATH variable. We will come to the PATH variable in a later post. While one can always run a program by double clicking on it, there are always easier methods to do it. Using keyboard shortcuts is second nature to anyone who has been working with a computer for a reasonable amount of time.
Start Menu Search
The easiest and quickest way to run a program or command is to type it directly into the Start Menu of Windows 7. This trick will only work if the item is part of the start menu. For example, you can open the Command Prompt by typing “cmd” and pressing ENTER or you can open Microsoft Word by typing “Office Word” and pressing ENTER. Do remember the functionality is limited and the program that will start will be the first item that appears in the Search.
Using WIN+R – Run
The most popular of all is the normal RUN dialog box method. You press WIN+R and then type in the command name into the box that appears. You can only run a program which can be found using the PATH system variable. (Type in “echo %PATH%” in a Command Prompt and see for yourself). You need to type the name of the program without the extension (the .exe part)
Using the Command Prompt
You can run any command/program by typing in its name in the command prompt. The command prompt can be opened by typing “cmd” after pressing WIN+R or clicking on the “Command Prompt” icon under “START>>All Programs>>Accessories” The rules that apply for WIN+R applies here too.
From Task Manager
This is same as the RUN dialog method. You can see a similar box dialog if you open “File>>New Task” under task Manager. You can type in all the things you could do in a WIN+R dialog. Why do you need to use this method then? If Windows Explorer has crashed and you don’t know what to do, press ALT+CTRL+DEL and open the Task Manager. Now go to File>>New Task and type “explorer” and press Enter. Windows Explorer will open again. (Windows explorer is the program that you use to open My Computer or My Documents)
How to open TaskManager
TaskManager can be opened using multiple ways.
- Press ALT+CTRL+DEL and click on the Start Taskmanager button
- Type in taskmgr into RUN(WIN+R) dialog
- Right click on the Task bar and selectStart Task Manager
If you didn’t already know, you can close any program or system process using Taskmanager.
Restarting Windows Explorer to apply settings
Many of the Windows System changes require you to restart Windows. This can be avoided in most of the cases just by restarting Windows Explorer. Please make sure you have Taskmanager or Command Prompt open while closing windows explorer.
- Open Taskmanager
- Goto Processes tab
- Select explorer.exe from the list and press End Process
- Wait a second until it closes
- Now goto File>>New task, enter explorer and press ENTER
Another technique can also be used to close Windows Explorer. Press WIN+D to show the desktop. Now bring up the shutdown dialog by pressing ALT+F4. Press ALT+SHIFT+CTRL and click Cancel.
any command that can be used in Run box can also be used in the command prompt and the New task option of Taskmanager. In the next post, we will be discussing the programs and commands that can be run using these techniques.