The Essential Windows Run Commands Basic

Access Windows apps, files, settings, and more without taking your hands off the keyboard.

The Essential Windows Run Commands Basic

If you want a quick way to launch programs, documents, settings, utilities, and other resources on your Windows machine, look no further than the Run dialog.

You don't need to learn anything complex to use this built-in feature. Memorizing a few useful commands will do. And you'll find the best of these Run dialog commands (commonly called Run commands) in our cheat sheet below.

To use a particular command, summon the Run dialog with the shortcut Win + R, type in the command for a particular Windows item, and hit Enter to launch that item.

Essential Run Commands for Windows

Shortcut Action
Common Windows Tools
explorer Windows Explorer
c: Open C: Drive
regedit Registry Editor
services.msc Windows Services (local)
taskmgr Task Manager
msconfig System Configuration Utility
mstsc Remote Desktop (Microsoft Terminal Services Client)
logoff Log Off Windows (without confirmation!)
shutdown Shuts Down Windows (Save all your work first)
cmd Command Prompt
notepad Notepad
osk On Screen keyboard
mailto: Open Default Mail Application
Website address Open entered URL in default browser
Other Windows Tools & Utilities
calc Calculator
chkdsk Check Disk
charmap Character Map
cleanmgr Clean Manager - Disk Cleanup Utility
clipbrd Clipboard Viewer (not available after Windows XP)
cmd Command Prompt
comp Compare Files
colorcpl Color Management
cttune ClearType Text tuner
dxdiag Direct X Troubleshooter
eudcedit Private Characters Editor
fonts Fonts
fsquirt Bluetooth Transfer Wizard
ftp MS-DOS FTP
iexplore Internet Explorer
joy.cpl Game Controllers
label Volume Serial Number for C:
magnify Windows Magnifier
microsoft-edge:// Edge
migwiz Migration Wizard - Files and Settings Transfer Tool
mip Math Input Panel
mrt Malicious Software Removal Tool
msiexec Windows Installer Details
msinfo32 System Information
mspaint Paint
narrator Narrator
powershell Powershell
shrpubw Create a shared folder Wizard
sigverif File Signature Verification Tool
sndvol Volume Control
snippingtool Snipping Tools
stikynot Sticky Notes
utilman Narrator Settings
verifier Driver Verifier Utility
was Contacts
wf.msc Windows Firewall with Advanced Security
wfs Windows Fax and Scan
wiaacmgr Scanner
winver Windows Version (Check your Windows version)
wmplayer Windows Media Player
write WordPad
xpsrchvw XPS Viewer
winword Word
Word /safe Word Safe Mode
Control Panel Commands
appwiz.cpl Application Wizard (Program and Features)
control Control Panel
control admintools Administrative Tools
control color Personalization - Color and Appearance
control desktop Display Properties (Personalization)
control folders Folders Properties
control keyboard Keyboard Properties
control mouse Mouse Properties
control netconnections Network Properties
control printers Printers Folders
control schedtasks Scheduled Tasks
control update Windows Update
control userpasswords Manager current User Account
control userpasswords2 Manager all User Accounts
desk.cpl Display - Screen Resolution
devmgmt.msc Device Manager
firewall.cpl Windows Firewall
inetcpl.cpl Internet Properties (Internet Control Panel)
intl.cpl Regional Settings (International)
mmsys.cpl Sound Properties (Multimedia System Settings)
ncpa.cpl Network Properties
netplwiz To create User Account
powercfg.cpl Power Configuration
sysdm.cpl System Properties
timedate.cpl Date and Time Properties
utilman Ease of Access Utility Manager
wscui.cpl Security Center (Windows Security Center UI)
Windows Administrative Tools
compmgmt.msc Computer Management including System Tools, Storage, Services and Applications
defrag Defrag Command
dcomcnfg Component Services (Detailed Component Configuration)
devmgmt.msc Device Management
diskmgmt.msc Disk Partition Manager
diskpart Diskpart Command
eventvwr.msc Event Viewer
fsmgmt.msc Shared Folders (File Sharing Management)
gpedit.msc Group Policy Editor
lusrmgr.msc Local User and Groups
perfmon.msc Performance Monitor
rekeywiz File Encryption
System File Checker Utility
sfc /scannow System File Checker Utility (Scan Immediately)
sfc /scanonce System File Checker Utility (Scan Once At Next Boot)
sfc /scanboot System File Checker Utility (Scan On Every Boot)
sfc /revert System File Checker Utility (Return to Default Settings)
sfc /purgecache System File Checker Utility (Purge File Cache)
sfc /cachesize=x System File Checker Utility (Set Cache Size to Size x)
Common Environment Variables
%AllUsersProfile% Program Data
%ProgramFiles% Program Files
%SystemDrive% System Drive
%SystemRoot% System Root
%Temp% Temporary Folder
%UserProfile% User Profile
%WinDir% Windows Directory

A Powerful, Underrated Windows Feature

Run commands are time saving and easy to use, and also a satisfying way to access Windows items using only the keyboard.

Don't worry if you can't remember certain useful commands you need. You can replace them with custom command names that are more memorable. We'll show you how to do that.