- Complete Guide to Your Windows System Run Commands
- Access parts of the operating system easily
- Windows Run Commands
- Control Panel Access Run Commands
- 25 Run Commands in Windows You Should Memorize
- How to open the Run dialog?
- #1. Access System Configuration — “msconfig”
- #2. Access Resource Monitor — “resmon”
- #3. Open System Information — “msinfo32”
- #4. Access Backup and Restore window — “sdclt”
- #5. Access mouse properties — “main.cpl”
- #6. Open Windows Registry — “regedit”
- #7. Access System Properties — “sysdm.cpl”
- #8. Manage Windows Power options — “powercfg.cpl”
- #9. Open Windows Features — “optionalfeatures”
- #10. Open Magnifier — “magnify”
- #11. Open Character Map app — “charmap”
- #12. Access Network Connections — “ncpa.cpl”
- #13. Run Malicious Software Removal Tool — “mrt”
- #14. Open Device Manager — “devmgmt.msc”
- #15. Manage User Accounts — “netplwiz”
- #16. Open Services app — “services.msc”
- #17. Access Programs and Features window — “appwiz.cpl”
- #18. Open Control Panel — “control”
- #19. Open current user folder — “.” (period)
- #20. Open On-Screen Keyboard — “osk”
- #21. Open Snipping Tool — “snippingtool”
- #22. Open Windows Memory Diagnostic — “mdsched”
- #23. Open any website — “Insert website URL”
- #24. Open Remote Desktop Connection — “mstsc”
- #25. Open Command Prompt — “cmd”
- Wrapping up
- Windows Start | Run commands
- Useful Run Commands Every Windows User Should Know
- List of Run Commands
- More Run Commands
Complete Guide to Your Windows System Run Commands
Access parts of the operating system easily
Run commands can be used to access various aspects of your computer without going through the Control Panel or menus. If you’re in the process of tweaking your system so it becomes more responsive, you may find these commands useful.
This guide applies to Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.
Windows Run Commands
To use any of these commands, go to Start > Run or use the keyboard shortcut Windows Key+R. Then enter a command at the prompt and select OK. Before modifying any values within these utilities, however, be sure to read up on what they do.
The Run app is not case sensitive.
|Command||What It Does|
|Command||Opens the command prompt.|
|Compmgmt.msc||Opens the computer management console.|
|Devmgmt.msc||Opens the device manager.|
|Diskmgmt.msc||Opens the disk management tool.|
|Eventvwr.msc||Opens the event viewer.|
|Fsmgmt.msc||Opens shared folders.|
|Gpedit.msc||Opens the group policy editor.|
|Lusrmgr.msc||Opens the local users and groups.|
|Mailto:||Opens the default email client.|
|Msconfig||Opens the system configuration utility.|
|Msinfo32||Opens the system information utility.|
|Perfmon.msc||Opens the performance monitor.|
|Regedit||Opens the registry editor.|
|Rsop.msc||Opens resultant set of policy.|
|Secpol.msc||Opens local security settings.|
|Services.msc||Opens services utility.|
|System.ini||Windows loading information.|
|Win.ini||Windows loading information.|
|Winver||Shows current version of Windows.|
Control Panel Access Run Commands
The following commands access various parts of the Control Panel directly:
25 Run Commands in Windows You Should Memorize
Using Run commands in Windows is a very efficient way to access different Windows settings and apps directly.
If you memorize Run commands, you can access a particular app in just 2 steps instead of many clicks.
I personally don’t like frequently reaching out for the mouse; therefore, I have memorized all the required keyboard shortcuts and commands to minimize my interaction with the mouse. And Run commands are core for my day-to-day PC usage to accesses different Windows settings and apps efficiently.
If you are looking to be productive, then I will recommend you to memorize Run commands. To get you started, I will list some of the frequently used commands that I find most useful for day-to-day use.
How to open the Run dialog?
To use Run commands, you need to know how to open the Run dialog to enter the commands. There are two ways to access the Run dialog in Windows 10.
You can either press the Windows+R keys on the keyboard or right-click on the start menu and select Run from the menu.
I will recommend you to use the keyboard shortcut as it’s much faster and you won’t have to use the mouse. Once the Run dialog is open, enter any of the below mentioned commands and press the Enter key or click on the OK button to execute it.
#1. Access System Configuration — “msconfig”
Starting with my favorite command, the System Configuration window consists of multiple tabs to manage boot settings and background services.
If you have a dual boot setup or often need to access safe mode, you will often need to access these settings. Don’t forget to check its Tools section for convenient access to some of the most powerful Windows tools.
#2. Access Resource Monitor — “resmon”
A very powerful app to see real-time information about your system resources like CPU, RAM, disk, and network. For any computer hanging or performance-related issues, this is the best tool to get the information you need.
#3. Open System Information — “msinfo32”
System Information app offers extensive information about both the hardware and software of your PC. It’s a must-know command if you need to see the specs of any PC. The information is well laid out using dedicated categories, and you can export the information to a file to share with anyone — perfect for getting online tech assistance.
#4. Access Backup and Restore window — “sdclt”
It opens the backup and restores window where you can either set up a backup of your PC or restore it from an old backup if there is a problem with your PC.
#5. Access mouse properties — “main.cpl”
You can control all the settings related to your computer mouse here. This includes mouse speed, buttons, wheel, and pointer, etc.
#6. Open Windows Registry — “regedit”
If you ever need to access the Windows registry to tweak something, this is the easiest way to do it. I didn’t even know other ways to access the Registry until recently, and I often mess around in the Registry. Other ways are simply too cumbersome to use.
#7. Access System Properties — “sysdm.cpl”
Another powerful settings window to manage system protection and remote connection features. I personally access it often to manage the Performance settings under the Advanced tab. You can manage some interesting performance-boosting options there.
#8. Manage Windows Power options — “powercfg.cpl”
You will find all the options to manage your PC’s power options here. There are a plethora of options to both save power or get better performance. Check this guide to optimize the power options as you find best.
#9. Open Windows Features — “optionalfeatures”
Here you can disable/enable some of the most advanced features of Windows. I wouldn’t recommend you to mess around here if you don’t know what you are doing. You will need to use this window if you ever need to enable features like Telnet client or Hyper-V.
#10. Open Magnifier — “magnify”
This opens the Windows magnifier to magnify the content on the screen up to 1600% if needed. It also has a screen reader built-in to read aloud text on the screen.
#11. Open Character Map app — “charmap”
Windows Character Maps lets you access All the characters in the font of your choice to easily use anywhere you like. You can either copy the character or learn its Alt code to enter anywhere you like. Using the search bar is the easiest way to find the character you need.
#12. Access Network Connections — “ncpa.cpl”
Here you can manage your current network connection and fix any problem with the network device. You can enable/disable the network, check the current status, bridge connections, or see your Wi-Fi password.
#13. Run Malicious Software Removal Tool — “mrt”
It’s an on-demand virus removal tool provided by Microsoft to scan your PC and find any malicious software. If you think your PC got infected by a virus, you can quickly launch this tool to scan your PC.
You can also consider installing antivirus software to keep your Windows computer safe.
#14. Open Device Manager — “devmgmt.msc”
Device Manager is the go-to place to manage everything related to your hardware components and their drivers. You can enable/disable hardware components or manage their drivers, like uninstalling or updating them.
#15. Manage User Accounts — “netplwiz”
You can quickly manage user accounts here, such as adding a new account or user account types like Administrator or Standard. You can also change the user accounts password here and manage their security.
#16. Open Services app — “services.msc”
This app lists all the services that work in the background without an interface and make all the features work in Windows. Again, you shouldn’t mess with any services if you don’t know what you are doing. However, you can click on a service to learn what it does in the left panel. There are many services that you can enable/disable depending on your need. For example, I have disabled the Bluetooth service as I don’t use it.
#17. Access Programs and Features window — “appwiz.cpl”
Although Windows 10 has its own setting to uninstall an app, I still use this command as it only shows third-party apps. The default Windows uninstaller shows all apps, including built-in apps, which are 30+. It can be difficult to always go through so many apps to uninstall a recently installed app. This command makes the process a snap.
#18. Open Control Panel — “control”
This command didn’t hold much value in the older version of Windows as you could easily access Control Panel using different ways. However, in Windows 10, Microsoft promotes the new Settings over the old Control Panel, so it doesn’t offer an easy way to access the Control Panel. This simple command lets you easily access it.
#19. Open current user folder — “.” (period)
We have to access the user folder quite often in Windows, but going through the explorer to access it isn’t needed. Just type a period in the Run dialog, and the current user’s folder will open up.
#20. Open On-Screen Keyboard — “osk”
If you want to use the on-screen keyboard, then using the Run command is one of the quickest ways to do it.
#21. Open Snipping Tool — “snippingtool”
Snipping Tool is still the go-to tool for taking screenshots in Windows 10 without using a third-party app. If you use the Snipping Tool for taking screenshots, then this Run command will make it easier.
#22. Open Windows Memory Diagnostic — “mdsched”
If you think there is a problem with your RAM, this tool can check your RAM and possibly fix the problem or let you know there is an issue. If you start seeing sudden freezes or crashes, it could mean there is a problem with your RAM.
#23. Open any website — “Insert website URL”
You can also enter the URL of any website in the Run dialog, and it will open it in your default browser. For example, if you type www.geekflare.com in the Run command, it will open the Geekflare home page in your default browser.
#24. Open Remote Desktop Connection — “mstsc”
You can use this feature to remotely connect to another PC and take full control over it. You’ll have to set up both PCs for the remote connection first, though. This Run command just makes the process easier.
#25. Open Command Prompt — “cmd”
Unlike PowerShell, you can’t access the Command Prompt by right-clicking on the start menu anymore. If you prefer using the Command Prompt over PowerShell to execute commands, this is one of the easier ways to open the Command Prompt.
The cool thing about Run is that it remembers all the commands you type in it. Therefore, you will only have to type the first letter to enter the command in the future.
I also believe Run commands are more important in Windows 10 as it heavily promotes the use of its default Settings app. Most of the settings and apps that I have mentioned above are more difficult to access Windows 10.
Next, explore some of the best NirSoft utilities for Windows.
Windows Start | Run commands
|Accessibility Options||utilman |
|Add Hardware Wizard||hdwwiz|
|Programs and Features |
(Add New Programs)
(Add Remove Windows Components)
(Set Program Access & Defaults )
|Administrative Tools||control admintools|
|Advanced User Accounts Control Panel||netplwiz|
|Automatic Update||control wuaucpl.cpl|
|Backup and Restore Utility||sdclt|
|Bluetooth Transfer Wizard||fsquirt|
|Check Disk Utility||chkdsk|
|Clear Type (tune or turn off)||cttune|
|Component Services||dcomcnfg |
|Computer Management||CompMgmtLauncher.exe |
|Credential (passwords) Backup and Restore Wizard||credwiz|
|Data Execution Prevention||SystemPropertiesDataExecutionPrevention|
|Date and Time Properties||timedate.cpl|
|Device Manager||hdwwiz |
|Device Pairing Wizard||DevicePairingWizard|
|Digitizer Calibration Tool (Tablets/Touch screens)||tabcal|
|Direct X Control Panel (if installed)||directx.cpl|
|Direct X Troubleshooter||dxdiag|
|Disk Cleanup Utility||cleanmgr|
|Disk Defragmenter||dfrgui |
|Disk Partition Manager||diskpart|
|Display Color Calibration||dccw|
|Display DPI / Text size||dpiscaling|
|Display Properties (Themes, Desktop, Screensaver)||control desktop|
|Display Properties (Resolution, Orientation)||desk.cpl|
|Display Properties (Color & Appearance)||control color|
|Documents (open ‘My Documents’ folder)||documents|
|Downloads (open ‘Downloads’ folder)||downloads|
|Driver Verifier Utility||verifier|
|Edit Environment Variables||rundll32.exe sysdm.cpl,EditEnvironmentVariables|
|Encrypting File System Wizard (EFS)||rekeywiz|
|File Signature Verification Tool (Device drivers)||sigverif|
|Files and Settings Transfer Tool||%systemroot%\system32\migwiz\migwiz.exe|
|Firewall Control Panel||firewall.cpl|
|Folders Properties||control folders|
|Fonts list||control fonts|
|Font preview||fontview arial.ttf|
|Local Group Policy Editor||gpedit.msc|
|iSCSI Initiator configuration||iscsicpl|
|Keyboard Properties||control keyboard|
|Language Pack Installer||lpksetup|
|Local Security Policy||secpol.msc|
|Local Users and Groups||lusrmgr.msc|
|Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool||mrt|
|Microsoft Management Console||mmc|
|Access (Microsoft Office)||msaccess|
|Excel (Microsoft Office)||Excel|
|Powerpoint (Microsoft Office)||powerpnt|
|Word (Microsoft Office)||winword|
|Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool||msdt|
|Mouse Properties||control mouse |
|Network Connections||control netconnections |
Connect to Network Projector
Switch projector display
Unless indicated otherwise, all the commands above work in all versions of Windows from Vista upwards.
Most of these utilities can be found in %systemroot%\System32\
“The Macintosh uses an experimental pointing device called a ‘mouse.’ There is no evidence that people want to use these things”
Useful Run Commands Every Windows User Should Know
A quick-and-easy keyboard-only way to run Windows’ wealth of tools is through the “Run” command. If you know the corresponding Run command of a tool or task, then you know the quickest way to access said tool or task.
The following is a list of our favorite Run commands to help you be more productive.
Note: Press Win + R on your keyboard to open the Run dialog box, and enter any of the below commands to access the respective tool.
List of Run Commands
1. services.msc – When you enter “services.msc” and press the Enter button, it will open the Windows Services app where you can easily start, stop and configure other settings for each and every service individually. It’s quite helpful when you want to toggle a service.
2. mstsc – Entering “mstsc” into the Run dialog box opens the Remote Desktop Connection app which allows you to connect to another Windows computers over the local network or through the Internet. This helps you use the host computer as your own.
3. msinfo32 – If you want to quickly get your system information, then the “msinfo32” command is the way to go. At a glance it will display all the system details including the hardware resources and software environment.
4. sdclt – This command opens the Backup and Restore window that allows you to quickly set a backup schedule or restore any of your previous backups.
5. compmgmt.msc – The Computer Management app is where you can access almost all the advanced Windows modules like Event Viewer, Shared Folder, System Tools, etc.
6. cleanmgr – This command allows you to open the Windows Disk Cleanup utility. Once opened, simply select the drive your want to clean up and click the “OK” button.
7. eventvwr.msc – Windows Event Viewer is where Windows stores all the monitoring and troubleshooting messages. You can use this command to quickly access the Event Viewer application.
8. control – Every Windows user knows a thing or two about the Windows Control Panel, and using this command you can quickly access the Control Panel with some stumbling around.
9. mmc – Microsoft Management Console (MMC) is an advanced Windows module that is mainly aimed at system administrators and power users, as it sports all the tools required for configuring and monitoring a Windows system.
10. resmon – Whenever you want to check how your system resources are being utilized, simply use this Run command, and it displays everything from your CPU to Dist to Network.
11. \ – This is one of the lesser-known Run commands. Just enter the backslash into the Run dialog box, and it will open up the C drive. It is one of the quickest ways to access the C drive.
12. . – This is yet another lesser-known Run command. When executed, it opens the current user’s home folder which hosts all the other local folders like the Downloads, Documents, Desktop, Pictures, etc.
13. .. – When you execute these two dots in the Run dialog box, it will open up the Users folder which is located directly in the C drive.
14. calc – If you want to quickly open the built-in Windows calculator app, typing calc in the Run dialog box is the easiest way to do it.
15. cmd – Even Windows users have to deal with the command line sometimes. With this command you can quickly open the command prompt without administrator privileges.
16. powershell – If the command prompt is too old for you, then you may want to try PowerShell. Just type this command in the Run dialog box, and you will have your PowerShell opened without administrator privileges.
18. gpedit.msc – Group Policy Editor in Windows allows you to set and edit different Windows policies of a local or remote computer. Since Group Policy Editor is an advanced tool, it is buried deep inside Windows, and this Run command is the easiest way to access it.
19. lusrmgr.msc – Using this command, you can open the Local Users and Groups Manager where you can edit several properties of all the users and groups.
20. mrt – Every month Windows releases a newer version of Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool through the Windows Update. This free tool helps you in cleaning some of the most popular malicious software from your Windows computer. This tool runs silently in the background, but if you want to run it manually, then use this Run command.
21. ncpa.cpl – Being an Internet user means that you have to deal with occasional (if not daily) network problems, and one way to troubleshoot your network connection is by accessing your Network Adapters. To access all your Network Adapters, you can use this Run command.
22. perfmon.msc – If you want to monitor the performance of your Windows computer and effects of the programs you run, running Performance Monitor will provide ample data. You can access the Performance Monitor using this command.
23. powercfg.cpl – Windows hosts a wide range of power options to deal with your computer’s power usage, and you can access all those Power Options using this command.
24. appwiz.cpl – Using this command you can quickly access the Programs and Features window where you can quickly uninstall your installed programs.
25. devmgmt.msc – Windows Device Manager is where you can manage all your hardware devices, and you can use this Run command to quickly access it. Alternatively, you can also use the command “hdwwiz.cpl.”
26. regedit – Regedit Run command can be used to access the Windows Registry, which is a hierarchical database that hosts all the configurations and settings of an operating system and the installed programs.
27. msconfig – Windows System Configuration is where you can edit different things like the boot options, startup options, services, etc. You can use this Run command to access the System Configuration window.
28. sysdm.cpl – If you ever want to access the System Properties window, then using this Run command opens it right up.
29. firewall.cpl – If you want to manage or configure your Windows firewall, then you can use this Run command to quickly access the Firewall window.
30. wuapp – Last but not least, you can use this command to check, manage and configure all your Windows update settings.
More Run Commands
Can’t get enough of the Run command? Here we have compiled a big list of all the Run commands available in Windows.
|Task Name||Run Command|
|Add a Device||devicepairingwizard|
|Add Hardware Wizard||hdwwiz|
|Advanced User Accounts||netplwiz|
|Backup and Restore||sdclt|
|Bluetooth File Transfer||fsquirt|
|Change Computer Performance Settings||systempropertiesperformance|
|Change Data Execution Prevention Settings||systempropertiesdataexecutionprevention|
|Change Printer Settings||printui|
|Connect to a Network Projector||netproj|
|Connect to a Projector||displayswitch|
|Create A Shared Folder Wizard||shrpubw|
|Create a System Repair Disc||recdisc|
|Credential Backup and Restore Wizard||credwiz|
|Data Execution Prevention||systempropertiesdataexecutionprevention|
|Device Pairing Wizard||devicepairingwizard|
|Diagnostics Troubleshooting Wizard||msdt|
|Digitizer Calibration Tool||tabcal|
|DirectX Diagnostic Tool||dxdiag|
|Display Color Calibration||dccw|
|DPAPI Key Migration Wizard||dpapimig|
|Driver Verifier Manager||verifier|
|Ease of Access Center||utilman|
|Encrypting File System Wizard||rekeywiz|
|Fax Cover Page Editor||fxscover|
|File Signature Verification||sigverif|
|Import to Windows Contacts||wabmig*|
|iSCSI Initiator Configuration Tool||iscsicpl|
|iSCSI Initiator Properties||iscsicpl|
|Language Pack Installer||lpksetup|
|Local Group Policy Editor||gpedit|
|Local Security Policy||secpol|
|Local Users and Groups||lusrmgr|
|Malicious Software Removal Tool||mrt|
|Manage Your File Encryption Certificates||rekeywiz|
|Math Input Panel||mip*|
|Microsoft Management Console||mmc|
|Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool||msdt|
|NAP Client Configuration||napclcfg|
|New Scan Wizard||wiaacmgr|
|ODBC Data Source Administrator||odbcad32|
|ODBC Driver Configuration||odbcconf|
|Printer User Interface||printui|
|Private Character Editor||eudcedit|
|Problem Steps Recorder||psr|
|Protected Content Migration||dpapimig|
|Remote Access Phonebook||rasphone|
|Remote Desktop Connection||mstsc|
|Resultant Set of Policy||rsop|
|Securing the Windows Account Database||syskey|
|Set Program Access and Computer Defaults||computerdefaults|
|Share Creation Wizard||shrpubw|
|SQL Server Client Network Utility||cliconfg|
|Stored User Names and Passwords||credwiz|
|System Configuration Editor||sysedit (This command doesn’t work in the 64-bit version of Windows.)|
|System Properties (Advanced Tab)||systempropertiesadvanced|
|System Properties (Computer Name Tab)||systempropertiescomputername|
|System Properties (Hardware Tab)||systempropertieshardware|
|System Properties (Remote Tab)||systempropertiesremote|
|System Properties (System Protection Tab)||systempropertiesprotection|
|Tablet PC Input Panel||tabtip*|
|Trusted Platform Module (TPM) Management||tpm|
|User Account Control Settings||useraccountcontrolsettings|
|Version Reporter Applet||winver|
|Windows Activation Client||slui|
|Windows Anytime Upgrade Results||windowsanytimeupgraderesults|
|Windows Disc Image Burning Tool||isoburn|
|Windows DVD Maker||dvdmaker*|
|Windows Easy Transfer||migwiz*|
|Windows Fax and Scan||wfs|
|Windows Firewall with Advanced Security||wf|
|Windows Help and Support||winhlp32|
|Windows Media Player||wmplayer*|
|Windows Memory Diagnostic Scheduler||mdsched|
|Windows Mobility Center||mblctr|
|Windows Picture Acquisition Wizard||wiaacmgr|
|Windows PowerShell ISE||powershell_ise*|
|Windows Remote Assistance||msra|
|Windows Repair Disc||recdisc|
|Windows Script Host||wscript|
|Windows Update Standalone Installer||wusa|
|Access Screen Resolution page||desk.cpl|
|Access Mouse properties||main.cpl|
|Access Windows Action Center||wscui.cpl|
|Access Network Adapters||ncpa.cpl|
|Access Power Option||powercfg.cpl|
|Access the Programs and Features Window||appwiz.cpl|
|Access the System Properties||sysdm.cpl|
|Access the Windows Firewall||firewall.cpl|
|*You cannot run these commands from a command prompt or the search box.|
As you can see, the Windows Run command is one of the best utilities you can find in Windows. Besides the commands shared above that first come to mind, there are many other commands to access different parts of Windows. So if you think that we missed any of your favorite Run commands, do share them in the comments below.