Monday, September 14, 2009

Windows Run commands you probably never knew

The Windows Run box is a very useful utility to launch programs and applications quickly. There are more than a hundred run commands that let you launch all sorts of built in Windows applications such as Control Panel modules, and system tools like Disk Defragmenter, Device Manager, Group Policy Editor etc. Most of these commands are well documented – you will find plenty of run command lists on the web, published and republished countless number of times. But I’m pretty sure you will never find the following commands in any of these lists.

Trick 1: Open your home directory

The home directory is located at C:\Documents and Settings\Username in Windows XP and C:\Users\Username in Windows Vista and 7. The quickest way to open this directory is to open the Run box (Win+R) and type “.” – a single dot. Then hit enter. Try it.


Trick 2: Open the users directory

The users directory is the directory one folder above the home directory, i.e. C:\Documents and Settings in Windows XP and C:\Users in Windows Vista and 7. To open this directory, type 2 dots in the Run box and hit enter.


Trick 3: Open My Computer

To quickly open My Computer, open the Run box and type 3 dots, like this.


Trick 4: Open system drive

The system drive is the one where Windows is installed, usually the C drive. To open this drive through the Run box type “\” – the backslash.


Do you know any more tricks? Share with us.


  1. Awesome...never knew those commands. Thank you

  2. i do love these short cuts they can come in so useful

  3. this is fun.
    but i doubt that it would be any useful than shortcuts like 'windows key + E' and the likes.

  4. "..." does the same thing as "." for me in Win7. Most useful shortcut I know is Windows Key + Pause|Break to get to My Computer Properties

  5. at the command prompt type "start ." will open up explorer.

  6. Sweet, they will coem in handy. Juat tried them then and they work :)

  7. Awesome Stuff! Great for a nobbled o/s!

  8. There are a whole bunch of short commands you could type in there to get access to control panel features. If you type 'appwiz.cpl' you will get Add/Remove programs window which is one of the most often used. Search for "shortcuts appwiz.cpl" to get more such list of commands to invoke control panel applets from Run command line.

  9. Too Good man... i ended up flabbergasted. Thanks for OMG for the day!

  10. type in shutdown and it makes the computer really fast

  11. WindowsKey + R, then ‘.’, then enter – opens your User directory
    WindowsKey + R, then ‘..’, then enter – opens directory of User directories
    WindowsKey + R, then ‘…’, then enter – opens My Computer
    WindowsKey + R, then ‘/’, then enter – opens your home drive (logical drive Windows was installed to)

    WindowsKey + U – Utilities Manager – access the Magnifier, Narrator, Onscreen keyboard
    WindowsKey + F – Find dialog

    WindowsKey + L – Lock desktop

    WindowsKey + B – keyboard access to System Tray icons and menus
    WindowsKey + M – keyboard access to Desktop icons
    WindowsKey + ALT – keyboard access to current application’s top menu bar
    WindowsKey + ‘Tab’ button – keyboard access to minimised application windows on the taskbar
    WindowsKey + ‘Menu’ button (often has a dropdown list printed on it, near bottom right of keyboard) – keyboard access to context menu, given the current focus / mouse pointer location.

  12. type dxdiag and hit enter for a direct x diagnostic of your system.... tells you how much memory you have .. what kind of processor...what kind of graphics card you have and some other things.

  13. On my Vista computer. One "." had the same effect as three "...". It opened my home directory.

  14. These aren't really "commands" so much as "arguments" to the command "start". "." refers to the current directory, and ".." refers to the parent directory (the directory that contains the current directory). Some versions of DOS and Windows allowed "..." which meant the parent of the parent directory. But other versions won't accept that, and only accept "..\.." as parent of parent.

    When commands are run from the Run box, they are started in your home directory. So "start ." opens the current directory, which is your home.
    I'm not on my 7 box at the moment, but running "..\..\.." should get you to My Computer. "..\..\..\.." should get you to the Desktop.

  15. A usful DOS equivalent is:
    In any DOS window type 'start .' to open an explorer window at the current DOS path.

  16. Someone has asked me how do they keep the run box open so they can use it as an address bar for their favorite web addresses.

    They showed me their pc with it open permanantly and they wanted it on their laptop. I've not got a clue how to do this...

    Any help appreciated...thank you

  17. Just use this program to pin the run box on top of other windows.

  18. my favorites are
    WindowsKey + D - show the Desktop by hiding all windows (repeat to bring them back
    WindowsKey + E - opens "My Computer" window

  19. WindowsKey + R > shell:::{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

    It gives a full list of possible actions from the configuration menu

  20. Delete System 32, makes it run super good.

  21. /calc opens calculator

  22. um...these were intuitive to anyone who has ever used DOS, common sense to Linux users, and still way beyond your average Windows user capability or need

  23. it's amazing .
    any more idea or tricks then upload
    i want it
    thanks for this
    god bless you

  24. WOW what a tricks.. i love it...

  25. Can you say DOS? These are all old DOS change directory commands.

  26. Thanks Highmastdon, but isn't there another simpler way to get to: All Tasks ?

  27. awesome :)
    windowkey + x opens windows mobility center.

    this allows you to change display brightness, volume, turn a wireless connection on or off, access sync settings and change the power plan.

  28. Which windows do you use to do that?

  29. it is amazing; please share more information.

  30. thanks for that tip that's very useful

  31. Format C:...Install BeOS R5


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