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 SettingsUsername in Windows XP and C:UsersUsername 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.

run-home   

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.

run-user

Trick 3: Open My Computer

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

run-mycomputer

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.

run-system

Do you know any more tricks? Share with us.

This Article Has 38 Comments
  1. Anonymous Reply

    Awesome…never knew those commands. Thank you

  2. Anonymous Reply

    Awesome.

  3. Anonymous Reply

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

  4. robb Reply

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

  5. Anonymous Reply

    "…" 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

  6. Anonymous Reply

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

  7. Anonymous Reply

    holy shit, cool

  8. Borellus Reply

    Sweet, they will coem in handy. Juat tried them then and they work 🙂

  9. Anonymous Reply

    Awesome Stuff! Great for a nobbled o/s!

  10. Victor Aroma Reply

    This is awesome!!!

    -Victor Aroma

  11. Mohan Arun L Reply

    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.

  12. Anonymous Reply

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

  13. Anonymous Reply

    type in shutdown and it makes the computer really fast

  14. Anonymous Reply

    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.

  15. Anonymous Reply

    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.

  16. William Starkey Reply

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

  17. Anonymous Reply

    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.

  18. Anonymous Reply

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

  19. dantheman66 Reply

    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

  20. Kaushik Patowary Reply

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

  21. Unknown Reply

    Format C:…Install Linux.

  22. Anonymous Reply

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

  23. Highmastdon Reply

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

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

  24. Anonymous Reply

    Delete System 32, makes it run super good.

  25. Anonymous Reply

    /calc opens calculator

  26. Anonymous Reply

    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

  27. chavdasunilkumar Reply

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

  28. PRASTmoz Reply

    Nice Tips, i'll try it

  29. Lola Reply

    WOW what a tricks.. i love it…

  30. Anonymous Reply

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

  31. allan Reply

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

  32. Student26 Reply

    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.

  33. iPhone Reply

    Which windows do you use to do that?

  34. Anonymous Reply

    it is amazing; please share more information.

  35. chatroulette Reply

    thanks for that tip that's very useful

  36. Saras Reply

    Amazing tips thanks a lot.

  37. Anonymous Reply

    how are you

  38. Anonymous Reply

    Format C:…Install BeOS R5

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