WindowsXP: Useful and Categorized Run commands for daily tasks


If you are a WindowsXP user and want to get rid of the time taken to open utilities like “Add/Remove Programs”, “Remote Desktop” etc. then worry no more. I will be listing down a few but most useful Windows Run commands here which will simplify your tasks. It will also make you look cool when you will use your friends computers with all these commands at your fingertips.

To start the Run box, hold down the Windows key and hit R (or from the Start Menu, choose “Run.”) From there type any one of the keywords listed below to launch the corresponding application.

First, we will start with most widely known commands.

  1. notepad : Starts windows notepad.
  2. calc : Opens the calculator.
  3. cmd : Opens the Command Prompt.
  4. regedit : Opens the registry editor.
  5. msconfig : System Configuration Utility (Open this to remove programs from your startup.)
  6. dxdiag : DirectX Troubleshooter
  7. mspaint : Opens Windows Paint.
  8. pbrush : Also Opens Windows Paint. (Yeah! lesser known)
  9. iexplore : Opens Internet explorer
  10. iexplore <sitename> : Opens the location specified by sitename in IE (E.g iexplore https://gurus.wordpress.com)
  11. firefox : Opens Firefox browser if it is installed.
  12. firefox <sitename> : Opens the location specified by sitename in Firefox (E.g firefox https://gurus.wordpress.com)
  13. explorer : Opens the Windows Explorer.

Now let us list down some lesser know but still useful Run commands.

  1. desktop : Opens your desktop folder in Explorer.
  2. charmap : Opens the Character Map.
  3. chkdsk : Opens the Check Disk Utility.
  4. clipbrd : Opens the Clipboard Viewer. (Use it to see the contents copied on your clipboard).
  5. cleanmgr : Opens the Disk Cleanup Utility.
  6. mstsc : For creating Remote Desktop connections.
  7. mstsc /v <server_name> : For creating Remote Desktop connections with the machine specified by server_name.
  8. winchat : Opens Microsoft Chat. (I didn’t know about this one earlier!)
  9. sysedit : Opens System Configuration Editor.
  10. taskmgr : Opens the Task Manager. (Ctrl + Alt + Del will be a better option)
  11. magnify : Starts Windows Magnifier.
  12. wab : Opens Windows Address Book.
  13. wmplayer : Opens Windows Media Player.
  14. msmsgs : Starts Windows Messenger.
  15. helpctr : Starts Help and Support.
  16. moviemk : Starts Microsoft Movie Maker
  17. conf : Starts NetMeeting.
  18. osk : Starts the On Screen Keyboard.
  19. eudcedit : Starts Private Character Editor. (You will be amazed to try this!)
  20. msinfo32 : Opens System Information.
  21. winver : Displays information about windows version.

Followings are the ones which opens up in Microsoft Management Console (MMC). Note that all of them ends with “.msc”.

  1. perfmon.msc : Opens Performance Monitor Utility (Really Cool!)
  2. diskmgmt.msc : Opens Disk Management Utility.
  3. gpedit.msc : Opens the Group Policy Editor on XP Prof
  4. devmgmt.msc : Opens Device Manager Utility.
  5. dfrg.msc : Opens Disk Defragment Utility.
  6. services.msc : Opens the Services List.
  7. fsmgmt.msc : Opens the Shared FoldersList.
  8. eventvwr.msc : Opens the Windows Event Viewer.
  9. lusrmgr.msc : Opens the Local Users and Groups

Followings are the ones which are used to open applications found in “Control Panel“. They are not hard to remember as all of them starts with the term “control“.

  1. control : Opens the “Control Panel”.
  2. control admintools : Opens the Administrative Tools section of Control Panel
  3. control desktop : Opens the Display Properties panel.
  4. control folders : Opens the Folders Properties panel.
  5. control fonts : Opens the Fonts Folder. (just ‘fonts’ will also do he trick)
  6. control keyboard : Opens Keyboard Properties panel.
  7. control mouse : Opens Mouse Properties panel.
  8. control netconnections : Opens the “Network Connections”.
  9. control printers : Opens the “Printers and Faxes”.
  10. control schedtasks : Opens “Scheduled Tasks”.

The followings are from Control Panel commands which ends with “.cpl”

  1. appwiz.cpl : Opens Add/Remove Programs. (One of my favorite. Try it out now!)
  2. hdwwiz.cpl : Opens Add Hardware Wizard.
  3. access.cpl : Opens Accessibility Controls.
  4. wuaucpl.cpl : Opens Automatic Updates.
  5. inetcpl.cpl : Opens Internet Properties.
  6. netsetup.cpl : Opens Network Setup Wizard.
  7. wscui.cpl : Opens Windows Security Center.
  8. mmsys.cpl : Opens Sounds and Audio.
  9. sysdm.cpl : Opens System Properties.
  10. nusrmgr.cp : Opens User Account Management.
  11. firewall.cpl : Opens Windows Firewall Options.
  12. timedate.cpl : Opens Date and Time Properties.

Followings are the shortcuts for the Windows games.

  1. winmine : Starts Minesweeper Game.
  2. mshearts : Starts the Hearts Card Game.
  3. spider : Starts Spider Solitare Card Game.
  4. freecell : Starts Free Cell Card Game.
  5. pinball : Starts the Pinball Game.

Followings are the commands to start some of your favorite applications, which do not come pre-installed on windows. (Note: These commands will work only if you have the corresponding applications installed on your system.)

  1. excel : Starts Microsoft Excel.
  2. frontpg : Starts Microsoft Frontpage.
  3. winword : Starts Microsoft Word.
  4. powerpnt : Starts Microsoft Powerpoint
  5. outlook : Starts Microsoft Outlook.
  6. acrobat : Starts Adobe Acrobat.
  7. imageready : Starts Adobe ImageReady.
  8. photoshop : Starts Adobe Photoshop.
  9. nero : Starts Nero Burning ROM.
  10. msimn : Starts Outlook Express.
  11. realplay : Starts Real Player.

NOTE 1: The commands I have listed here have been chosen and categorized based on their usefulness and frequency of use in a normal day to day use of WindowsXP by an average user. If you need a more exhaustive list of commands, please see Useful Run Commands for WindXP on FixMyXP.

NOTE 2: If you have Windows Vista then take a look at this.

NOTE 3: It took me more than 4 hours to categorize the commands and compile this post. 😉

15 comments so far

  1. Ramnath R Iyer on

    It is also useful to know some of the Win-key shortcuts:

    Win + L: Lock screen or switch user
    Win + R: Show the Run dialog
    Win + D: Show desktop/Restore windows
    Win + E: Open an explorer window
    Win + M: Minimize all open windows
    Win + F: Find files and folders

  2. vamsitellakula on

    another useful windows key shortcut.

    Win+pause break—>open my computer properties

    another shortcut for task manager

    Ctrl+Shift+Esc —> task manager

    these are found out by me while hanging with my comp.

  3. vamsitellakula on

    Wordpad can be opened using
    run command—>write

  4. Fr0z3n on

    Thanks for your additions. Keep them coming.

  5. fieryshadow on

    Another shortcut
    cntrl+escape —> open up the start menu

    and the most common shortcuts

    alt+tab –> switch b/w applications
    alt+F4 –> close application

  6. kane on

    thanx fiery.. for alt+tab and alt+F4
    :S

  7. mohit on

    keep on these technical knowledge.

  8. mohit on

    if you want to open properties of any selected item,click on that selected foldr of file and press alt+enter.

  9. Birender on

    good one try

  10. MeisteRyan on

    Ctrl + E —> My Computer

  11. MeisteRyan on

    ignore above ^ its actually win key + E which has already been posted 🙂

  12. Hussain on

    is there any facility to open my computer directly not with win+E

    Thanks …this site is very useful for me …..

  13. rajesh on

    windows xp64edition details plz send me my email

  14. rajesh on

    iternalmodem(internet) was not work in my system ,iam using windowsxp 64edition tell me what is the problem

  15. Shifali on

    Really Useful Commands. Thank you.


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