Common Windows Run Commands You Should Know

Use these 15 common Run commands to increase productivity at work in Windows.

Windows stores all your user files and folders in the C drive:Users, followed by your username. In Windows 10, it takes several clicks to go to that folder with File Explorer [This PC > Windows (C:) > Users > Your username].

But there is a much faster way to get to that folder; you just need to enter a single period [ . ] into a Run dialog box, and that’s it.

The Run dialog box is a quick way to open programs, folders and files. To access the box, you can either press the shortcut key Windows+R on the keyboard, or right-click the Start menu and select Run from the context menu.

It becomes very productive at work in Windows once you memorize and use these 15 common Windows Run commands, which are indicated in square brackets below.

  1. Open the folder of the current user [ . ]
    – Go straight to the folder of the current user directly in File Explorer.
  2. Open the Users folder [ .. ]
    – Access to the Users folder in File Explorer showing all users.
  3. Open the Windows 10 drive [ \ ]
    – Open a new File Explorer window with the contents of your C Drive.
  4. Open the Control Panel [control]
    – Easily access the Control Panel, which is not easy to locate as Microsoft tries to replace it with the new Settings.
  5. Open common Microsoft apps [calc], [notepad], [mspaint], etc.
    – You may use these basic apps from time to time and don’t want to pin them to the limited space on the taskbar or Start menu.
  6. Open Character Map [charmap]
    – Select and copy any of the characters in the font of your choice.
  7. Open Device Manager [devmgmt.msc]
    – Enable or disable hardware components and manage their drivers.
  8. Open Magnifier [magnify]
    – Open the Windows magnifier to magnify the content on the screen and read aloud the text on the screen with a screen reader.
  9. Open Disk Cleanup utility [cleanmgr]
    – Use Disk Cleanup to free up certain amount of disk space for Windows.
  10. Access System Information [msinfo32]
    – Get to know your system information about the hardware resources, components and software environment.
  11. Access Power Options [powercfg.cpl]
    – Choose or customize a power plan, and manage how your computer uses power.
  12. Open Resource Monitor [resmon]
    – Check how your system is managing the resources, including CPU, memory, disk and network, and help identify any performance issues.
  13. Open Command Prompt [cmd]
    – Open the Command Prompt to execute commands for administrative functions. To run the Command Prompt as an administrator, type “cmd” into the Run dialog box and press Ctrl+Shift+Enter.
  14. Open Registry Editor [regedit]
    – Make changes to the Windows registry when necessary, but don’t mess with it.
  15. Turn Windows features on/off [optionalfeatures]
    – Enable or disable some of the advanced features that you need, or need not, in Windows.

Windows system seldom changes these commands from one version to another. They mostly work in recent versions of Windows, including Windows 7, 8 and 10, followed by Windows 11.
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