How to Launch any Program Quickly Using Vista's Run Command.


Windows has a great feature which few users know about or use.  It's the ability to run virtually any program just by typing its name or an abbreviation of its name.

It sure beats having all those shortcuts on your desktop, or having to navigate through the start menu to find your program.

You can run any program on your computer through the "Run" command in the Windows start menu, and what's more you can make the command practically any word you want. For example on my computer I can open the run command and type 'word' for Microsoft word, 'itunes' for itunes, and 'ff' for firefox, etc. The choice of the name is yours.

In fact you don't have to even use the start menu to open the Run command. Instead use the keyboard shortcut Windows key + R.

How to Set Up Your Own Commands

First of all your have to know how the run command feature in Windows works.

When you type a command into "Run"  Windows looks through certain folders for a program file or shortcut to a program file that has the same name as you typed. If it find the file it then opens it.

One of the first folders searched is Windows/System32.   So if you place shortcuts to your programs in that folder then they will be available from the Run command.

Here's how you do it.

Let's say you want to make Firefox available from the run menu just by typing "ff".

First locate the firefox.exe program in the Program Files folder. Right click on the .exe file and select "Send to" then "Desktop". That will create a shortcut to Firefox on your desktop.

Now move the shortcut to the Windows/System32 folder and rename the shortcut to "ff".

(TIP: To open the 'system32' folder, simply open run command and type in 'system32' (without the quotes) and press enter. Note that the shortcut must go directly into the root system32 folder, not in any of the folders in the system32 folder.)

That's it, you have finished.

After that, simply press Windows key + R to bring up run command and type in "ff" and press enter and Firefox will run.

Now repeat this procedure for your other programs.  Once done, sit back and enjoy quicker and easier computing :)


TIP 1: If you can't find run command in Windows Vista, you can enable it by, opening the start menu, right clicking in a black area on the right of the menu, and selecting properties, then customize, then scroll to near the bottom, and check the box next to 'run command'.

TIP 2 : If you have Vista with UAC (user account control) enabled, it will ask you for admin confirmation when you try to edit anything in system32 folder. This includes renaming, so to avoid annoyance, you may wish to rename the shortcut before you paste it into the folder.


This is an edited version of an article submitted by user thesam101.


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