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The Run Command (Start -> Run)

by whoozhe
July 8, 2006

When computers, especially PCs, went from being text based systems to GUI (Graphical User Interface) ones many though the day of typing commands at a promt were well and truly over. To a point that is true but there are still a good number of tools and applications that users have found are far easier to access by typing in a command somewhere than filling their desktop will icons. Locating these tools via the windows menus can be a daunting task as one plunders deeper and deeper in the never ending menu hiarachy.

The introduction of the GUI desktop gave us icons and menus that hid the real commands that would be sent to the CPU. It saved us from all that typing in some cases a command could be long and complex opening it for typing errors and frustration trying to find that error. Not all commands have their associated icon or menu item.

Microsoft, in a rare display of wisdom, decide to leave users some easy method to enter commands. They called it the RUN command and made it accesible in the Start Menu.

For most the Run command is used to open tools and accessories normally found in various parts of the Control Panel but the it can be used to start any program. One could run their whole system just from the run command, just like it was done in the early days of DOS.

In the forum members could often see an answer that suggests typing a command in the Run command window. The reason is to simplify the process and avoid having to climb through layers of menus.

The most common suggestion would be to use the "msconfig" command. This opens the System Configuration Utility. Generally the reason to access this utilty is to prevent an application from loading during the boot up sequence.

Authors then to believe their application is the world's most important and it should always run in the background, whether it is needed all the time or not. Often it is one of these entries that cause problems in a system. A suggestion to prevent the particular application from kicking in from the start rarely affects the running of the application it represents and more often than not that part can be started manually when needed.

There are other commands that can be used in the Run command, some 156 more that allow direct access to various Windows utilities and settings that would otherwise be difficult to access. has a full graphical tutorial on the Run command and is worth a read.

When you are given a suggestion to use the
Run command don't be afraid as all you are doing is what computer users did for a long time and that was to type commands.

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