RAW Computing

Run commands from within Explorer in Windows


There are many ways to run programs in Windows and the simplest of course, is to click an item on the Start menu in Windows 7 and earlier, or click and app on the Start screen in Windows 8.

There is another way that you may not have thought of and in some circumstances it is more convenient than the standard methods. You can use Explorer.

Windows 8 is particualrly irritating when it comes to running programs like Notepad, WordPad, Paint and other accessories. Where are they? They aren't on the Start screen and they aren't on the desktop, so how do you run them?

This isn't just about Windows 8 though, and other Windows users may find this tip interesting. The reason is that most of the time you are using your PC, there is an Explorer window open.

More often than not, there is a window open on the desktop. At the top is the breadcrumb trail, which shows the path to the currently displayed folder. It may simply say Libraries > Documents, or ir could have something more complicated like Computer > Local Disk (D:) > Backup.

Click in the empty space to the right of this location and it changes. In the above examples it would change to Libraries\Documents or D:\Backup. The text is highlighted, so you can simply type something in to overwrite it. What can you enter though?

You can enter cmd to open the command prompt window, notepad to start Notepad, mspaint to run Paint, google.com or any other URL to go to the website, write to open WordPad, taskmgr to run Task Manager, regedit to start the registry editor, stikynot to run Sticky Notes, calc to run Calculator and there are probably more.

It's an odd feature, but it works and it is similar to the Run box used for running commands. But why bother opening the run box when you can type directly into Exporer?

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