25 Windows startup commands you need to remember

Using Windows Run commands is a very efficient way to directly access various Windows settings and applications.

If you memorize the Run commands, you will be able to access a specific application in just 2 steps instead of many clicks.

Personally, I do not like to often reach for the mouse; so I memorized all the necessary keyboard shortcuts and commands to minimize mouse interaction. And Run commands are the backbone of my daily PC use for efficiently accessing various Windows settings and applications.

If you want to be productive, I recommend that you memorize the Run commands. To get you started, I will list some of the commonly used commands that I find most useful for everyday use.

How to open the Run dialog box?

To use Run commands, you need to know how to open the Run dialog box to enter commands. There are two ways to access the Run dialog box in Windows 10.

You can either press the Windows + R keys on your keyboard, or you can right-click the Start menu and select Run from the menu.

I recommend that you use the keyboard shortcut as it is much faster and you don't have to use the mouse. With the Run dialog box open, type any of the commands listed below and press the Enter key or click the OK button to execute it.

No. 1. Access to system configuration - "msconfig"

Starting with my favorite command, the System Configuration window consists of several tabs for managing boot options and background services.

If you are dual booting or need to access Safe Mode frequently, you will often need to access these settings. Be sure to check out the Tools section for easy access to some of the most powerful Windows tools.

#2 Access Resource Monitor - "resmon"

A very powerful application to view real-time information about your system resources such as CPU, RAM, disk and network. This is the best tool to get the information you need for any computer freezing or performance issues.

Number 3. Open system information - "msinfo32"

The System Information app offers extensive information about both the hardware and software of your PC. This is a mandatory command if you need to see the characteristics of any PC. The information is well organized with dedicated categories and you can export the information to a file to share with anyone - perfect for getting technical help online.

No. 4. Access to the backup and restore window - "sdclt"

It opens a backup and restore window where you can either set up a backup of your PC or restore it from an old backup if your PC has a problem.

No. 5. Access to the properties of the mouse - "main.cpl"

Here you can manage all the settings related to your computer mouse. This includes mouse speed, buttons, wheel, pointer, etc.

#6: Open the Windows Registry - "regedit"

If you ever need access to the Windows Registry to tweak something, this is the easiest way to do it. Until recently, I did not even know other ways to access the registry, and I often fiddled with the registry. Other methods are simply too cumbersome to use.

No. 7. Access to system properties - "sysdm.cpl"

Another powerful settings window for managing system security and remote connection features. I personally refer to it often to manage performance settings in the Advanced tab. There you can manage some interesting performance enhancement options.

No. 8. Manage Windows Power Options - "powercfg.cpl"

Here you will find all the power management options for your PC. There are many options for both saving energy and improving performance. Check out this guide to optimize your nutritional settings as you see fit.

#9: Open Windows Components - "Additional Features"

Here you can disable/enable some of the most advanced features of Windows. I wouldn't recommend you mess around here unless you know what you're doing. You will need to use this window if you ever need to enable features such as the Telnet client or Hyper-V .

No. 10. Open magnifying glass - "enlarge"

This opens the Windows Magnifier to magnify the content on the screen up to 1600% if needed. It also has a built-in screen reader to read text on the screen aloud.

#11: Open the Character Map App

Windows character maps allow you to access all the characters in a font of your choice so that they can be easily used anywhere. You can either copy the symbol or find out its Alt-code to enter anywhere. Using the search bar is the easiest way to find the character you need.

No. 12. Access to network connections - "ncpa.cpl"

Here you can manage your current network connection and troubleshoot any problems with your network device. You can enable/disable the network, check the current status, connect bridges, or view your Wi-Fi password.

#13 Run the Malicious Software Removal Tool - "mrt"

It is an on-demand virus removal tool provided by Microsoft to scan your PC and look for any malware. If you think your computer is infected with a virus, you can quickly run this tool to scan your computer.

You may also want to consider installing antivirus software to keep your Windows computer safe.

#14 Open Device Manager - "devmgmt.msc"

Device Manager is the place to manage everything related to your hardware components and their drivers. You can enable/disable hardware components or manage their drivers, such as removing or updating them.

#15 User Account Management - "netplwiz"

Here you can quickly manage user accounts, such as adding a new account or user account types such as "Administrator" or "Standard". You can also change the password of user accounts here and manage their security.

#16 Open Services Application - "services.msc"

This application lists all the services that run in the background without an interface and all the features work on Windows. Again, you shouldn't mess with any services unless you know what you're doing. However, you can click on a service to see what it does in the left pane. There are many services that you can enable/disable depending on your needs. For example, I disabled the Bluetooth service because I don't use it.

No. 17. Accessing the Programs and Features window - "appwiz.cpl"

Although Windows 10 has its own option to uninstall an app, I still use this command as it only shows third party apps. The Windows uninstaller shows all apps by default, including the built-in apps, of which there are over 30. It can be difficult to always browse through so many apps in order to uninstall a recently installed app. This command speeds up the process.

No. 18. Open the control panel - "control"

This command didn't matter much in the old version of Windows as you could easily access the Control Panel in various ways. However, in Windows 10, Microsoft is pushing new settings instead of the old Control Panel, so it doesn't offer an easy way to access the Control Panel. This simple command makes it easy to access it.

No. 19. Open the folder of the current user - "." (period)

We have to access the user folder quite often in Windows, but we don't need File Explorer to access it. Just type a period in the Run dialog box and the current user folder will open.

No. 20. Open the on-screen keyboard - "osk"

If you want to use the on-screen keyboard, then using the Run command is one of the quickest ways to do so.

#21 Open the snipping tool

The Snipping Tool is still a popular tool for taking screenshots on Windows 10 without using a third party app. If you use the Snipping Tool to take screenshots, this "Run" command will make things easier for you.

#22: Open Windows Memory Diagnostic - "mdsched"

If you think you have a RAM problem, this tool can check your RAM and possibly fix the problem or let you know if there is a problem. If you start seeing sudden freezes or crashes, it could mean you have a RAM issue.

#23 Open any website - "Paste Website URL"

You can also enter the URL of any website in the Run dialog box and it will open in your default browser. For example, if you type www.toadmin.ru.com in the Run command, the home page of toadmin.ru opens in your default browser.

#24 Open Remote Desktop Connection - "mstsc"

You can use this feature to remotely connect to another PC and take full control of it. However, you will first need to set up both computers for remote connection. This "Run" command simply simplifies the process.

No. 25. Open the command line - "cmd"

Unlike PowerShell, you can no longer access the command prompt by right-clicking the start menu. If you prefer to use Command Prompt instead of PowerShell to run commands, this is one of the easiest ways to open Command Prompt.


A distinctive feature of Run is that it remembers all the commands you enter. Therefore, to enter the command in the future, you will only need to type the first letter.

I also think that Run commands are more important in Windows 10 as it actively promotes the default Settings app. Most of the settings and apps I mentioned above are harder to access on Windows 10.

Then explore some of the best NirSoft utilities for Windows.

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