Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

A List of Vista & Windows 7 Run Commands

Today I thought I would post a “cheat sheet” list for you guys.

run_dboxRun” is a “keyboard shortcut” way of quickly launching programs and utilities, and also accessing “Settings” menus and tools that otherwise are hidden.
To get to “Run“, press the Windows logo key + “R”, together.

This list is not a complete listing, but looking at it, and exploring a bit, may help you on the road to becoming a “power user”. Some of these I use a lot. Others, I never have.
(Though this is a Vista/Win7 list.. most of these work on the older XP as well.)

Open Run and type the (bold text) command, then press Enter. It fast, and simple (as keyboard shortcuts are meant to be).. Uber Geeks have many of these memorized.. but you may prefer to print it out, or bookmark this page.

  • Action Center= wscui.cpl
  • Administrative Tools = control admintools
  • Backup and Restore = sdclt
  • Cleartype Text Tuner = cttune
  • Computer Management = compmgmt.msc or CompMgmtLauncher
  • Control Panel = control
  • Create a System Repair disc = recdisc
  • Device Manager = devmgmt.msc
  • Devices and Printers = control printers
  • Direct X Troubleshooter = dxdiag
  • Disk Management = diskmgmt.msc
  • Event Viewer = eventvwr.msc
  • File Signature Verification Tool = sigverif
  • Folders Options = control folders
  • Keyboard = control keyboard
  • Microsoft Management Console = mmc
  • Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool = msdt
  • Mouse = control mouse or main.cpl
  • Performance Monitor = perfmon.msc
  • Personalization = control desktop
  • Power Configuration = powercfg.cpl
  • Print management = printmanagement.msc
  • Printer User Interface = printui
  • Problems Steps Recorder = psr
  • Programs and Features = appwiz.cpl or control appwiz.cpl
  • Recovery = control.exe /name Microsoft.Recovery
  • Registry Editor = regedit or regedt32
  • Resource Monitor = resmon
  • Services = services.msc
  • System Configuration Utility = msconfig
  • System Information = msinfo32
  • System Properties = sysdm.cpl or Windows logo key + Pause/Break
  • System Restore = rstrui
  • Task Manager = taskmgr
  • Task Scheduler = control schedtasks
  • Taskbar and Start Menu = control.exe /name Microsoft.TaskbarandStartMenu
  • User Accounts Windows = netplwiz or control userpasswords2
  • Volume Mixer = sndvol
  • Windows Activation Phone Numbers = slui 4
  • Windows Easy Transfer = migwiz
  • Windows Memory Diagnostic = MdSched
  • Windows Standalone Update Manager = wusa
  • Windows System Security Tool = syskey
  • Windows Version = winver

Accessories

  • Calculator = calc
  • Character Map = charmap
  • Command Prompt = cmd
  • Connect to a Network Projector = NetProj
  • Connect to a Projector = displayswitch or Windows logo key + P
  • Defragment User Interface = dfrgui
  • Disk Cleanup Utility = cleanmgr
  • Magnifier = magnify
  • Microsoft Paint = mspaint.exe
  • Narrator = Narrator
  • Notepad = notepad
  • On Screen Keyboard = osk
  • Presentation Settings = PresentationSettings
  • Remote Desktop Connection = mstsc
  • Snipping Tool = snippingtool
  • Sound Recorder = soundrecorder
  • Sticky Note = StikyNot
  • Sync Center = mobsync
  • Windows Explorer = explorer or Windows logo key + E
  • Windows Mobility Center (Only on Laptops) = Windows logo key + X
  • Wordpad = write

Internet Explorer = iexplore
Internet Explorer (No Add-ons) = iexplore -extoff
Internet Explorer (No Home) = iexplore about:blank

  • Windows Fax and Scan = wfs
  • Windows Fax and Scan Cover Page Editor = fxscover
  • Windows Media Player = wmplayer
  • Windows Media Player DVD Player = dvdplay

Logs out of Windows = logoff
Shuts Down Windows = shutdown

Related articles:

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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January 30, 2012 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, keyboards and mice, Microsoft, PC, tech, tweaks, Vista, Windows 7 | , , , , , | 8 Comments

How To Customize Your Save/Open Shortcuts Sidebar

Whenever you Open or Save a file in Windows, a standard ‘dialog box’ appears, which has shortcut locations on the left “sidebar”. You can easily customize these locations to add or remove folders/places to best suit your personal usage habits.

For example, I never use the “Public” folder, nor do I do music on my PC (other than listen to Spotify), and I cannot recall ever, in decades of using a computer, wanting to Save As something to my recent searches list — why have those in my sidebar?
I do however, have certain ‘go to’ locations I would like see listed..

Here is the how-to tutorial for customizing the shortcuts:

1. Open a dialog box (either a Save As or Open dialog will work).
2. Right click on some white space in the locations on the left pane and select Open Favorite Links Folder. (or navigate to: “C:\Users\your User name\Links”.)

You will now see the “default” shortcuts listed (these are ‘shortcuts to’ and not the actual locations, and so it is safe to delete them).

3. Add or remove shortcuts as desired. (A quick way to access your folders, so you can ‘drag and drop’ them, is to ‘expand’ the folders list.)

To continue my example, I will delete (or, drag to the Recycle bin) the shortcuts in the main pane: Music, Public, and Searches (as I don’t use ’em ever).

For some reason.. Public tried to re-appear, so I ‘deleted’ it a second time.. to make it ‘stick’..
I then located the two folders I most use (Desktop and Downloads)

4. Right-click on the folder you wish to add, and drag it into the main ‘pane’, let go (release the click) and choose Add shortcut here.


Your changes should take effect immediately, as you can see by the new icons in my sidebar.

(Yes, Desktop is there twice now.. but my change is the icon on top, which means it will always show, even if my dialog box is scrunched down to tiny size)

If you make mistakes, or just want to go back to the standard (aka ‘default’) list, repeat Step 1, but choose Restore Default Favorite Links.

Today’s quote:Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” ~ John Muir

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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January 9, 2012 Posted by | advice, computers, file system, how to, Microsoft, PC, software, tech, tweaks, Vista, Windows 7 | , , , | Leave a comment

How To Restore The Menu Bar In Vista And Windows 7

In older versions of Windows, the menu bar was always visible in Explorer. In Vista and Windows 7 the menu bar is now hidden by default, and you must press the ALT key to see it. These simple steps will cause it to always be visible.
(The “menu bar” gives you the familiar File | Edit | View |Tools | Help ‘drop down’ menus)

1) Launch Explorer by opening Computer (or Documents, or Pictures..), then press ALT to access the menu bar.

2) Click on Tools and then on Folder options.

3) In the Folder Options window, click on the View tab, and click to place a check in Always show menus.

menus

4) Click on Apply and then OK.

That’s it. You’re done. (Should you decide you prefer the “more screen real estate” no menu bar look, simply repeat the steps and un-check the box.)

Today’s quotable quote:Action without study is fatal. Study without action is futile.” ~ Mary Beard

Today’s free download: (an “oldie but a goodie”) It has been a while since I have mentioned one of my fave little computer protection apps – WinPatrol.

Clean up your Taskbar, ActiveX, Brower and Startup programs. WinPatrol monitors and exposes adware, keyloggers, spyware, worms, cookies, and other malicious software. This program puts you back in control of your computer with no need for constant updates.
Download WinPatrol 20.5.2011 (Window XP, Vista, Windows 7 including x64 support)

Have a great weekend everybody!

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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June 18, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Microsoft, PC, tech, tweaks, Vista, Windows 7 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quickly Open Programs With A Keyboard “Shortcut”

All of us have our favorite, and “most used” programs. And we probably have created Desktop (icon) shortcuts for them, and perhaps, added them to our QuickLaunch area, so we can get right to them. This tutorial shows how there’s an easier and faster way to start them. (Works in all versions of Windows.)

I use Microsoft Word rather frequently (but not frequently enough to put in my crowded QuickLaunch) – so I am going to use it as my example. Normally, to get to Word, I have to:

  • Click the Start button
  • Click All Programs
  • Scroll down to and click Microsoft Office
  • And click on Word 2010

That’s too many steps! Let’s fix that.

1) Go to the start menu and right-click on the program for which the keyboard shortcut is to be created. In my case, Word.

2) Click on Properties.

3) Locate the Shortcut key pane, and click once inside it.

4) Press – once – the key you want to become your launcher-shortcut. (In my case, I chose “W”, for “Word”.)

Once the key is selected, ‘Ctrl + Alt’ is automatically added.

5) Click Apply, then OK.

That’s it. From now on, to open Word I simply have to press Ctrl and Alt and the selected key –> W (a modified “three-fingered salute”). You can do this as many times as you like, for as many programs as you like, such as setting Ctrl+Alt+E to open Excel.. but you cannot use the same letter/key (duplication) more than once.

I think you’ll agree, Ctrl+Alt+W is slightly faster and easier than

  • Click the Start button
  • Click All Programs
  • Scroll down to and click Microsoft Office
  • And click on Word 2010

Today’s quotable quote:Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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June 6, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, keyboards and mice, Microsoft, PC, performance, tech, tweaks, Vista, Windows, Windows 7 | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Don’t Want IE 9? How To Turn Off The Update Nag

For those of you not ready to switch to IE 9, or want to go back to IE 8, this article (written back when Microsoft was moving us from IE 7 to IE 8) tells you what you need to know.. I simply updated it by changing the number!

IE 8 9 is an “Important” Update, Yes, But I Don’t Want It

Sometimes we need to tell Windows Update to stop prompting us to install a particular Update.
Ups_avail

When Microsoft has released important and/or critical Updates (aka “patches”) for us, Windows has various ways of letting us know, including a System Tray icon. [note: The normal route for accessing Update choices is Start >Windows Update, or Start >Programs >Windows Update. Click “View available updates”.]

I am a big fan of Updates. I (almost) always install them the moment I become aware of them. I use Secunia’s Personal Software Inspector to keep an eye on all my installed programs’ update state.. and I recommend you do too. Updates are ‘good’ and you want them.

Tip of the day: Manage Windows Updates prompts.
Currently, Microsoft Update is annoying me by continuously nagging me that there are Updates available. And when I click on the icon to see just what these updates are…
Hide_Update

.. and I see that there is just one Update Microsoft wants me to install (the others only rate “optional”) — Internet Explorer 8 9.
Now, I understand why Microsoft wants us to be using a more secure browser (and I understand why it’s considered “important”) and I will upgrade from IE7 8 on most of my machines — but not all. Not yet.

So I right-click on the Update I don’t want to be nagged about and then click on “Hide update”.

That’s it. I’m done. Windows Update will no longer prompt me to install this (now) ‘hidden’ update. At a later date, to see Updates that I’ve hidden, I just click on “Show hidden updates”. I can undo my change.

Note: This technique can be used on any Update — such as troublesome Updates that cause incompatibility issues, such as a BSOD. If a Windows Update install causes you trouble, and you need to uninstall it, the “Hide” tip won’t help you (it’s too late). Please refer to the 3rd answer in this article, IE’s Menu bar, Taskbar icons, and bad Updates*, to see how to remove Updates.
After you get that Update uninstalled, (then) use the Hide feature to prevent Windows Update from re-Installing it on you again.

To uninstall IE 8 9: Uninstalling IE 8 9 will automatically restore your older version (IE 8). Please see Microsoft’s official How To, here, How do I uninstall or remove Internet Explorer 8? How do I install or uninstall Internet Explorer 9?

Today’s free download(s):
* Panda Cloud Antivirus Panda Security has a ‘new’ type of antivirus – Internet based. “FREE, antivirus service for consumers which is able to process and block malware more efficiently than locally installed signature-based products.”
[For more, also see Panda Cloud Antivirus – Is it netbook ready?]

* Adeona is the first Open Source system for tracking the location of your lost or stolen laptop that does not rely on a proprietary, central service. This means that you can install Adeona on your laptop and go.

Today’s quotable quote:You can observe a lot just by watching.” ~ Yogi Berra

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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June 4, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, ie 8, IE 9, Microsoft, PC, removing Updates, software, tech, troubleshooting, tweaks | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Firefox 3, or 4 (or 5)? + Turn Off the "Upgrade" Nag

A reader wrote in and asked a good question. The answer(s) will be good “general knowledge” even for those of you who are not currently running Mozilla’s Firefox web browser.

Q:If I may impose on you for information, have you upgraded Firefox to version 4.0.1? I keep saying no when the browser asks me, but my Mom let it upgrade.

Several things won’t work with V 4… Such as the ZoneAlarm browser toolbar and her HP All-In-One printer plugin.

She wants me to roll her FF version back to V 3.6.17 so those items will work, but I’m concerned about potential security issues.

Thank you

A: Dear Reader,
Yours is a very good question, and poses an interesting choice. And, it shows how two “rules of thumb” can sometimes contradict.

* For security, you always want to be running the latest version (and promptly apply any “updates”) of any software.

* Don’t buy version 1 of anything (aka “wait for the service pack”) unless you enjoy being a product guinea pig (aka “bug finder”).

In my mind, Firefox 4 (and the new beta of 5) is enough of a change as to qualify as a ‘new product’, (and also has compatibility issues with some of my add-ons) and so I will not install it until version 4.1 (or 4.2) is released (give the product some time to mature).

Yes, this (staying with FF 3) may (probably does) pose some security “risk”, and is certainly not a long-term answer — bullet point 1 should not be ignored and bullet point 2 will become ‘false’ as newer version of FF 4 are released (and the Add-ons authors update theirs to better work with FF4). In the meantime, while I await v4.1, I have turned off the “upgrade now?” prompt.

To avoid being nagged:
1) Click on the Tools menu, then click Options.

2) Click on the Advanced tab (gray gear icon).

3) Click on the Update tab in the Advanced window.

ff_updt

4) Un-ckeck the “Firefox” checkbox, and then click OK.

That’s it. Now the automated “there’s a new version” prompting will stop (Firefox’s updater will now be in “manual mode”… meaning it is up to you to check the availability of new versions. You can do this anytime by clicking the Help menu, then “Check for updates”).

* 5) [at some future date] When I do install a newer version, I will make sure the automatic update checking is re-enabled (by reversing these steps), as the first bullet point stated, I normally want automatic updating.

Today’s free download: If you find that you too want to revert to the last version of Firefox 3 (or.. contrarily, get the beta of 5) the download site FileHippo is my choice. FileHippo’s right-hand column contains a string of downloads, starting with the most recent, and (usually) going back all the way to the original release. Click here and scroll down that list to “version 3.6.17”. FileHippo is where I go when I need an older version.

Today’s quotable quote:If you really put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price.”  ~ Author Unknown

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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May 28, 2011 Posted by | advice, browsers, computers, Firefox, free software, how to, Internet, PC, performance, tech, troubleshooting, tweaks | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

How To Rip Your CD’s To MP3

MP3 is the “universal” digital music format. By using this format, your music collection will likely play on any music player device, for many years yet to come.

wmp_icon The newer versions of Windows Media Player (v’s 11 and 12) come with the ability to rip (copy from CD) music to mp3 files. Many music players, including Apple’s iPod, will not play the default .wma format,  but by switching to the mp3 format, you ensure that you can listen to your music on any music-playing device.

With these easy steps, you can set Windows Media Player to always “rip” your music CD’s to mp3 files.

1) Open the Windows Media Player (WMP): Click the Start button, then All programs, and scroll down the list (Or, type WMP in the Search pane).

2) Click the downward arrow under the Rip button

3) Select More options. (It should open to the Rip Music tab.)

wmp_opts

4) In the Format section, use the drop-down arrow to select mp3.

4a) * Optional: you can also user the “slider” to set the music Audio quality “bit rate” from lower quality+smaller file size to highest quality+larger file size.
(I have chosen “Best Quality”, as I do not have an extensive music collection, and the size of my library is not an issue for me.)

5) Now click the Apply button, and then the OK button to close out the Settings window.

That’s it. You’re done. Until you go back in and undo your changes, Windows Media Player will always copy your music CD’s to the more portable, and universal, mp3 file type.

Today’s free download: If you are on an older Windows computer, and have not yet “upgraded” your version of WMP to Windows Media Player 12, you can download it here.

Today’s quotable quote: Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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May 20, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, digital music, file system, how to, Microsoft, PC, Portable Computing, tweaks | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments