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


  • 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

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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

What is the difference between hibernation and sleep modes?

What is the difference between “hibernation” and “sleep”? Both are power-saving states designed to achieve a compromise betweenimages fully-powered (”on”) and total shutdown. Without these low-power states (Stand By, Sleep, and Hibernate), you would have to go through the whole Windows’ boot process each morning. Although Vista has a shorter boot than previous versions, it still takes longer than most of us would like to wait — we are prone to desire ”instant gratification” these days — and so we use Stand By, Sleep, or Hibernate.

I wrote an article on power states and how to make adjustments to when they kick in, and use the Power Options control panel. To read (or review) this article, click this link, More reader questions answered: power states. Today I want to answer the title’s question, and tell you how to enable Hibernation as a power-saving option if it is not already a part of your Power Options control panel.

To begin with, Hibernation is a deeper “off state” than Sleep (or Stand By, as it’s sometimes called), and thus offers greater power savings at the cost of a longer rebooting time. It is considered a “safer” state, in terms of data. This is because, unlike Sleep mode, Hibernation not only shuts down the power to peripherals (monitor, etc.) and hard drives, but also turns off the power to the RAM memory chips.

When you remove the power to RAM, any data there is “lost”, forgotten, gone — whatever unsaved document, open window, and such as that.
Hibernation “writes” (Saves) all the 1’s and 0’s that are in RAM to a reference file (on your hard drive) before un-powering RAM, and it “reads” this file and reloads the data into RAM when you come out of Hibernation, thus restoring you to where you ended your last ’session’.
(This “reading” and loading is why it takes longer to “wake” than coming out of Sleep.)

Sleep/Stand By mode retains the power to your RAM. There is no saving of RAM contents to a file and there’s no need ‘load’ it — and thus it’s faster.. with less power savings. If there was a power interruption, for some reason, while in this state (and you don’t have a UPS), then your unsaved RAM contents would be gone.

Laptop computers typically come with the Hibernation power-settings option enabled and desktops don’t. If you would like to add the Hibernation option to your desktop, or if for some reason (such as a sneaky Windows Update) your Hibernation option has disappeared and you would like it back, here’s how to restore it: open a command prompt (Start >Programs >Accessories >Command Prompt) and type in “powercfg -h on” (no quotes) and hit Enter. That’s it. Now you will find Hibernation settings in the Power Options area of your Control Panel.

* If instead you would like to remove the Hibernation mode, and disable it from your automatic power-saving settings, the command is “powercfg -h off” (no quotes).

Today’s free download: for those of you who like digital music, the Nexus Radio download is for you. This offers you not only 6000+ Internet radio stations you can listen to, but the ability to record directly to your hard drive.

* this post first appeared 11/7/07

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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April 7, 2009 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, PC, performance, tech, tweaks, Vista, Windows, XP | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Using Your Keyboard Instead Of Your Mouse*

I do pretty well, but I am not a fast typist. This is due to the fact that I just never seemed to get the hang of touch typing (read: never made the proper effort in mastering it). I use a bizarre self-invented method of two-handed hunting/pecking and common key memorization that astounds observers.

The reason I am as fast on a computer as I am is my use of keyboard shortcuts to navigate, edit, and control the machine. (A brief aside: I have tried voice recognition, but just cannot get used to talking to my computer– it makes me feel foolish.)

In the Realm of the Geek, one measure of your skill is how much you can do without touching your mouse. You may not know this but there is almost nothing you cannot do using only the keys on your keyboard. Using keyboard shortcuts is much faster, and gives me more granular control over my selections.

Tip(s) of the day: Use some common shortcuts to maximize your efficiency (and Geek Quotient).
I will start by pointing out what a quite a few of us simply were never told (unless we’ve been using Windows for many generations). You may have noticed (in some programs) that there’s a single letter underlined in each menu choice (and that this is standardized across all programs), such as the “F” in the File menu, “E” in Edit, and the “o” in Format– and this carries to submenus as well.

These are “Alt shortcuts”– hold down the “Alt” key and hit F, and the File drop-down menu opens; press the down arrow one time, and the Open dialogue opens; use the up and down arrow keys to select your file and hit Enter, and your file opens. All without touching the mouse.
One more important Alt shortcut is Alt+Tab: this cycles through your open program windows.

You may have also noticed a weird key located on the lowest left, between the “Ctrl” and “Alt” keys, that has the Windows logo on it. winkey1.jpgBelieve it or not this “Windows” key actually serves a purpose and does things.

A single tap opens your Start menu (again, the up/down arrows will allow you to select [highlight] your choice of the options). Combine it with other keys to: Winkey+R, opens the Run tool; Winkey+M, minimizes all open windows (sometimes handy for when the boss walks by); and Winkey+E opens Windows Explorer.

For navigating, the tools to use are the arrow keys. To move around in a document, a single click on an arrow key moves it one character; this is not a fun way to move whole sentences or paragraphs, so add the Ctrl key to move by whole words (or other blocks of characters) with the left/right arrow keys. And jump paragraphs with the up/down keys.
[Bonus tip: A Windows feature called Mousekeys allows you to mover your cursor with the arrow keys on your number pad. Turn it on by pressing Left SHIFT + ALT + NUM LOCK]

To highlight (select) the text, add the Shift key. Say I wanted to delete this whole paragraph, I would hit Ctrl+Shift+up arrow, and then either Delete or Backspace.. or just combine Ctrl+Backspace, and erase a sentence-a-press. Ctrl+A selects all.

The Page Up and Page Down, Home and End keys can speed your scrolling.

“Command shortcuts” are typically done with the “Ctrl” key, and you probably already are familiar with some of them: Ctrl+C is the Copy command, Ctrl+V is Paste, and — my favorite — Ctrl+Z is the Undo command.
A few others are: Ctrl+P followed by Enter will print your current page/document, Ctrl+S will Save it.

These are “universal” commands and can be used no matter which program or application you happen to have open. Most programs have their own set of shortcuts built in as added features, and if you use them a lot learning these can be a real boon. As a for instance, Microsoft Word has a whole slew of shortcuts (and the ability to record “macros”) to reduce the number of steps you need to accomplish tasks. If you spend a lot of time in Word, I suggest a search for “Word shortcuts” will be a big benefit to you as there’s a lot of published guides out there. I have only presented a very short list of the shortcuts available!

Today’s free link: While not everyone is a Word user, most people are web browsers (how else did you find Tech–for Everyone?). The official Microsoft list of Internet Explorer shortcuts can be found here.
Today’s free download: 10 Finger BreakOut is a real arcade game, in which you are escaping from invaders, shooting and trying to hit balls, but don’t worry, by playing 10 Finger BreakOut you sure will be learning to type. Improve your typing skills with this free typing tutor – typing game.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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November 9, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, keyboards and mice, tech | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How to cancel a print command*

Folks–having a crazy morning, and so I am reposting a prior article, for now. Hopefully I’ll get a new post up a little later on…

Sometimes we tell our machines to do something (let’s, for the sake of example choose, oh, say, print a 10-page document) and then, being human and somewhat fickle, we change our minds.

Perhaps we notice that we selected the wrong document; or, we have a sudden “inspiration” and there’s now a whole new thought we want to insert into it.. or we notice a major typo that we need to fix. Whatever it is, we want the printer to stop printing NOW.

Now what I am going to say next might comes as a surprise and a shock to some of you folks– but, sometimes in life you just have to grab that band-aid by the corner and rip that sucker off.
Here’s the thing, and I ain’t gonna sugarcoat it– computers are dumb machines. (Maybe, instead of “dumb”, I should say “obedient”..)

Computers follow rigid logic to obey the “commands” you “input”, and they really don’t “multitask” very well. They ‘think’ and act sequentially.. and don’t move on to the next input/command until they have completed the first one.
What this means is: they won’t even see the command to stop printing the 10-page document until they have “processed” the Print command you gave earlier.
(The paper and ink that gets wasted this way is truly your fault, and not the computer’s. You told it to Print, and it merely obeys!)

When you hit the power button on the printer (or yank the power cord out of the wall) you haven’t really stopped the Print job. Oh, no. You have only interrupted it. When you turn it back on, or reconnect the USB cord– your machine is going to everything in its power to complete its assigned task.. and it starts printing the 10-pager from right where it left off.

The correct way to stop the print job (you commanded) is to erase it from your PC’s memory. Remember I told you computers were dumb? Well, they can be forgetful too.

1) Go to Printers in your Control Panel (In XP: Start> Settings> Printers and Faxes. In Vista: Start> Control Panel> Hardware and Sounds> Printers.)
2) Double-click on the printer that is still trying to print the 10-page document.

The window that opens will show all the print jobs scheduled to be sent to the printer for completion, and the 10-page document should appear here.

3) Click on “Printer” from the menu bar, and click “Cancel All Documents”. (Answer “Yes” if you’re asked, “are you sure?”)

That’s it. Your computer has now “forgotten” your command to print, and when you turn your printer on again, it will not start printing something you no longer want.

Today’s free link: Taskbar Shuffle Drag and drop your taskbar buttons and system tray icons to instantly reorder them.

Copyright © 2007-8 Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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July 21, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, PC, tech, Windows | , , , , , , | 24 Comments