Use the Run Di­a­log


The old “Start > Run” di­a­log may not be shown by de­fault on the Start menu any­more, but it’s still there (press Win-R), and it’s as use­ful as ever. The more you use it, the bet­ter it be­comes, be­cause au­to­com­plete kicks in, while typ­ing paths is also quick, be­cause all avail­able sub-fold­ers pop up as you type, help­ing you to lo­cate and travel through your filesys­tem that lit­tle bit quicker.

Let’s start with a Windows 10-only tip. The new Set­tings menu can be labyrinthine to nav­i­gate, but the Run di­a­log gives you ac­cess to any sec­tion with the fol­low­ing syn­tax: “ms-set­tings: <short­cut>” You need to re­place “<short­cut>” with your choice of lo­ca­tion, such as “ms­set­tings: windows up­date,” “ms- set­tings:lockscreen,” or “ms­set­tings: dis­play.”

The Run di­a­log also speeds up ac­cess to the Con­trol Panel, al­though many of the short­cuts now re­di­rect to their Set­tings equiv­a­lent, such as “con­trol desk­top.” Those that don’t in­clude “con­trol ad­mint ools,” “con­trol sys­tem” (Sys­tem Con­trol Panel), and “con­trol sysdm.cpl” (Sys­tem Prop­er­ties). See a full list at https://sup­port.mi­

Oth­ers in­clude “de­vmgmt. msc” (De­vice Man­ager), “taskmgr” (Task Man­ager), “clean­mgr” (Disk Cleanup), as well as any pro­gram short­cuts or pro­gram file names (such as “win­word” for Mi­crosoft Word).

One other ma­jor use for the Run di­a­log is to browse hid­den user fold­ers— specif­i­cally your ap­pli­ca­tion data fold­ers. This is done with en­vi­ron­ment vari­ables— “%Ap­pData%” points to C:\ User\< Your­name>\. Ap­pData\ Roam­ing, for in­stance, while “%Lo­calAp­pData%” redi­rects to C:\User\<Your­name>/. Ap­pData\ Lo­cal. Type “%Ap­pData%\” and you see a list of sub-fold­ers— keep typ­ing, and they fil­ter down un­til you can se­lect one.

Other en­vi­ron­ment vari­ables in­clude “%windir%” (your Windows di­rec­tory, typ­i­cally C:\Windows), “%OneDrive%” (your OneDrive folder), and “%Pro­gramData%” (the lo­ca­tion of the Pro­gramData folder).

The Run di­a­log box is a time­sav­ing su­per­star.

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