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As a big fan of keyboard shortcuts, I was very pleased to stumble across today’s Windows download, AddToRun. I often find myself using the WinKey+R shortcut to run a program or a command line. In case you didn’t know the WinKey+R launches the run menu prompt.

windows-run-menu

The problem is that the list of available shortcuts available from Run Menu are mainly for programs that are Windows accessories and system files. AddToRun lets you create your own run-box shortcuts.

In this example, I’m going to create a shortcut to the Steam gaming client program.

AddToRun is a portable app 100 Portable Apps for your USB Stick (for Mac and Win) 100 Portable Apps for your USB Stick (for Mac and Win) Read More ; meaning that you don’t have to install it but just download and run it. You can run it directly from a flash drive or from within the 7z archive file (use the free 7-Zip to open the archive) as it requires no installation.

Select the program for which you will create the shortcut by browsing to the program executable file. Type the alias you wish to use and click Add. Your shortcut will be available right away. Hit the WinKey+R and type the alias to check it out.

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The alias you create works just as well as opening the program file directly, including any switches or parameters you add to the command. Let’s say I’ve created an alias “ff” for Firefox. Then, I can type “ff google.com” and Firefox will open and load Google.com. Obviously, you can substitute Google.com with any other site you like.

AddToRun’s advantage over program launchers Top 7 Unknown Free Launcher Applications for Windows Top 7 Unknown Free Launcher Applications for Windows Read More such as Launchy is that the created aliases work without the need to have the launcher program running. That helps if you’re the kind of PC user who likes to squeeze as much performance as possible out of your system. If you have another favorite method of launching programs or creating similar shortcuts, please give us some examples in the comments.

  1. Windows XP registry cleaners
    December 11, 2009 at 1:57 am

    Thanks a lot for this - I have really wanted to get this running but am unsure about it.

  2. ABetterSolution
    September 29, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Or you could forget all this completely and use SlickRun which works great..

    bayden.com/Slickrun/

  3. anacron
    September 19, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    nice and easy! thanks

  4. saad
    May 13, 2009 at 8:54 am

    just place a shortcut of any application in system32 folder, and rename it to any alias you want. After that when u write this alias in RUN , the application will be launched

  5. LouCypher
    May 11, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Why? You just need to add the exe file to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths" in registry.

  6. Mark
    May 11, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Or you can make a shortcuts folder somewhere and add that folder to your global PATH so you can launch them via the Run menu: (allthingsmarked.com/2007/05/21/howto-keep-your-desktop-clean-yet-maintain-quick-access-to-programs/) check it out.

  7. Coheed
    May 11, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Yes, I suspect that's all it does, but I think the process might be different in Vista. I just tried sticking shortcuts in Windows/System32 under Vista Home Basic (I use XP Pro at home) and they didn't work, but when I put them in Users/[UserName] they did. D:

  8. Victor Vasconcelos
    May 11, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Hmm. I'm supposing all is does is create a shortcut to the program in Windows folder?

  9. fullFx
    May 11, 2009 at 11:38 am

    what i used to do was create a shortcut in "C:\WINDOWS\system32"

    now AddToRun has made it lighting quick and easy

    good post.

    -- fullfx

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