You can bring up the Run prompt by using the Win + R keyboard shortcut, and with this simple prompt window, you now have a whole new world of instant-access possibilities. The Run prompt can indeed save you a lot of time and headaches.
For example, if you type %AppData% into the prompt and hit Enter, it will instantly open up the Application Data directory for the current account that’s logged into Windows — and this directory is where application-related settings, configurations, and data are stored.
Those percent signs can also be used in conjunction with any other Windows environment variable to open up other locations on your drive:
- %HomePath%: Your home directory under C:\Users.
- %ProgramFiles%: The Program Files directory.
- %WinDir%: The C:\Windows directory.
- %Temp%: The C:\Temp directory.
But the Run prompt can also be used to run any program on the computer as long as the program is included in one of the system’s known path directories. Much could be said about this, but here are several useful default programs worth checking out:
- cmd: Opens the Command Prompt.
- explorer: Opens a File Explorer window.
- msconfig: Opens the System Configuration window.
- regedit: Opens the Registry Editor.
And finally, the Run prompt can also be used to run various Manangement Consoles that make it easy to customize and maintain your Windows system:
- devmgmt.msc: Configure devices and hardware. (e.g. disable devices, update drivers, troubleshoot issues)
- diskmgmt.msc: Manage disk volumes. (e.g. resize disk partitions)
- perfmon.msc: Monitor system performance. (e.g. memory, hard disks, processors)
- services.msc: Configure system services. (e.g. disable, start, stop, or restart services)
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