Put the Route command to work with the help of this Windows gadget

This handy gadget offers the diagnostic benefits of the Route command without the command-line hassles.

When you're troubleshooting TCP/IP connectivity problems on a Windows network, you may need to investigate the current IP routing table and add or delete specific IP routes. Windows comes with a command-line tool called Route that you can use to reveal and edit this type of information. Unfortunately, the Route tool is stuck in the DOS-based world of the command line, so it's often avoided when it's time to troubleshoot TCP/IP connectivity problems that may be rooted in the routing table.

To make the Route tool easier to use, I've moved it out of the command line and created the Route Gadget. Let's take a closer look at this tool.

Using the Route Gadget

The Route Gadget runs from the Windows Sidebar in Vista and the Desktop in Windows 7 and presents each of the Route command-line tool's options on a flyout menu, as shown in Figure A. All you need to do is select the options you want to use and click the OK button. The Route Gadget will open a Command Prompt window and run the Route command, along with the selected options. If you need more information about an option, you can hover your mouse pointer over any one of the options to display a tooltip. You can also select the route /? check box.

Figure A

The Route Gadget displays each of the Route command-line tool's options on a flyout menu.

Since the Route command requires elevated privileges for the majority of its operations, you'll encounter a UAC when you select those options and click OK. Once you work through the UAC, the command runs.

When the Route Gadget sends the selected command to the Command Prompt window, the command line doesn't appear in the window. If you want to see the command line, be sure that you select the Show Command Line check box before you click OK.


Once you download, you'll find that it contains two files:

  • Route Gadget Readme.doc

Extract both files to a folder of your choice and rename the file to Route.gadget. Make sure that you have Windows Explorer configured to display file extensions. (On the View tab of the Folder Options dialog box, deselect the Hide Extensions for Known File Types check box.) If you don't, the system might have the file type set as .Zip even though it appears that you have renamed the extension to .gadget.

To continue, follow the appropriate steps for your version of Windows:

Windows Vista

  1. Right-click on the Route.gadget file and select Windows Sidebar from the Open With submenu.
  2. In the Windows Sidebar - Security Warning dialog box, click Install.

These steps are illustrated in Figure B.

Figure B

Click Install in the Windows Sidebar - Security Warning dialog box.

The Route Gadget will then be installed in the Windows Sidebar and will be ready to use.

Windows 7

  1. Right-click on the Route.gadget file and select the Open With command.
  2. In the Open With dialog box, select Windows Desktop Gadgets and click OK.
  3. In the Desktop Gadgets - Security Warning dialog box, click Install.

These steps are illustrated in Figure C.

Figure C

Click the Install command in the Desktop Gadgets - Security Warning dialog box.

The Route Gadget will then be installed in the Desktop and will be ready to use.

More free tools

Are there other tools on your Windows gadget wish list? Share your suggestions for future tools below.


Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.


Thanks Greg - This info Helps a long way - Sometimes its Pretty hard to get good info on software and Techrepublic and Staff Help a HEAP with info on Various aspects of Windows. I have been Trying to get Hold of "Windows 7 App Launcher Gadget", version 3 which is NO Longer supported or available from Microsoft or their Gadget Website. I even emailed Microsoft in the hope they might be able to send me the Gadget anyway, BUT no go!! The command line does heaps of stuff as does SysInternals and I was hoping to use the App launcher Gadget for the same reasons as Having Route Gadget, But can pick and choose which command lines to run and NOT have to rember the propertty switch command that go with that command!! A very helpful tool and WHY MS pulled the plug on it seems crazy!! Anyway if you happen to have a copy of it, WOULD really appreciate it you could send me a Copy!! Thanks - Shrike49

Dirt Burner
Dirt Burner

Thanks for creating this gadget. Eventhough I've become fairly proficient with the command line, it will be very handy to me because I have 4 workstations that need custom routes to access a data resource. It makes it much easier to see that all addresses are entered correctly. That's a big plus in the middle of the night. :) Not to mention its uses in troubleshooting connections across different networks connected via separate firewalls.

Greg Shultz
Greg Shultz

...the Route Gadget is helpful in your situation!

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