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More Windows 10 run commands you should know (but probably forgot)

TechRepublic readers have spoken: The Windows 10 run command can truly be a powerful tool. This tutorial explores 12 more common Windows 10 run commands.

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Image: Pepgooner, Getty Images/iStockphoto

In a previous TechRepublic article, we discussed the power and the usefulness of the Windows 10 run command. That list of 12 common run commands seemed to strike a nerve with the community as dozens of knowledgeable readers offered suggestions and tips regarding their favorite uses of the Windows 10 run command.

Obviously, in the right hands, the Windows 10 run command can truly be a powerful tool. It's with that simple truth in mind that we offer this how-to tutorial of 12 more common Windows 10 run commands.

SEE: Top Windows 10 run commands (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

12 more Windows 10 run commands

Remember, the most efficient way to call up the run command dialog box is to use this keyboard shortcut combination: Windows key + R. You can also reach the run command by right-clicking the Start Menu button and then selecting the run command from the item list—it's just much less efficient.

(Note, the quotation marks in each example are for emphasis only—they are not part of the command itself and should not be included in the command box.)

1. Open the command prompt ("cmd")

This particular run command was mentioned by readers the most after our first article. If you are old school and know your DOS commands, "cmd" will open up the prompt you are looking for.

2. Open the Registry Editor ("regedit")

The Registry Editor app is familiar to readers who have tried some of TechRepublic's many tweaks to the Windows 10 Registry file over the years.

3. Open Local Users and Groups Manager ("lusrmgr.msc")

Accessing the Local Users and Groups Manager will let you get into the finer user details. This tool is particularly useful for IT admins managing user passwords, etc.

Figure A

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4. Access Windows Services ("services.msc")

The number of application services running at any one time in Microsoft Windows 10 can be staggering. The best way to find out what services are running and to determine whether those services are needed is through the Windows Services configuration screen.

SEE: How to work from home: IT pro's guidebook to telecommuting and remote work (TechRepublic Premium)

5. Open the Computer Management app ("compmgmt.msc")

The Windows 10 Computer Management application grants access to a plethora of operating system configurations and settings. This is another tool most commonly used by IT admins, but it can be useful to just about anyone, depending on the situation.

Figure B

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6. Open PowerShell console ("powershell")

PowerShell is the built-in Windows 10 scripting language, which can be very powerful when programmed correctly. In many ways PowerShell supersedes the command prompt ("cmd") mentioned earlier, but both run commands still have their place.

7. Open the Group Policy Editor ("gpedit.msc")

If you have Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise and you want to make tweaks to configuration settings like you do with the Registry Editor, you might want to use the Group Policy Editor instead.

Figure C

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8. Access network adapters configuration screen ("ncpa.cpl")

For those of us who rely on wireless technology for connecting to enterprise networks and the internet, it sometimes imperative that we make adjustments to our wireless network adapters. Using the common run command "ncpa.cpl" will get you there in an instant, saving a number of mouse clicks.

9. Open the Windows 10 Device Manager ("devmgmt.msc")

Exploring the Device Manager for problem drivers is one of the most underused troubleshooting techniques available in Windows 10. The "devmgmt.msc" run command will expose problems and give you quick access to settings that remedy the situation.

10. Open the Malicious Software Removal tool ("mrt")

Under normal operations, the Malicious Software Removal tool runs automatically in the background as part of the Windows 10 Update procedures. But you can run it manually by using the "mrt" run command.

Figure D

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11. Perform a search with a web browser ("browser name "? search term"")

If you open the run command and type the name of a web browser (Chrome, Microsoft-Edge, Firefox, etc.) you will load the default tab configuration of that browser. However, if you pass a properly formed search query to that browser you will see search results from the default search engine. For example:

chrome "? techrepublic"

will reveal results relating to the TechRepublic website. Note, in this case those quotes are required.

12. Search YouTube ("browser name "youtube.com/results?search_query=SEARCH"")

Similarly, to the previous command you may perform other website specific searches—you just have to know how to properly form the query. For example, YouTube searches look like this:

chrome "youtube.com/results?search_query=techrepublic"

This query will display results from the TechRepublic YouTube channel. Again, in this case, the quotes are required. Theoretically, this sort of query will work with any website, if you know the correct syntax.

SEE: 10 tricks and tweaks for customizing Windows 10 (TechRepublic download)

Exercise caution

Accessing some of these configuration applications and settings screens requires a certain amount of restraint and caution. Making configuration changes that you are not sure about could adversely impact or even break your Windows 10 PC. Just because the run command gives you quick access to those configuration screens does not mean you can make changes haphazardly. As a wise man once said, "With great power comes great responsibility."

Also see

By Mark Kaelin

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.