Add Run Box to Vista's and Windows 7's Start Menu

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 31, 2007
Updated • Jun 2, 2013

When I first tried to run a command in Windows Vista I expected to find the majority of features in the same place where they were in the Windows XP operating system. It made sense in my opinion as it would allow users who upgraded their XP system to Vista to find their way around without having to spend time exploring the operating system.

When I clicked on the Windows Vista start button for the first time I was a little bit puzzled to find a search in the place of the run command. Sure, I still had the option to use the Windows-R keyboard shortcut to open the run box but I did somehow miss the run box in the start menu.

I found out, after a bit of digging, that there is a way to add the run box back to the start menu of the Vista operating system. Let me explain to you how you too can add it back if you want it to appear there.

The search is not that bad and will often display the commands that you want to run there as well. When you enter cmd for instance you will see the command prompt in the results, but it does take a click to open it. It can also take time before the search returns results and using the run box is definitely the faster option.

run box windows

So, to add the run box to the start menu do the following:

  • Right-click the taskbar and select Properties
  • Click on the start menu tab and select customize
  • Find the Run Command and select it
  • Hit ok until you left every menu and are back in Windows
  • The Run Box should be there immediately

This adds the run box back to the start menu so that you can run commands from it right away without having to use the search first.

Update: Note that you can access the same setting in Windows 7 to bring back the run command on this version of Windows as well.


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  1. Mark said on October 5, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Why the heck did Microsoft get rid of this essential tool from the Start Menu by default? Dumb decision.

    Thanks for the tip!

  2. Felix said on July 31, 2009 at 11:50 am

    thaanks billion.. these are the small things that I HATE about vista

  3. Kakse said on April 25, 2007 at 7:34 am

    >I hope you enjoyed reading this post written on March 31st, 2007

    No. I didn’t enjoy it. But it was useful.

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