When you want to run a program on a Windows PC, you have quite a few options to do so. You can click on the program icon on the desktop, taskbar or start menu if it is listed in those locations, browse the system using Windows Explorer, use the built-in search or a third-party alternative, or use the run box to do so.
If you use the latter, you tap on Windows-r to display it on the screen, type the program alias, e.g. notepad, and hit the enter key afterwards.
The main issue here is that aliases need to be configured first before they become available. While Windows ships with a selection, regedit or cmd for example, the selection is rather limited and not extended to third-party software programs usually.
What's even more problematic is that there is no obvious way to add new aliases to the operating system.
That changed with the release of the AddToRun program which provides you with an easy to use interface to add aliases for any program you desire.
There is not really much to explain about the interface itself. It consists of two elements. The first is used to browse the local computer system to select a file that you want to create an alias for. The second to select an alias for that file that will then be made available when you use the operating system's run box.
One nice effect of the process is that the program does not need to be running after the alias has been added. Removing an alias on the other hand is not as straightforward as the program does not keep track of the added aliases. This means the only way to remove one is to pick the file again and select the remove button instead of the add button.
The new alias is immediately active and will from then on launch the selected file in the run dialog window when it is entered.
AddToRun is a portable software application that will aid Windows users significantly, especially if they use the run box regularly to load programs.
Users who do not prefer to use this program to add executable file aliases can add the program path of the application to the system path of the operating system as well. If you do so, you can run those programs as well, but need to type the program name as aliases are not configured this way.
Assigning new aliases or shortcuts can really speed up the workflow on the computer system, especially if specific applications are started regularly in the run dialog box.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.