List of Windows tools

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 11, 2017
Updated • Jun 11, 2017

The following list provides you with detailed information on tools that you can run on Windows PCs using nothing but a short name that is associated with them.

This is the third part of the administrative tools series here on Ghacks. The first two parts looked at Control Panel shortcuts, and Microsoft Management Console snap-ins such as services.msc.

This article is all about shortcuts that you can run to start various tools on the Windows operating system.

Note that most shortcuts work in all versions of Windows, but that some may be reserved to certain versions. Depending on the version of Windows that you are using, you may either run most commands directly from Start, or by using the run box (Windows-R) or command prompt.

run windows tools

These shortcuts allow you to run administrative Windows tools, some programs, and open some folders, directly from Start or the Run box.

List of Windows tools

Tool Shortcut Name Description
calc Calculator Launches the Calculator
charmap Character Map Loads the Character Map which enables you to browse and copy characters.
cleanmgr Disk Cleanup Starts Disk Cleanup to remove temporary and no longer needed files from the Windows machine
cmd Command Prompt Loads the Command Prompt window to work on the command line.
colorcpl Color Management Manage displays and color profiles.
control Control Panel Loads the Windows Control Panel
credwiz Stored User Names and Passwords Back up or restore your stored user names and passwords
dcomcnfg Component Services Loads the Component Services management interface.
defrag Defragment and optimize drives
dfrgui Optimize Drives List connected drives, optimization status, and option to analyze or optimize manually.
dialer Phone Dialer Phone Dialer interface to call someone
dpiscaling DPI Scaling Opens the DPI preferences.
dxdiag DirectX Diagnostic Tool Run diagnostics on the system’s DirectX capabilities.
eudcedit Private Character Editor Create letters or logos for your font library.
eventvwr Event Viewer Opens the Windows Event Viewer.
fonts Fonts Opens the Fonts folder
iexpress Iexpress Wizard Create self-extracting and/or self-installing package
fsquirt Bluetooth File Transfer Program to send or receive files using Bluetooth
iexplore Internet Explorer Starts the Internet Explorer web browser/td>
lpksetup Install or uninstall display languages Lets you install or uninstall display languages on Windows
magnify Magnifier Opens the Accessibility tool Magnifier
mblctr Windows Mobility Center Control brightness, volume, power and screen on mobile devices
mdsched Windows Memory Diagnostics Run tests to find out if memory problems exist
migwiz Opens Windows\System32\migwiz
mmc Microsoft Management Console Opens the Microsoft Management Console interface
mobsync Sync Center Loads the Sync Center Control Panel applet
mrt Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool Loads the Malicious Software Removal Tool to remove viruses and other dangerous files.
msconfig System Configuration Configure startup and boot, and services.
msdt Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool
msinfo32 System Information Displays information on system hardware, and software.
mspaint Microsoft Paint Loads the image viewer and editor
msra Windows Remote Assistance Offer or receive remote assistance
mstsc Remote Desktop Connection Connect to a remote desktop
netplwiz User Accounts Manage Windows users acocunts
notepad Notepad Opens the text editor
optionalfeatures Windows Features Loads Windows Features to turn features on or off.
osk On-Screen Keyboard Displays the on-screen keyboard for input
perfmon Performance Monitor Loads the Performance Monitor to manage system performance
prefetch Prefetch Folder Opens Windows\Prefetch
printbrmui Printer Migration Import Printer queues and drivers to a file, or export the data.
presentationsettings Presentation Settings Opens Presentation Settings (mobile only)
rasphone Remote Access Phone Book Remote Access Phone Book
regedit Registry Editor Launches the Windows Registry Editor
rekeywiz Encrypting File System Manage file encryption certificates
rstrui System Restore Restore system files and settings
shrpubw Create a shared folder wizard Wizard to create new shared folders
sigverif File Signature Verification Check and configure file signature verification
slui Windows Activation Change product key
sndvol Volume Mixer Manager volumes for individual apps and globally
snippingtool Snipping Tool Capture screenshots
Systempropertiesadvanced System Properties Displays the Advanced tab of the System Properties
Systempropertiescomputername System Properties Displays the Computer Name tab of System Properties
Systempropertieshardware System Properties Loads the Hardware tab of the System Properties
Systempropertiesperformance Performance options Tweak performance related settings.
Systempropertiesprotection System Properties Loads the System Protection tab of System Properties
Systempropertiesremote System Properties Loads the Remote tab of System Properties
syskey Securing the Windows Account Database Configure Accounts database to enable additional encryption
system.ini system.ini Loads the file system.ini
tabcal Digitizer Calibration Tool Calibrate digitizers
taskmgr Task Manager Loads the Windows Task Manager interface
telnet Telnet Telnet interface
utilman Accessibility Opens Accessibility options
verifier Driver Verifier Manager Verify installed drivers
wab Opens the contacts folder of the signed in user
wabmig Import to Windows Contacts Import files with contact information to Windows Contacts
wiaacmgr Windows Scan Loads the scan interface if a scanner is installed
win.ini win.ini Loads the file win.ini
winver Windows Version Displays Windows version information
wmplayer Windows Media Player Loads the multimedia player
write WordPad Loads the WordPad editor

Closing Words

While you may have no need for all of the tool shortcuts, some may come in quite handy, especially if you can work them in your workflow as it would take longer to load some of the tools or features using other methods.

Now You: What are your favorite tools? Did we miss a tool? Let us know in the comments

List of Windows tools
Article Name
List of Windows tools
The following list provides you with detailed information on tools that you can run on Windows PCs using nothing but a short name that is associated with them.
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  1. Stephen said on April 11, 2022 at 8:06 pm

    The Dropbox link is broken again. Is there an update?

  2. Anonymous said on January 21, 2021 at 5:54 am

    Jim Cone the dropbox link is not working for me. I would really appreciate getting that file.

    That didn’t work for some reason
    If it’s a fluke, it might work if you refresh the page. You can also ask us for help.

  3. Gladhatter said on January 21, 2021 at 5:53 am

    I appreciate the list. Have saved many of these on a note pad due to age catching up with me and realized a couple of nights back how I needed many of these. I searched for 3 days to finally find your list.

  4. Bean said on June 14, 2017 at 10:17 am

    Here is one that I stumbled on not too long ago. It doesn’t seem to be super common knowledge!

    Network Adapter / Network Connections – Control Panel = ncpa.cpl

    1. Millenicide said on December 8, 2017 at 5:16 pm

      I’ve been looking for this for literally YEARS! THank you!! Any idea how to turn this into a windows shortcut lnk file?

  5. jasray said on June 11, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    Yes, Ghacks is the most useful resource for nearly everything. What I find amazing are the admins I watch who know all of the Control Panel, Microsoft Management Console, and MS Tools commands already–like in their memories. I think it’s a requirement for any worthy certification.

    For Nirsoft tools, most admins I work with write their own batch files on the fly and have little need for Mark’s worthwhile contributions. I do find Linux admins in short supply maybe because there is infinitely more detail in the commands, variety, switches, etc.

    And then we have the real backend folks . . . out of my league and well paid.

  6. James Cone said on June 11, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    I’ve posted an Excel workbook at Dropbox that contains a listing of 243 Windows Run commands.
    It includes 11 new run commands taken from your article.
    The workbook is free – no ads, no cookies, no registration.
    Download from… (Dropbox)

    1. Peter said on July 13, 2017 at 1:14 pm

      @James Cone: Looks like that Excel workbook you’re talking about has gone…

      1. James Cone said on July 13, 2017 at 2:18 pm

        re: list of run commands excel workbook

        The list of Excel programs/workbooks, provided at Dropbox, changes ever so often.
        The free ‘List of Run Commands’ workbook is available again at… (Dropbox)

        My latest commercial offering is the ‘ExtraFunctions’ Excel add-in. ( >12 new functions – 2 week free trial )

        Jim Cone
        Portland, Oregon USA (Dropbox)

      2. Alex said on June 12, 2021 at 2:58 pm

        The Dropbox link is not working.

    2. hornylamb said on June 13, 2017 at 10:13 am

      Hi James, Very useful your post .. Many thanks

    3. archie said on June 11, 2017 at 7:27 pm

      Some commands are legacy : MS dropped them. Great resource, stil.

    4. chesscanoe said on June 11, 2017 at 6:51 pm

      “printui” as previously referenced by ‘buffer’ above is not listed although it is available at least in Windows 10 x64 CU Home edition.

    5. Martin Brinkmann said on June 11, 2017 at 5:46 pm

      Great resource James, thanks for posting. I add some to the table that I missed.

  7. dmacleo said on June 11, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    winver is really helpful to check what build of win10 you are on.

  8. rehart said on June 11, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Thanks for the M/S Windows tool lists. Detailed, concise and useful. The folks at work also appreciate the lists.

  9. archie said on June 11, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Sysinternals tools suite (pstools) makes for a complimentary list. Maybe more geared at sys/net admins but still pretty handy and powerful. Tools can be downloaded individually or as a package. Usually “installed” in system path but otherwise portable. Fairly up to date.

    I also like xxcopy: still on top after 20 years.

    1. chesscanoe said on June 11, 2017 at 5:08 pm

      Sadly the owner/developer of xxcopy has recently died, and I know of no resolution to that situation.

      1. Anonymous said on June 11, 2017 at 7:17 pm

        The news saddens me. This was a talented fellow. RIP.

  10. buffer said on June 11, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Previously installed printers could cause headaches. This allows you to actually remove them “printui /s /t2”

  11. chesscanoe said on June 11, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    I have a few of these as shortcuts on the taskbar, but this list is impressive – keeps me in learning mode. It is always good to know what I do not know. :-)

  12. Klemen said on June 11, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    What about iexplore? AKA “the firefox downloader” tool =)

    1. Tom Hawack said on June 11, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      LOL! so true. But is it worth remembering a short name for a tool we’ll use at most once only (to download another browser than IE)?!
      Looks like I’m bashing, oh! gosh. But it’s with a smile :)

      Part 3 of the administrative tools series, saved with PrintFriendly. I do backup many, so many gHacks articles and I more than once refer to them accordingly. gHacks is so prolific, a real Wiki by itself. Thousands of articles, documented, argued. I still shake hands, never got into this new protocol, what is it, fist then tap hands?! So, Martin, I’ll just shake hands :)

      1. Tom said on June 13, 2017 at 2:42 pm

        Thanks for the PrintFriendly idea, Tom. That’s a great tool.

        Also, thank to Martin for another great list.

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