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.

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 ShortcutNameDescription
calcCalculatorLaunches the Calculator
charmapCharacter MapLoads the Character Map which enables you to browse and copy characters.
cleanmgrDisk CleanupStarts Disk Cleanup to remove temporary and no longer needed files from the Windows machine
cmdCommand PromptLoads the Command Prompt window to work on the command line.
colorcplColor ManagementManage displays and color profiles.
controlControl PanelLoads the Windows Control Panel
credwizStored User Names and PasswordsBack up or restore your stored user names and passwords
dcomcnfgComponent ServicesLoads the Component Services management interface.
defragDefragment and optimize drives
dfrguiOptimize DrivesList connected drives, optimization status, and option to analyze or optimize manually.
dialerPhone DialerPhone Dialer interface to call someone
dpiscalingDPI ScalingOpens the DPI preferences.
dxdiagDirectX Diagnostic ToolRun diagnostics on the system’s DirectX capabilities.
eudceditPrivate Character EditorCreate letters or logos for your font library.
eventvwrEvent ViewerOpens the Windows Event Viewer.
fontsFontsOpens the Fonts folder
iexpressIexpress WizardCreate self-extracting and/or self-installing package
fsquirtBluetooth File TransferProgram to send or receive files using Bluetooth
iexploreInternet ExplorerStarts the Internet Explorer web browser/td>
lpksetupInstall or uninstall display languagesLets you install or uninstall display languages on Windows
magnifyMagnifierOpens the Accessibility tool Magnifier
mblctrWindows Mobility CenterControl brightness, volume, power and screen on mobile devices
mdschedWindows Memory DiagnosticsRun tests to find out if memory problems exist
migwizOpens Windows\System32\migwiz
mmcMicrosoft Management ConsoleOpens the Microsoft Management Console interface
mobsyncSync CenterLoads the Sync Center Control Panel applet
mrtMicrosoft Windows Malicious Software Removal ToolLoads the Malicious Software Removal Tool to remove viruses and other dangerous files.
msconfigSystem ConfigurationConfigure startup and boot, and services.
msdtMicrosoft Support Diagnostic ToolMicrosoft Support Diagnostic Tool
msinfo32System InformationDisplays information on system hardware, and software.
mspaintMicrosoft PaintLoads the image viewer and editor
msraWindows Remote AssistanceOffer or receive remote assistance
mstscRemote Desktop ConnectionConnect to a remote desktop
netplwizUser AccountsManage Windows users acocunts
notepadNotepadOpens the text editor
optionalfeaturesWindows FeaturesLoads Windows Features to turn features on or off.
oskOn-Screen KeyboardDisplays the on-screen keyboard for input
perfmonPerformance MonitorLoads the Performance Monitor to manage system performance
prefetchPrefetch FolderOpens Windows\Prefetch
printbrmuiPrinter MigrationImport Printer queues and drivers to a file, or export the data.
presentationsettingsPresentation SettingsOpens Presentation Settings (mobile only)
rasphoneRemote Access Phone BookRemote Access Phone Book
regeditRegistry EditorLaunches the Windows Registry Editor
rekeywizEncrypting File SystemManage file encryption certificates
rstruiSystem RestoreRestore system files and settings
shrpubwCreate a shared folder wizardWizard to create new shared folders
sigverifFile Signature VerificationCheck and configure file signature verification
sluiWindows ActivationChange product key
sndvolVolume MixerManager volumes for individual apps and globally
snippingtoolSnipping ToolCapture screenshots
SystempropertiesadvancedSystem PropertiesDisplays the Advanced tab of the System Properties
SystempropertiescomputernameSystem PropertiesDisplays the Computer Name tab of System Properties
SystempropertieshardwareSystem PropertiesLoads the Hardware tab of the System Properties
SystempropertiesperformancePerformance optionsTweak performance related settings.
SystempropertiesprotectionSystem PropertiesLoads the System Protection tab of System Properties
SystempropertiesremoteSystem PropertiesLoads the Remote tab of System Properties
syskeySecuring the Windows Account DatabaseConfigure Accounts database to enable additional encryption
system.inisystem.iniLoads the file system.ini
tabcalDigitizer Calibration ToolCalibrate digitizers
taskmgrTask ManagerLoads the Windows Task Manager interface
telnetTelnetTelnet interface
utilmanAccessibilityOpens Accessibility options
verifierDriver Verifier ManagerVerify installed drivers
wabOpens the contacts folder of the signed in user
wabmigImport to Windows ContactsImport files with contact information to Windows Contacts
wiaacmgrWindows ScanLoads the scan interface if a scanner is installed
win.iniwin.iniLoads the file win.ini
winverWindows VersionDisplays Windows version information
wmplayerWindows Media PlayerLoads the multimedia player
writeWordPadLoads 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.
Ghacks Technology News

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  1. 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.

  2. 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. :-)

  3. 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”

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

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

  7. 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. 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.

    2. 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.

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

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

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

      Hi James, Very useful your post .. Many thanks

    5. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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?

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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