Create your own Run command & Run any application from Windows Search Box

Using the Run command in Windows, you can use certain pre-defined commands to open up applications. In fact in Windows 10/8/7/ Vista, its Start Menu Search box itself acts as a Run box.

If you type the name of an application, say Ultimate Windows Tweaker (uwt) in the start box, it will search for the app and display it in the results. Hitting Enter will open the app. But typing it in the Run box will not open it.

With the help of this tip you can open any software or application via the Windows Run box. That is, you can create your own custom RUN commands.

There are 4 ways to do it. (1) The Easy way and (2) The Not-so-easy way (3) Using a 3rd party app (4) Editing the Environment variables.

Create your own RUN commands

(1) The Easy way:

Create a shortcut of the application or program. Rename it to say, uwt, and place this shortcut in the Windows folder.

Now type uwt in start search box and hit Enter, and you will see the Tweaker start! To reconfirm, open the Run box and type uwt and hit enter. The Tweaker opens!

I have also tried it with a folder and it works! I created a shortcut of my oft used folder, renamed it to f1 and saved the shortcut in the Windows folder. Typing f1 in start search box or in the Run box will open the folder!

(2) The Not-so-easy way.

Open regedit and navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths


In the left panel, right click this tools Path key and choose New > Key. Name it as uwt.exe (I am using UWT as an example). Don’t forget to add the file types.

Now in the right panel, double click on the Default string value and in the Value and in the box which opens, enter the path of the executable ie E:\Program Files\UWTv2.0\Ultimate Windows Tweaker.exe. My Windows 7 is installed in E drive; hence shows ‘E’ here.

Again in the right side, empty spot, right click > select New > String Value. Name the key as Path. Double click and give it the value as the folder path, ie in this example: E:\Program Files\UWTv2.0\

Exit regedit.

Now type uwt in Start Search Box (or the Run box) and hit Enter, and you will see the Tweaker start! You can start any file type this way.

UPDATE: TechnixUpdate has suggested to us, two more ways, in which it can be done.

3) Use 3rd part portable app called AddToRun. AddToRun is a FREE to use utility which will allow you to run or open any file or application from start menu run command prompt (which open up when you press Window Key + R ).


It has a very easy and simple to use interface which will allow you to select a file or application shortcut and define a alias or friendly name with which you can run the application from run prompt.

4) Edit the Environment Variables. Open you System Drive and create a folder, named say, E:\myrun.

Now right click on Computer folder and open its Properties.


Select Advanced System Protection and click on Environment Variables. In the lower half, double click on the ‘Path‘ System variable.

At the end of the variable value, add the following: ” ;e:\myrun; “. If your Windows is on ‘C‘ drive, make sure you write c instead of e.

Click OK. Exit.

Now create a shortcut to any application and give it a short simple name. You will be able to run it through the start box.

Hope you are able to get things done using this tip.

Read about: System & User Environment Variables Paths.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.


  1. Romit

    Awesome 🙂

  2. Bruno

    Thank You! This was really helpful.

  3. Mick Hansen

    Why not just click on the shortcut since I’ve already created it anyway?

  4. Senzorei

    Some people like to do win + r and type it since it may be faster / easier / more convenient for them.

  5. asd

    Awesome tip, thank you!

  6. FredButters

    I can’t get addToRun to work with Windows 10

  7. My1

    by the way I modded addtorun a little bit to use the Local User instead of the System.
    addtorun runs in HKLM of the registry meaning you have to run it as admin (which it doesnt enforce) and it obviously affects other users.
    making a small mod (this thing has autoIt3 source right beside it) which instead uses HKCU gives 2 good things: 1) it doesnt need admin 2) it doesnt affect others.
    here’s a link, LUser is for Local User…
    source is also inside

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