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Finding and Using the Run Line

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 by | Filed Under: Computer Terms, Uncategorized

Sue from Oklahoma City, OK. asks:

Yesterday I saw an article that said another way to access Firefox is to do it by “typing the command Firefox in the Run line”. What does this mean? What is the Run line? Where do I find it?

You know, Sue (by the way, thanks for writing!), there are so many boxes and lines and commands and menus in Windows that it’s hard to understand which is what. Some things that are boxes and some are called menus and there are things like menu bars and toolbars and taskbars…I could go on and on (as I tend to do sometimes) but I won’t.

I am going to walk you through the “Run line” for Windows.

First off, the Windows “Run line” is a box (oops, I mean line! You’ll see what I mean later) that you can type different commands into to access something you want to get to, like your calculator (type in calc), clipboard (type in Clipbrd), and many, many more programs and applications. The “Run line” speeds up access to so many things!

Getting to the Run line always starts with you left-clicking on your Start button (the button with the Windows logoimage to the left at the very bottom of your screen). After that, your Start menu should pop up, and at the bottom to the right you will see Run… (not the “Run line” yet):

Windows XP:




Windows 7:


Okay, now let’s look at what is called the “Run line”.

After you have performed the above, a box pops up. You will see the word Open and to the right of it is what I think looks like another box, which would mean that there is a box within a box.

But that isn’t right. It’s the – you guessed – the “Run line”. (Note: All the Run boxes are the same, whether you are running WinXP, Vista, or Win7.)


There is one other thing that I would like to mention. You might have noticed that in the first example I highlighted Open a program, document, or website. This is because in addition to the Windows applications and programs that are on the list below, you can access other things. For example, I typed in and it came right up. Pretty cool.

And finally: Vista and Windows 7 users may not have a Run line to access. Click here to learn how get your Run line back.

Now that you know what the Run line is, where it is, and what it does, stay tuned to Worldstart, as we will soon offer a tip that includes an extensive list of run line commands!

Have fun! And thanks again for writing!

~ Lori Cline

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