Running Command Directly from File Explorer in Windows 10

Here is a pretty cool tip that shows a new hidden feature in Windows 10’s File Explorer you probably never know before. File Explorer, one of the core apps from any version Windows, is not only a place for you to manage your files and folders, but also a command launcher that lets you fire up Windows commands straight from its address bar.

For example, guess what will happen after you press Alt+D in File Explore, type CMD, and hit Enter? Yes, a Command Prompt window pops up. Pretty cool, right?

Launch Command Prompt from File Explorer

Now let’s try Control and press Enter. That’s right, the Control Panel shows up. Typing in mstscs opens up Remote Desktop Connection, Notepad to open Notepad of course, etc.

So what else commands that we can use in File Explorer to launch different programs? Turns out, you can use this method to launch almost any core app from Windows 10 and Settings from the Control Panel, as long as you know what the commands are.

Here are some of the commands that you can run from File Explorer’s address bar, subject to add more later on.

  • documents – opens your Documents folder.
  • downloads – opens your Downloads folder.
  • favorites – opens the Favorites folder from your Windows 10’s Internet Explorer.
  • pictures – opens your Pictures folder.
  • videos – opens your Videos folder.
  • calc – opens the Calculator app.
  • cleanmgr – opens Disk Cleanup.
  • compmgmt.msc or compmgmtlauncher – opens the Computer Management console.
  • control – launches Control Panel.
  • cmd – launches Command Prompt.
  • devmgmt.msc – opens Device Manager.
  • dxdiag – opens DirectX Diagnostic Tool.
  • explorer – launches a new instance of File Explorer.
  • iexplore – launches Internet Explorer.
  • magnify – opens Magnifier.
  • mip – opens Math Input Panel.
  • msinfo32 – opens System Information.
  • mstscs – opens Remote Desktop Connection.
  • narrator – opens Narrator.
  • notepad – opens Notepad.
  • osk – launches On-Screen Keyboard.
  • paint – opens Paint.
  • powershell – launches Windows PowerShell.
  • regedit – opens Registry Editor.
  • sndvol – opens Volume Mixer.
  • snippingtool – opens Snipping Tool.
  • stikynot – opens Sticky Notes.
  • taskmgr – opens Task Manager.
  • winver – opens About Windows.
  • wmplayer – launches Windows Media Player.
  • write – opens Wordpad.

Tip my hat to Digital Citizen for discovering this very cool tip.

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 10/31/2015

Posted in: Tips & Tricks , Windows 10
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