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How to Search in the Start Menu Without Typing as Many Characters

Over at Digital Inspiration, they’ve posted an extremely interesting tip that we’d never heard about before: you can search in the Start Menu without having to type the entire word for applications or Control Panel items that have multiple words—all you have to do is type the first initials.

For example, if you wanted to start Windows Media Player, instead of typing it all into the start menu search box you could simply type the initials w m p and Windows will find it.

Here’s a video of it in action, or you can read more over at Digital Inspiration.

How to Launch Programs from Windows Start Menu Quickly [Digital Inspiration]

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 09/4/10

Comments (7)

  1. erez

    You could also type one word from the program’s name…

  2. chazzz

    That s cool thanks for advice.

  3. Toast

    That’s neat. Never would of thought of that.

  4. John Shelton

    A yet quicker way is to simply click on “Start”>point to “Programs”, >click on “(whatever program you want to open)”. All done without moving your hand from the mouse. This works with Classic Shell, it may not work in Windows default start menu………..but why would anyone be using the Windows default start menu, anyway?

  5. Lucky Man

    Thanks! when i type “a o r” which means add or remove programs so i like that shortcut.

  6. Pegi Chase

    WOW..when I type w m p in my start search, I get Microsoft Works! Don’t think that’s what I want…is it?

  7. Kevin

    I always done this, even with the big V (Vista)

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