How-To Geek

Enable Run Command on Windows 7 or Vista Start Menu

A number of people have asked me how to enable the old Run dialog that existed on every other version of Windows until Vista, and is still gone in Windows 7. One of the nice features of the old Run dialog was that it saved the history of what you had typed in.

We should note first that you can always get to the run dialog by just hitting Win + R on the keyboard, which is the simplest way to do so, and would probably be worth getting used to.

Otherwise, you can re-enable the run dialog by right-clicking on the Start Button, selecting Properties, and then clicking Customize on the ensuing dialog window.

You’ll be taken to the Customize Start Menu screen.

Check the “Run command” checkbox in the list, and you should now be in business:.

Note the addition of the Run… button.

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 02/4/07

Comments (35)

  1. Claudia

    Vista – ugh.

    Any suggestions about finding the real location of items being shortcut to when looking at explorer.

    How to put folders in the start menu and remove un needed links (all that pre installed garbage).

  2. Marty

    Enabling of the run dialog is about worthless when you can just type your command in the window above the Windows button.

  3. Erika

    I had no idea about win+r, THANKS! I learn SO much stuff from this site. :)

  4. Chris

    Fantastic! I always wondered about this and why they took it off in Vista, I usually use Win+R but sometimes I click the start button and its not there…..not anymore! :)

  5. Halmad

    I use win + R, i dont think enabling Run in vista is necessary, since your Start search works similarly

  6. Cindy

    We have only had our computer for a few months and already it is quite slow. Is there anything I can do to make it faster?

  7. jm

    to cindy: try to scan your computer using mcafee.
    use the maximun protection.
    this is my firstime here hope that my sugestion may help you…

  8. jm

    comand promt helped me a lot run is so important to me.
    i also dont have any idea about win + R…

  9. paul

    When using the run command and calling a console with cmd my vista pc no longer recognises commands such as ping or ipconfig, have you ever come across this before?

  10. a rose is a rose

    thanks so much for the tip above (getting the “run” command in the start menu on vista. it WORKED (and nothing else has)!

  11. Magig

    Very good, The advantage of run command is : it keeps the previose one in the memory and you do not need to retype the command.

  12. AAA

    Does anyone know if you somehow use the RUN command from a Browse dialog, or any dialog actually. For example when in Word I save a document, it opens a Browse dialog to ask where I can to save my document. Now would it be somehow possible to use a RUN command here? Thanks.

  13. firas

    thanks very much

  14. Ricardo Freitas

    Thanks a lot for the tip :)

  15. Marcin

    Thank you so much! this w+ R has helped me a lot.

  16. blabla


  17. jannat wafa

    great sir

  18. cmsix

    “We should note first that you can always get to the run dialog by just hitting Win + R ”

    I should like to explain to you that I’ve already shitcanned the plastic fantastic piece of crap keyboard that came with my system. I can’t seem to fine the Win key on my IBM “clicker”


  19. fibin_faizal


  20. Willem

    I noticed that in Windows 7 the history window opens, but it is alsways empty! Is there any way to active memeory! I used it excessively in XP and miss it dearly!

  21. ATUL

    1. How to remove options i.e. (Shut Down,search,Documents) in windows vista.
    2. How to restrict drives i.e.(C,D,E,F) in vista from system32 folder

  22. Ravi

    Thanks a lot for the nice tip

  23. Debs

    This information helped a lot but i’m still having a problem. I can’t get it to open ‘telnet’ which i need to schedule my courses for this semester. About a month ago it worked perfectly but since my modem board crashed and got changed for a new one … it just stopped! Any ideas?

  24. waqas

    thanks brother it is working

  25. Andrew

    works great but…

    The DOS window pops I briefly see text in the box, so the cmd is definitely working
    but DOS box closes too fast to read.
    How do I keep the DOD box on screen?

  26. Marsha

    I tried to enable the Run feature as you showed in your simple directions. But I didn’t end up with a RUN button under HELP & SUPPORT. Where else would I look?

  27. Jhiki

    Works Great. Thanks your a best.

  28. jovelyn

    win+r didn’t work at all! I didn’t get to do what i wanted to do!!!

  29. Zoltan

    Thanks so much!
    You saved the day!

  30. Orenthia Dillard

    Thank you so very much! Your explanation is empirically dead-on. Moreover, the manner in which you presented the information makes it easy to both digest and teach to others. Shalom-Aleichem.

  31. Ivan

    guys,when i click costumize,in that list i didnt find,,run command,,…. so where i put the tick????help mee… :((

  32. kumar

    Very Nice!!!!!!!
    Thanks for the Shortcut command……………

  33. myhm

    Thank you so much! Why would Microsoft remove that when it’s often documented in their own instructions to use the run command in XP (which has been around forever, still being used A LOT, and people are used to this)??? Sigh! But I’m so happy I found your site with the solution.

  34. Andrew Romual

    Thank you very much … This really help me a lot.
    Good for You.

  35. Rosieb

    Thanks for this, I’ve now enabled my ‘run’ command!

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