Adding program shortcut to Run menu.

WinKey, Windows Key, or Windows Logo key

As you might know, WinKey+R combination opens up Run menu.

Run Menu

Once it is opened, typing “iexplore”, “winmine” or “regedit” would launch Internet Explorer, Minesweeper or Windows Registry Editor respectively. If Mozilla Firefox or Adobe Photoshop are installed, typing “firefox” or “photoshop” would launch these applications. However, if you wish to launch applications like Winamp, Opera or Foobar from Run menu, you will need to perform the steps described in the following article.

For example, let us create a Run menu shortcut for Foobar2000.

  • Type regedit in Run menu to open Windows Registry editor.
  • Once it is opened, navigate your way to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths
  • Right-click on App Paths and create a new Key named Winamp.exe(don’t forget to add .exe at the end)
  • Open this newly created key and double-click on (Default). Type the full path to Winamp executable: C:\Program Files\Winamp\Winamp.exe, and click OK.

This will add Winamp as a shortcut to Run menu, thus allowing us to access it in three steps – pressing WinKey+R combination, typing Winamp, pressing enter.

If you wish to add custom commands to Run menu, you could exploit the fact that you could add custom .bat and .cmd files to the App Paths registry keys. In the example below we will add reboot command to the Run menu.

First, we will need to create a cmd script and remember its full path. Script contents must be the following:

@echo off
shutdown -r -t 0

In this example we will name the file Reboot.cmd and place it into C:\Windows\ folder, so that its full path will be C:\Windows\Reboot.cmd. Then we open regedit  and navigate our way to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths as in previous example. Once we are there, we add a Key named Reboot.exe and modify its (Default) key to be C:\Windows\Reboot.cmdRight after that, we will be able to reboot our computer by typing reboot in the start menu.

If this seems pretty difficult for you, you could use software AppPaths from this site.

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