Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

Windows key+R: Run

Posted in Windows by estephen on August 3rd, 2007

The “Run” dialog box from the Windows Start menu is a handy way to open an application or document. Usually you would select it from the Start menu, but a shortcut is to press the Windows key and R.

Once you’ve got the Run dialog box open, you can type in the name of a program and then Enter. Here are some popular ones:

  • cmd: Command prompt for running DOS-style commands
  • notepad: The Notepad app
  • sol: Solitaire
  • winword: Microsoft Word

You can also open directories by pressing Win+R, then typing the directory name (such as C:\TEMP) and pressing Enter.

More recent versions of Windows also let you type in a URL, such as, and it will open in a browser automatically.

EDIT: Megan asked in the comments how you know what to type. There is not an easy way, because there’s no definitive list. What happens is that Windows will look through a list of directories (known as your “path“) for an application (that is, a program file ending in .com or .exe) that matches the name you typed. If you view the properties of the shortcuts, you can find the program name. If you look in your Microsoft Office folder (such as C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14) you will see Applications, such as POWERPNT.EXE. So then you know what to type next time.

EDIT: From the comments below, a lot of you are getting suspicious calls telling you to run various commands using the Win+R key. As a rule of thumb, even if the command is safe, NO ONE FROM A COMPANY CALLED “WINDOWS” WILL EVER CALL YOU ABOUT A VIRUS. Just hang up on them and ignore the call. Most likely the caller is a scam artist who will try to convince you that your computer has a virus or is otherwise doing bad things, and then magically they happen to know this information somehow, and also magically they happen to be able to sell you a solution. You should never trust people who cold-call you with such information. Instead, get someone you trust to check out your computer.

Good practices:

  1. Never trust anything that is being told to you over the phone/email from someone contacting you about your computer.
  2. Never run commands that you don’t know 100% what they do (especially if a stranger is telling you to run them).
  3. Never give your credit card over the phone to any stranger who called you.

59 Responses to 'Windows key+R: Run'

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  1. biljana maksimovic said,

    on April 13th, 2011 at 10:03 am

    at 12:00 shut down - s

  2. Megan Tran said,

    on February 13th, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    How do you know what commands to type into the box? For example, “winword” is Microsoft Word, but what about Microsoft Powerpoint? What if you wanted to open other applications? Is there a way to check what the command is?

  3. Wolf said,

    on August 31st, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    What If you get a strange call saying “My server has detected a virus on your computer. Don’t use your internet” then they tell you to press the windows key plus r and then type in cookies? Is that suspicious?

  4. estephen said,

    on August 31st, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Yeah, that’s suspicious. I don’t know what the “cookies” program would do, but Win+R is the Run command. Cookies doesn’t do anything on my system, though.

  5. Dave In Arizona said,

    on October 3rd, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Received a call from someone with a heavy Indian accent claiming to be from Microsoft in New York; he indicated their system had detected a virus on my system. He called to help me remove said virus. The first step, he said, was to press the WinKey+R to open a window showing all the infected files. Beware of such calls.

  6. Blair said,

    on October 12th, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    I had same call about them detecting virus on my PC, with heavy Indian accent. First call I hung up, then she called back so I questioned her about accessing my pc ( in my case pc’s not that she knew) and the legitimacy of the company calling. I was given a website universal pc bla bla bla. Then she was a little agitated, said goodbye and hung up. Watch out for these fuckers, the do a start+R and some shit, I didn’t do it and advise you not to either.

  7. Richard said,

    on October 12th, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    I had a call from a guy with an Indian accent. He told me to do Windows + R
    I just kept saying yes. Dude kept calling me mom lol.

  8. ibrahim said,

    on November 17th, 2012 at 7:51 am

    what did he say, he said the same thing to me, i forgot the words he said, windows+r+(some words)…if u guys remember can you tell me

  9. jonathon said,

    on January 11th, 2013 at 4:46 am

    just had a call and he asked my hit windows and r then asked me to type a word that began with F but i couldnt understand fully and then also the word charlie but was on a private number so i hung up and then they rung once or twice more and now stopped but they said some hackers had hacked into my computer and where DOING BAD THINGS.

  10. Dave said,

    on January 31st, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Just happened here….hung up

  11. pat said,

    on February 23rd, 2013 at 11:42 am

    I got the window + R key call from a man with a Indian accent…I did it BUT did not type the word I was given (eventvw)..Help…am I at any risk?? thanks.

  12. Gio said,

    on February 27th, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Just had the indian guy calling me asking me also about to do a RUN on my computer. He went as far as giving me a name of his supervisor gary wilson calling from california about error reports on windows gave me a phone number 209-813-2727 and a supposedly mine windows ID. All went to hell when I asked how he got my phone number since it’s not attached to any of my computers and that I was not sure which computer he wanted me to look at. Heavy accent almost impossible to understand. They did try hard though…LOL…

  13. Gio said,

    on February 27th, 2013 at 10:57 am

    that command is an event viewer and since you did not type anything you are fine

  14. ashna said,

    on March 6th, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    recieved the same call and i typed some words am i on risk please help!!
    what should i do know thanks

  15. Geoff said,

    on March 12th, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Happened to me too, just today. I went along with the Indian guy to amuse my self haha then I yelled at him for a couple minutes and click. I have been getting at least 5 calls a day from freaking India its getting annoying already.

  16. maddie said,

    on March 14th, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Just got a called from a guy with an indian accent also, I asked him how he knew my computer was infected and he said because my IP number is connected to my phone number and that’s how they know. I let him continue to tell me that they have detected a virus on my windows software program and that they were there to help me. he asked me to press winkey and R at the same time. At this point I tell him that I have a MAC and he hung up immediately. A friend told me that she asked the guy to tell her, what her IP number was. He told her that it was confidential and she said “but you just told me it was my IP number how can’t you tell me what it is? The guy hung up the phone.

  17. Dave said,

    on March 19th, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Same story - press Windows Ky and R. There was lots of background noise with many calls be made. I asked how they could prove they were from microsoft? “Press the keys and you will see all the viruses affecting your computer and then you will know” - I don’t think so.

  18. jimmy tran said,

    on March 29th, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    whats window’s key ?

  19. george kintinkawe said,

    on May 3rd, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    why is it that my computer is showing at risk

  20. Ron Young said,

    on May 20th, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Got the call today 5/20/13 heavy asian accent female. Said to press Windows key + R. Then type in “INF Virus Folder”. I said I did not believe they were from Microsoft. They hung up on me. What would that have done to my computer? Would Norton Internet Security have protected me?

  21. barb said,

    on May 27th, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    just received a call from some guy telling me I have a virus and to hit the windows and r key said ok I am not stupid and that he would be hacking my computer and boy did he go off on me and used language that no man should ever say i put him on speaker so my husband could hear him with that my husband said oh yeah and he became nastier to my husband using the same remarks

  22. Rita Fox said,

    on May 31st, 2013 at 7:42 am

    I got the same call here. I did to him what I do to all of the guys who call to tell me I’ve won Millions of dollars plus a baby blue Lexus. I play stupid. My windows are crashing? They look fine to me. Press the window key. Your silly, windows don’t have keys. They slide. I get them so flustered it’s hilarious.

  23. Jen said,

    on June 1st, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    I just received the call as well. I played along for a while. It was kind of fun to mess with them. He said, “take one finger and press the windows key and take the other finger and press R”. I said, “I’ll take my finger and do that if he takes his finger at the same time and sticks it up his ass.” Then I told him to go EFF himself. He hung up. oh… what fun!

  24. 1107 said,

    on June 2nd, 2013 at 9:57 am

    wheres the answers?

  25. Terry said,

    on June 20th, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    I received this same call today, but did do the windows + r, then entered eventvw, did put in my email address, then eventually hung up. Can I erase anything now that may have been exposed, or should I take my computer down to local computer store so they can erase anything to prevent hacking?

  26. Casey said,

    on June 21st, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Got a call just now - very noisy, very Indian, name - Jamas William and his phone number is 00242423701522. He told me he was from Microsoft and it was their obligation to let me know that somehow I had downloaded spyware and malware from the Internet. When he told me to hold the Windows key and R I guessed something was up … put him on speaker while I did a search and found out on Microsoft that this is a common scam. Thanked him and hung up. He was very convincing so to all who did what you were told, don’t feel bad about being caught in this web.

  27. jagga said,

    on July 6th, 2013 at 1:59 am

    Just got the same call. played along with the guy for 10 minutes. He had and Indian accent. I got him to spell his name which apparently was “John Davison”… I don’t think so, haha. Said he was from Windows at the Sydney (Australia) site so I asked for him number which he said was 9252678747. This is clearly not a Sydney number so I questioned it, then he said that was the global number from California USA. When he finally cottoned on that I was not doing what he asked, he said “do you want me to spell ‘fuck’ for you”. Made me laugh. He eventually hung up. LOL

  28. Cece said,

    on July 19th, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Just got a call from “Brad” who said he was in Clifton, New York and had a very heavy Indian accent. Same as above, press windows key and R and tell him what it says. I asked what train stop he gets off to get to work. He read me the address from the website and wanted to put me through to his supervisor. Check the website and spelling errors (remort support). He told me he would tell me my licensing number as well. So annoying!

  29. LIndsey said,

    on July 26th, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Happend at my job today Heavy indian accent calling from “the New York City” lmfao it was funny cause the whole office got into messing with these people we kept putting him on hold so another person could pick up it was really funny screw those people!! at the end my Boss blew a horn into the phone and hung up ha they havn’t called back since

  30. Janine said,

    on August 1st, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    I had a call from a man with a strong Indian/American accent, I kept him on the line for ages delaying him to annoy him. I said I was doing what he asked on my computer, until the point when he said what is showing on your screen, I said Ummmm it says F..K OFF…. he said no it doesn’t mam it says Suckl my C..k and abused him and hung up!! Why can’t someone put a stop to these pests

  31. Too smart for them said,

    on August 19th, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    BEWARE OF THESE PEOPLE!!!! I got all the same as many posts. They actually called twice when the first time I claimed I could not understand them. Heavy accented Indian man calling from Premium Support Technology or something close to that in California. Claiming to be authorized by windows. Same story, infected computer blah, blah, blah. I asked a bunch of questions as I tried to quickly research them. They wanted me to do the window+R. I finally asked if they thought I was stupid. That I would just do as they say so they could hack into my computer. I do not know them, do they really think I would just trust a stranger calling. To which he said “YOU ARE A F**KING STUPID GIRL” and hung up on me. I wish someone would track them down and put a stop to this online harassing.

  32. Alan said,

    on August 28th, 2013 at 4:55 am

    Same call happened to me today. I played along and finally said “do you think I’m stupid” to which he replied yes! I then let rip at the nasty little…….Indian.

  33. Bill said,

    on September 12th, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Just got off the phone with some guy telling me the same as everyone else has heard. Told him NOTHING. Finally I ask him to give me his phone number where I could reach him and that was the end of the conversation. Microsoft aught to be checking these guys out because they are using them to try to get into our computers.

  34. tony Gillott said,

    on September 17th, 2013 at 3:40 am

    Had the call from a heavily accented Asian lady who asked if my computer was switched on, I said ‘Yes’. She then, in a very long winded way, tried to persuade me to press WinR, I said that it was impossible, it wasn’t until 20 minutes later I told her that although my computer was switched on, I was in fact 15 miles away driving my car. LOL :-)

  35. omer khan shaheen said,

    on September 23rd, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Which company’s services for land line or mobile phones/internet are you guys using? Because i had these calls last week and am wondering how did they get hold of my phone number? It seems like a systematic flaw or a systematic fraud with possibility of a rat inside?

  36. Majarahja said,

    on October 30th, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Got the same call, reported to Microsoft. They gave me a number which surprisingly did call them back. 1-800-347-9066 . They are Indians who speak bad English.

  37. Majarahja said,

    on October 30th, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    I think numbers are called at random. EVERYONE has a computer today and chances are they get someone with every call.

  38. Joy said,

    on November 21st, 2013 at 6:15 am

    Just had the same call from an unavailable number. Told him I wanted him to speak to my IT department at which point he lost interest.

    Presume they’re just trying to sell their services?

  39. estephen said,

    on November 21st, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    It’s crazy to me how many people are getting these calls still. This has been going on for a long time.

  40. on November 22nd, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    […] The Google search also identified that many others have been targeted by this scam, and probably not just by the one person. […]

  41. Carrie said,

    on November 27th, 2013 at 2:44 am

    LOL. I just had a call. Had one about a month ago and kept them on the ph for ages. They only gave up when I asked was it a record to keep them on the phone for their bullshit call for half an hour.
    Tonight I acted dumb. “No I cant see the key next to CTRL as it’s dark and I don’t have my glasses on. Oh, not my tablet. OK Yes I do have a PC.” Then she started talking real slow like I was a complete idiot. Said turn on my PC and I asked which one as I had 4. She said doesn’t matter they all have malicious software on them. OMG I said, then asked her for her ph number. She said she was not giving me her ph number so then I said real slow…it doesn’t matter. We have been on the phone long enough for your call to be traced and I will now call…….beep, beep, beep…call gone LOL

  42. Mike said,

    on December 19th, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    I just received the same call from an “unavailable” number and a guy was a very think Indian accent from “24/7 ITEC Solution” said that my computer was infected and sending their company error messages and that it was about to “crash at any moment”. He then said the normal, is my computer on, am I in front of it, hit WIN+R, etc. when I asked him how I had a relationship with his company, he said that when I bought my computer I’d entered into a contract with his company. I said “Right, because I have an open-ended contract with your company that’s cost me nothing for 5+ years and I have no records of.” Being at work at the time and not wanting to fool with this nonsense, I decided to just jet him know the jig is up - I have my own IT department, this is a scam, and the call is being recorded. Oddly enough, he immediately hung up.
    Some things never change - the sun goes up, the sun goes down, and the evil will try to prey on the weak. Internet 101: If you didn’t contact them, they’re not legit, and if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing, DON’T DO IT.

  43. Maria Welch said,

    on January 8th, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    I got the call from a guy with a thick Indian accent (1-877-253-2008 if you call back it is not in service) telling me to hit the Microsoft button and R and there would be all these terrible viruses. I hung up on him. They already have your name, address, and phone number. Watch out!

  44. mandy said,

    on January 14th, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Same call, this time the Indian accented guy said he was calling from London. I kept him talking for a while, but when he asked me to press WIN and R, I put the phone on the desk and left him talking. When he eventually realised I wasn’t listening he rang off and rang back, so I picked up the call, but again didn’t bother to listen. He gave up after that

  45. Mark said,

    on January 20th, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    We had a call this evening from an Indian guy who said our computer was being accessed from several remote locations and that we were responsible for anything they did. He asked us to press Windows R and said he would give us more instructions.. He gave us a phony IP address in an attempt to prove he was genuine that didn’t match our real IP address. He said he was from a company called ‘Digital Network Services’ that was based in the USA. He spent 45 minutes on the phone trying to convince us that he was genuine until we asked him whether he would like our bank account numbers and pin access now so that he could empty our accounts. At this point he guessed we were on to him and hung up the phone

  46. Kathy said,

    on January 21st, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    on Jan. 17, also got a call from a “Microsoft tech” with a heavy Indian accent, so heavy I had to have him keep repeating…He wanted me to press the flag key and the R and when I doubted he was from Microsoft and how would I know, etc. and just kept dragging my feet…He said, “Why don’t you go into the bathroom and F*** yourself with a carrot” I could understand every word of that!!! It made me laugh and I hung up.

  47. ivy said,

    on January 23rd, 2014 at 11:31 am

    I just got the call 15 minutes ago. When the Indian guy said i had malware i told him hold on i am going to run my trend micro platinum protection. When it completed I said nope your wrong i am perfectly protected. by the way your all over the web i found a site (this site) that says you guys are scam artist and hackers. he said no mom. i said yeah right good bye scam artist

  48. Eddie said,

    on January 28th, 2014 at 8:58 am

    These guys have been at it for a number of years. I got the same call around 3 years ago and I just started getting the call again from the same people with the heavy Indian accent. I played along with him for a while until he asked me what it said on the screen and that’s when I told him it says go “F” yourself. These people ARE the viruses. Your best bet is just hang up on them. There is nothing wrong with your computer.

  49. John Boy said,

    on February 11th, 2014 at 6:26 am

    Got the call today from a guy with a thick Indian accent, the only reason I was on the phone for more than 10 seconds is because I couldn’t understand what company he was claiming to be from. Virgin Media also use Indian call centre’s so I thought for a second that It could’ve been them because I managed to detect the word “computer” in his verbiage. After about 30 seconds he told me that he was gonna hand me over to his “manager” (which was of course the same guy) and told me to sit in front of my computer and press the windows key + r. Once I heard that I just hung up. They must think people are thick.

  50. Kyle Miller said,

    on February 22nd, 2014 at 4:56 am

    when i press win->r then type in cmd it comes up saying windows cannot find “cmd” please make sure to spell it correctly and try again

  51. Kyle Miller said,

    on February 22nd, 2014 at 5:04 am

    in fact i dont even have the command prompt app… what do i do

  52. Anders Arlberg said,

    on February 26th, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Received a call 10 minutes ago, exactly as described above:
    1) A woman called from the number +1-303-344-29287 and said my computer had been sending error messages for the past 2 weeks. Lots of background noise from other callers.
    2) She asked if my computer was switched on (I said ‘yes’) :-) and she forwarded the call to “her supervisor”
    3) The “Supervisor” (a male) told me to press the “windows” key and the “R” key simultaneously. He then asked me what I saw on my screen.

    Well; from the first 3 seconds of this call, I smelled the scent of a scam, so I decided to keep them on the phone for as long as possible, to f*ck up their time. As the “Supervisor” repeatedly tried to have me describing what I saw on my screen (without success) the call was abruptly terminated by him.

    Poor bastard. How can idiots like this even imagine people will believe Microsoft will call them?

    I managed to block 10 minutes of their time :-) yeah! that means 10 minutes less for them to fool others. -A donation of my time that I gladly accept…

  53. Morgan said,

    on February 26th, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    I received a call from Tech Resolver in Albany, NY the Indian gentleman tried his best to get me to run a command by holding down the Windows key and hitting the “R” key. I kept telling him nothing was happening. LOL He got so frustrated he called his supervisor he then proceeded to tell me the same command. I told him I am hitting it and holding it…nothing is happening. I did this for 5 minutes. Mind you I am not hitting anything. little did they know I am the IT Admin for my company. He then asked what type of computer I had I told him it is a “NotAnIdiot” it is made in India….he hung up. What a SCAM!!!!

  54. estephen said,

    on March 4th, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Kyle: I wouldn’t worry too much about it. :)

  55. Yoop said,

    on March 8th, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    I must have got the new guy, he just called and blabbered something about our email being hacked and he needed to check our computer. First I think how does this guy know which computer….o he says…..

    hit the windows key and r…….

    wait, wait, wait….how do I know u aren’t?…Where are you calling from again?

    Delaware, Wilmington


    Did you say Delaware, Wilmington?

    Yes, Delaware, Wilmington…..

    ah, Okay…Bye.Bye

  56. windowskey+r said,

    on March 21st, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    omg someone needs to get these people same thing pretty much happened to me today got a call from some guy I could barely understand and he said are you sitting in front of your computer are you on the home page and then to press windows key + r at the same time and then I asked how they got my phone number and said it was connected to their main server whatever what a scam oh the number was unavailable too joke is what it was don’t even answer unavailable numbers !

  57. Nancy said,

    on March 25th, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    I got one of these calls yesterday from “Mike Williams” of Sri Lanka. (I suppose Williams is a common name there.) Same story about my computer sending out infection notices to their server. I said “Do you think I was born yesterday.” No, I needed to press CNTRL, flag, R. Sure, I did. I am sorry I didn’t play really stupid and tell them I could not find those keys. lol

  58. David said,

    on March 27th, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Got a call today from an Indian speaking accent dude at my work with the same story. I played along and then told him it brought up a porn site. He told me to hit other keys which I didn’t, I then I told him the porn movie was now playing. He started telling me about viruses and I needed to shut it down. I told him I thought you could only get a virus from actual physical contact. He started talking real fast getting frustrated. I then told him that it was ok because it was his sister in the movie with a dog. He yelled something in a language I didn’t know an then hung up, which made my day.

  59. Sarah said,

    on March 29th, 2014 at 10:40 am

    I recently gotten a call today saying they were from California, saying he was “Microsoft Tech support” that had a heavy Indian or Philippio accent that was kinda hard to understand some if his words. He also had gone by the name “Eric White”. He had called from 1-800-347-9066. I had told him that it had felt like a scam but he had tried to assure me that it was’t. He had me do windows+r to do whatever he thought was going to happen. And then he tried to get me to download teamservice or whatever it was. I told him that he was a hacker and was trying to hack my computer himself. I had told him I was going to call the cops on him and he just laughed and said I was verbally abusive to him by calling him a hacker. Then I got into a long argument with him and he started screaming and yelling at me and swearing at me. He thought I was dumb when I asked where he was calling from then I asked him if he was from India or Indonesia or the Philippines or anything over there and he just laughed. I argued with him how he knew my computer was hacked and how he knew to call my house and stuff and he fed me some line and I told him I seemed to not believe him about what he was saying and stuff. I needed someone to tell me that he was from wherever he said but he told me to Google it and got into a argument with him about it. I told him at the end of the call that he was a scammer and I was going to call the cops on him and he said ma’am I’m not a hacker and I said I was still going to call the cops on him.

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