How to open third-party programs with Run in Windows 10 and 11

Want to open any program using Run? Here’s how to set it up.


A binary man running

Run is one of the most useful Windows 11 accessories. With this feature, you can open many built-in applications like Calculator, Registry Editor, MSConfig, Edge, Services, etc. As such, many users use the Run tool to run programs.

However, Run will not open all the third-party apps you have installed. This accessory also does not include any built-in settings that you can select to launch the apps you want. However, you can still configure Run to open your favorite software by editing the registry. Below, we explain how to configure Run to open the third-party programs of your choice.


How to configure Run to open third-party applications by editing the registry

To open a third-party application of your choice with Run, you will need to add a registry key to it. This registry key will include a few strings for which you enter dual-path values ​​for the program. So, you will need to know the full path of the software (and its exact EXE file name) that you want to open for this registry setting to work. You can open the program folder in File Explorer to check its path.

Related: Windows 10 Registry Tweaks To Improve And Unlock Features

As an example, we will configure Run to open the free Winaero Tweaker software in the steps below. This program is a great customization app for Windows 11, which you can download from the Winaero Tweaker webpage. If you install this application by default C: Program Files Winaero Tweaker way, you can follow the steps below exactly as shown.

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  1. First, press Win + S and type Registry Editor in the search box. hurry Enter.
  2. Open this registry key: Computer HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SOFTWARE Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion App Paths.
  3. Right click Application paths and select the New> Key option.
    The Key option
  4. Enter the exact name of the program’s EXE file, along with its extension, for the registry key title. For our example, you will need to enter WinaeroTweaker.exe.
    The WinAeroTweaker.exe key
  5. Select the new program registry key (WinaeroTweaker.exe) that you just added on the left side of Registry Editor.
  6. Double click on the (Fault) string for the registry key to open its Edit String window.
  7. Then enter the full path of the program, including its EXE file name, in the field Value data box. For our Winaero example, enter this path: C: Program Files Winaero Tweaker WinaeroTweaker.exe.
    The Edit Channel window for the default channel
  8. Click it Okay to close the Edit Channel window.
  9. Then right click on the WinaeroTweaker.exe registry key, or whatever else you added, and select New > String value.
    The String Value option
  10. Enter Path for the name of the new string value.
  11. Double click on the new Path string of characters.
  12. Enter the folder path (except for an EXE file) for the application in the Value data case, and click Okay to save. If you have installed Winaero Tweaker on its default path, you will need to enter C: Program Files Winaero Tweaker the.
    The Edit String window for the Path string
  13. You have completed the required registry editing. Close the registry editor and click To start up, To be able to, and Restart.


Now it’s time to open the app you just configured Run to launch. Display Run by pressing Win + R. Next, enter the name of the program you entered for the registry key in the Open box of Run.

Also Read: How To Open Windows Run Command Dialog BoxIn the example above, the name of the application’s registry key was WinaeroTweaker.exe. If you followed this example, enter WinaeroTweaker.exe in the open box of Run and clicking Okay will launch this application. Capture WineroTweaker will also work. However, enter Winaero Tweaker will not open it. So, you need to enter a program name in Run that matches the registry key you added (but without the extension).

Note that it is essential to include EXE extensions for any program registry keys you add, even when the software names do not contain EXE. For example, you won’t be able to open Winaero with Run if you only enter WinaeroTweaker for its registry key name. So don’t forget to add the EXE extension at the end of the registry key names.

You can now open your favorite software with Run

You can configure Run to launch all of your favorite third-party software, as shown above. Run will certainly be all the more useful when you can open third-party programs with it. Also, you won’t need to add as many shortcuts to your desktop or start menu when you can launch more software with this feature.


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Steven L. Nielsen