1. Run is a feature first introduced in Microsoft Windows 95 and included in all later versions of Windows. The Run box enables the user to open a program by name if found in the Windows directory or start any file by typing in the full path. In the below picture, is an example of what the Run box looks like in Microsoft Windows XP. Users
Tip: Press the Windows key + R at any time to open the Run box in any version of Windows.
Tip: Enter an environment variable in the Run box to open a specific Windows folder.
Windows 8 users
Windows 8 introduced the Windows Start Screen and still supports the ability to run a program. To run a program just start typing while at the Start Screen. You can also press the Windows key + R to open the Run box.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 users
Windows Vista introduced the Windows Search Box, which enabled users to search for files and run programs all at the same time. With the introduction of this feature, the Run box is no longer found in the Start Menu. However, if you still wish to use the Run box in Vista or Windows 7 you can type Run in the Search box and press Enter or use the Windows key + R.
Windows 95, 98, ME, and XP users
All early versions of Windows can find the run box in the Windows Start Menu. Also, pressing the Windows key + R will also open the run box at any time.
How to run a program in the Windows folder
Any executable file that is located in the C:\Windows directory can be run by name. For example, the executable for Microsoft Calculator is calc.exe. If you wanted to open the calculator from the Run box, type calc and press Enter.
How to run a file using the full file path
Any executable can also be run by typing the full file executable path. For example, we could also run the Microsoft Calculator by typing in the full path to the executable. For example, typing c:\windows\calc.exe and pressing Enter would also open the Calculator. Windows also looks at the Windows directory by default, so also typing in just calc.exe will also open the Calculator.
Open Control Panel icon from Run
Any of the associated Control Panel icons can also be run from the Run line. For example, in the Run line typing appwiz.cpl and pressing enter will open the Add/Remove Programs feature found through the Control Panel. See the below link for a full list of Control Panel files.
How do I find what's running?
To determine what is running in Windows use the Windows Task Manager.