How to use the rundll32.exe file in Windows

Updated: 06/30/2020 by Computer Hope
Executable file

Below are examples of how the rundll.exe rundll32.exe files can be used in Microsoft Windows to perform Windows commands from the command prompt. Because of the different versions of rundll and rundll32, not all of the options below work. If rundll or rundll32 encounter an error, the command fails without any error messages.

Shutdown, restart, logoff, or poweroff the computer

The shutdown, restart, logoff, and poweroff functions can be accessed in commands or scripts with the rundll32.exe and shell32.dll files in Microsoft Windows.

Lock the Windows 2000 and Windows XP workstation

To lock a Windows 2000 or Windows XP computer, run the following command.

rundll32 user32.dll,LockWorkStation

Run the install for an inf file

Run the install for an inf file.

rundll32.exe setupapi,InstallHinfSection DefaultInstall 132 <inf file>

Open the "Open with" folder for a file

Below is a command to open the Open with window for a file.

rundll32.exe shell32.dll,OpenAs_RunDLL <directory or file>

Run copy disk program

Below is an example of how the copy disk window can be opened from the command line.

rundll32.exe diskcopy,DiskCopyRunDll

Create a new shortcut

Open the create shortcut wizard icon by typing the command below into the command prompt. The "NewLinkHere" is case-sensitive and generates an error if not typed in properly.

rundll32.exe appwiz.cpl,NewLinkHere <directory>

Open the screen saver window

rundll32.exe desk.cpl,InstallScreenSaver