Back in 2009, I wrote an article in my blog, How to simulate a “Classic” Windows XP/Windows 2000 style Start Menu under Windows 7, which, as the name implies, explains how to recreate a Start Menu-like experience under Windows 7 using a Toolbar. As it turns out, the same technique also applies under the Consumer Preview of Microsoft Windows 8, however, it is still missing the Run dialog. Now, admittedly, you can always bring that up by pressing WinKey + R on your keyboard, but, chances are, if you’re already on the Start Menu and you want to use the Run dialog, you want to do so using your mouse, not your keyboard.
So, without, further adieu, here’s how to create a shortcut to the Run dialog on your simulated Start Menu:
- Go to any empty spot on the Desktop and right-click to pop up the context menu. From there, select New → Shortcut. The Create Shortcut dialog will appear.
- In the Type the location of the item:field, enter the following:
If that string looks vaguely familiar, that’s because it’s a CLSID. I talked about CLSID’s in my earlier blog article, Changing the default Library Folder View in Windows 7. This CLSID is to for Run dialog in Windows 8 Consumer Preview, so what this shortcut does is actually run the CLSID that opens the Run dialog on the Desktop. Now click on the Next button at the bottom of the Window to continue.
- You will now be prompted in the Create Shortcut dialog to name the shortcut you have just created. In the Type a name for this shortcut: field, I suggest entering the text “Run…” for the name (minus the quotes, of course). Note that I have actually not entered three periods after the word “Run” but instead entered an ellipsis. You can create an ellipsis by pressing and holding down the Alt key on your keyboard and then typing “0133” (again, no quotes) on the number pad. This only works if you use the number pad on your keyboard. If you are on a keyboard that does not have a number pad, try using the Character Map program (filename: CHARMAP.EXE) to insert one, instead. Click on the Finish button when your done, and, Voila!, a Run… icon now appears on your Desktop. But how to get it from the Desktop to the Start Menu? That’s the next step!
- Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the “C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\” directory on the computer. Drag the Run… icon from the Desktop to folder, and close the folder when done.
That’s it. The next time you click on your Start Menu‘s chevron in Windows 8 Consumer Preview, you’ll see your Run… command listed under it.