The Run box is one of the most important holdovers from the early days of Windows. It is a powerful tool that can be accessed through a simple shortcut. The Run command is also known as the Run dialog. By opening the dialog and typing a simple command, users on Windows 10 can quickly jump to a configuration option. They can also use this tool to quickly access settings without opening multiple windows or clicking several functions.
Despite its usefulness, the Run command can still be disabled on Windows 10. We’re sure most people can’t contemplate the idea of neutering a feature as useful as this one. Still, some people might prefer to disable the Run dialog for whatever reason. This post shows them —and you — how to do so.
The Run Command
The Run dialog is deceptively simple in appearance. It is basically a box with an input field and three buttons — OK, Cancel, and Browse. Clicking the first one invokes the command typed into the box while the second button stops the operation and closes the Run dialog. The third button, on the other hand, is used to browse manually to a location on the computer.
With the Run box, you can quickly go to a useful Windows settings or administrative feature. You can use this tool to access the registry or Group Policy Editor. It also lets users jump to an option in Control Panel such as Programs & Features, or a Windows application like MS Word or Calculator. It can even open a specific web page on your preferred browser. The key is in learning, knowing, and remembering the commands to use in each case.
How to Open the Run Command
Perhaps, you want to disable the Run command dialog box because you find that invoking it takes too much time. You may haven’t discovered the fastest way to open the Run box, hence your frustration. In reality, there are several ways to bring up the Run dialog.
The best and most efficient way to call up the Run dialog is to use its default keyboard shortcut. Like most default shortcuts, this one also consists of pressing a keyboard combination.
In the case of the Run command dialog, the combination to press is this: Windows key + R.
You press and hold down the Windows key on your keyboard, then press the R key. That’s it. The Windows key is the one with a Windows logo. It is usually between the Fn and left Alt keys on modern PC keyboards.
You can also invoke the Run box by pressing the Windows key + X keyboard combination and selecting Run from the menu of useful Windows programs.
Another way to open the Run command is by pressing the Windows key and typing “Run” (no quotes) in the Start menu. This method is the least efficient of the lot.
Once the Run command dialog has been loaded, you just need to type in a command. Then, click the OK button or hit Enter on your keyboard and the required action will be executed.
Disable the Run Box on Windows 10
The Run box isn’t just a fancy addition to the litany of shortcuts on Windows 10. It is genuinely useful and provides quick access to a wide range of settings, programs, and operations. So, why then would anyone want to disable it?
There are times or situations where disabling the Run box, even if temporarily, is a necessary course of action. For example, if your PC needs to be used by others, you may want to disable the Run dialog to prevent them from opening important windows settings like the registry and making changes.
If you manage to disable the Run command box, the shortcut for it on Windows 10 will stop working. It won’t appear as a search result either. Choosing the option from the Win + X menu will also fail to open it.
Instead, the following error message will appear:
This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer.
You and anyone else that tries to launch the Run command dialog will keep getting this error message until the feature is re-enabled.
How to Disable the Run Command (Win + R) on Windows 10
The beauty of Windows is that you can customize it to your heart’s content — just as long as you know all the tricks. You can even block practical features like the Run command for as long as you need so others won’t be able to use it.
Ironically, two of the inbuilt Windows features commonly accessed through the Run command — Group Policy Editor and Registry Editor — can be used to stop the Run dialog from working. This tutorial will show you how to use them to disable the feature.
After using any of the two simple methods in this guide, nobody will be able to access Run from the WinX menu or use WIN + R.
You can use the two Windows features to enable the Run menu again by reversing the last steps of each operation.
Disable the Run Command Box with Group Policy Editor
You can use the Group Policy Editor applet to disable the Run command if your PC is running Windows 10 Enterprise or Windows 10 Professional. Computers running the Home edition of the operating system cannot use this option; the second method is more suitable.
Follow the procedure here to block the Run command in Windows 10 through the Group Policy Editor.
- Hold down the Windows key and press R on your keyboard to open the Run dialog.
- Type “gpedit.msc” (no quotes) without the quotation marks into the Run field. Click OK or press the Enter key to launch the Group Policy Editor.
- The Local Group Policy Editor window will open. Navigate to the following location:
User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Start Menu and Taskbar.
You can use the menu in the left pane of the window to navigate to this location. Alternatively, you can paste the path above into the path field to quickly jump to the Start Menu and Taskbar folder.
- With Start Menu and Taskbar selected on the left, double-click the “Remove Run menu from start menu” setting on the right.
- When the window for the setting opens, select Enabled and click OK.
That’s it. You have disabled the Run dialog in Windows 10. You can test this by pressing the Windows key + R combination. You will see that nothing happens. If you try launching the Run menu through the Start Menu, it won’t open either.
How to Enable the Run Command on Windows 10 with the Group Policy Editor
Do you want to restore the ability to use the Run command on your computer after disabling it with the Group Policy Editor? That’s pretty easy. Most of the procedure involves doing what you already did above. However, when you get to the last step, select Not Configured and click OK.
When you use the Group Policy Editor to enable or disable the Run command in Windows 10, a reboot isn’t needed. The change you make is applied immediately when you click the OK button.
Disable the Run Command Box with Registry Editor
Using Registry Editor to “turn off” the Run command on Windows 10 is very straightforward.
This method is recommended for those whose systems run the Home edition of Windows. However, it is suitable for everyone running Windows 10, irrespective of the edition of the firmware.
However, you should proceed carefully when editing the registry. The registry contains all the configurations, settings, and options that both the operating system and installed application require to function properly. Hence, unduly changing registry keys or mistakenly modifying a critical entry can cause the system to crash or become unstable.
We recommend taking a registry backup before doing anything through Registry Editor. The steps below show you how to do this:
- Press the Windows key to bring up the Start Menu.
- Type “regedit” (no quotes) without the quotes and hit the Enter key to launch Registry Editor.
- If the UAC prompt asking you to permit Registry Editor to make changes to your computer shows up, click the Yes button.
- In the Registry Editor window, navigate to Computer > Export and enter a name for the registry backup file. Select a location and click the Save button. With the backup created, we can now proceed with using this method to block the Run dialog.
- Now, navigate to the following location:
You can use the menu in the left pane of the window to navigate to this location. Alternatively, you can paste the path above into the path field at the top to quickly jump to the Explorer folder.
- With Policies selected on the left pane, move the cursor to an empty area within the right pane and right-click the empty space to display a context menu.
- Click on DWORD (32-bit) Value in the context menu.
- In the DWORD (32-bit) Value dialog box, do the following:
- In the Value name field, type “NoRun” (no quotes).
- In the Value data field, type “1” (no quotes).
- Click the OK button to add the new registry entry.
- Reboot the computer and it is done!
Tip: If you ever run into problems while editing your registry, you can use the Registry Cleaner tool in Auslogics BoostSpeed to resolve all issues. After running a scan with this tool and fixing all errors, your PC should become noticeably smoother and more stable.
Enable the Run (Win + R) box on Windows 10 with Registry Editor
If you want to reverse your modification and make the Run command available again, that’s pretty easy. Simply retrace your steps in Registry Editor and change the Value data of the NoRun entry to 0.
For clarification, navigate to the following path in Registry Editor:
Then, double-click the NoRun entry in the right pane and change the value in the Value data field to 0. Click the OK button and restart the system (or Explorer.exe).
That’s all. The Run dialog will start working immediately.
Tip: After blocking the Run command in Windows 10, you won’t be able to open various settings, programs and navigate to hidden locations with the Win + R keyboard combination. This means that you’d need to find other ways to launch important Windows programs like Registry Editor and Local Group Policy Editor.
One method is to simply type the code for the program in the Start Menu. For example, if you want to launch Group Policy Editor after the Run command is blocked, press the Windows key and type “gpedit” (no quotes), and then hit Enter to launch the program.
You can do this for every program or component whose command you know. Alternatively, just type the program’s full name in the Start Menu.
Another method is to run the commands you’d normally use the Run dialog for in Command Prompt or PowerShell. As a matter of fact, the Run dialog, Command Prompt, and Windows PowerShell are functionally interchangeable in Windows 10 — up to a point, of course.
The Run box in Windows 10 is also known as the Run command, the Run dialog, and the Win + X command. You can use it to quickly jump to configurations and options buried deep in the massive maze of Windows settings. It is also a quick way to open certain apps and access some files whose location is known.
Despite serving a very practical purpose, it may be necessary to temporarily put the Run command dialog out of commission. This guide explains the procedure for blocking the Win + R keyboard functionality in Windows 10.
After perusing this guide, you should have become quite adept at disabling and enabling the Run dialog. If you have further questions or an interesting tidbit to share, let us know about it in the comments section.