How to run a Windows app or program with a keyboard shortcut

In this article, learn how to run a Windows app or program with a keyboard shortcut.

Did you know that you may use a keyboard shortcut to open a program in both Windows 10 and Windows 7? Yes, these operating systems allow users to use keyboard shortcuts to launch their favorite apps. Additionally, you may utilize some predefined keyboard keys to open both desktop and Microsoft Store programs. Without further ado, here’s how to use Windows’ built-in tools to create a shortcut key to execute a program without needing third-party apps:

NOTE: This article’s instructions apply to both Windows 10 and Windows 7. Although we’re talking about apps and programs in this video, the same procedures may be used to open folders and webpages with keyboard shortcuts.

How to open a program with a keyboard shortcut, by pinning it to the taskbar

This approach works for both desktop programs and apps from the Microsoft Store in Windows 10 and Windows 7. To begin, pin the app to the taskbar that you want to launch with a keyboard shortcut. Right-click the app’s shortcut from your Start Menu, desktop, or anywhere else you have it, whether you’re using Windows 10 or Windows 7. Then, in the contextual menu, select “Pin to taskbar” or More, followed by “Pin to taskbar” from the drop-down menu.

Alternatively, you may simply drag a program’s executable or shortcut onto your taskbar to pin it to your taskbar.

After you’ve pinned your favorite apps to the taskbar, you can launch them by pressing the Windows key and the number that corresponds to the app shortcut on your taskbar. For example, we pinned Microsoft Edge, Mail, Office, Netflix, and Spotify in the screenshot below.

We can now use the following keyboard shortcuts to open these apps:

  • Windows + 1 for Microsoft Edge
  • Windows + 2 for Mail
  • Windows + 3 for Office
  • Windows + 4 for Netflix
  • Windows + 5 for Spotify

This may be done using the first nine programs pinned to the taskbar, each of which is assigned a number from 1 to 9 based on their location.

How to open any program with a keyboard shortcut (set hotkeys for shortcuts)

You’ll need a shortcut for that program if you choose to start it with a custom keyboard shortcut. You can make one yourself or utilize one from your Start Menu, desktop, or any other location on your computer.

Right-click or press and hold the shortcut once you’ve created it. Choose Properties from the right-click menu. To get the same outcome, choose the shortcut and hit Alt + Enter on your keyboard.

Go to the Shortcut tab in the shortcut’s Properties and look for the “Shortcut key” box. The field next to it should say None unless you’ve already assigned it a Shortcut key.

To utilize a keyboard shortcut, first, click this area and then press the desired keyboard shortcut.

To launch Google Chrome, for example, we used Ctrl + Alt + C.

When you’re finished, click or touch OK to preserve your changes. Then, to see how the app works, press the keyboard shortcut you provided to it.

As long as you don’t delete the shortcut whose characteristics you’ve updated, this keyboard shortcut will work. The keyboard shortcut remains inactive as soon as you erase it. If you want to undo your modifications, update the same shortcut and erase the existing keyboard shortcut in the “Shortcut key” field by pressing Backspace.

Do you know other ways to start apps with keyboard shortcuts that do not require third-party apps?

You now know how to use hotkeys in Windows 10 and Windows 7 to launch applications and apps. What is your preferred method of accomplishing this? How many apps do you use keyboard shortcuts to launch? Let’s talk about it in the comments section.

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