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Why can't I enable the Run command?


In one of your answers you showed how to turn on the Run command in the
Start menu. On my machine the settings you pointed to aren’t there. What do I

This turns out to be relatively easy, but I’m concerned that it’s also a
symptom of a deeper problem.

Let’s look at what that problem might be and then how to go about
re-enabling Run.

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First, to be clear, in this prior article Where is the Run command
on Windows Start Menu?
, I discussed how the properties of the Windows Start
menu include a checkbox for displaying the run menu. For example, in classic

Classic Start Menu Customize Dialog, Featureing the Display Run setting

However, I started getting reports that what many people were seeing was

Classic Start Menu Customize Dialog, Missing the Display Run setting

So, where did it go?

As I’ve remarked in a previous article about Task Manager being
, if you didn’t disable it then a virus probably did.

Disabling Run is yet another way some viruses cause trouble and try to make
it harder for you to deal with their infections. You should run a complete and
up-to-date anti-virus scan
of your machine. It’s possible, perhaps even
likely, that you’ve been infected.

Once you come back virus-free, we can proceed with the fix.

If you have Windows XP Pro you can use the Group Policy Editor to change the
setting you want to repair. Click Start, then click
Run, and type in gpedit.msc:

Start, Run, gpedit.msc

And press OK. This runs the Group Policy Editor.

Oh. Wait. You don’t have Start, Run do
you? That’s why you’re here. Smile

In that case, using Windows Explorer, navigate to c:\windows\system32 and
double-click on gpedit.msc:

Group Policy Editor in Windows Explorer

Once in the Group Policy Editor, expand in turn:

  • User Configuration

  • Administrative Templates

And click on Start Menu and Taskbar. You should see
something much like this:

Group Policy Editor, Start Menu and Taskbar Options

Double click on Remove Run menu from Start Menu to change
its setting:

Remove Run Menu setting

It should be enough to click on Not Configured and then
OK. If you now look at your Start menu properties, you should
have the option of displaying the Run menu once again.

If you don’t have Windows XP Pro, then you’ll need to edit the registry

Click Start, then click Run type in
regedit and click on OK.

Or, since you probably don’t have Run, using Windows
Explorer you can double click on regedt32.exe in

Expand these registry keys in turn:


  • Software

  • Microsoft

  • Windows

  • CurrentVersion

  • Policies

  • Explorer

You should see something similar to this:

Explorer Policies in Registrt Editor

Right Click on the NoRun item and click on
Delete. Confirm that you want to delete, and you should have
the option of displaying the Run menu once again.

One thing to note is that it’s quite possible that if you’re in an
environment managed by a centralized policy, these settings may have no effect.
Your IT administrator may set things up so as to disable the run command, and
other things as well at the domain level. You’ll need to ask them if this is
the case.

Do this

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78 comments on “Why can't I enable the Run command?”

  1. thanks for the solution…
    i twas hit by a virus, and the run command wasnt working, the task manager had been disabled too…

    i use trend micro pc cillin, updated it.. ran a scan, but the problem persists.. i’m worried that the virus is not letting my antivirus software upgrade itself. what can i do?

    kindly help

  2. Wow, cool. Explaination on the problem and recification process was very neat and is easliy understandable to a non computer professional too.

    Thanks a lot. Actually my comp was infected with a virus.

  3. i think i’ve been hit by a virus..
    my task manager has been disabled and the run command is missing in the start menu.. this months news letter was useful.. but the solution given worked only momentarily.. in no time the run command and the task manger were disabled… i think its a virus.. i use trend micro’s pc cillin 2006 which has been updated two days back.. but it failed to detect viruses… is the virus preventing the update?? cant find any other reason.. what should i now do?

  4. Ok i’m going through all the steps but now i can’t get access to the regedit32, it’s telling me access denied, how can i bypass this is there somewhere that i should go

  5. I cant enable my run command. i tried to open the run command in start menu but it is missing then i also tried to open the c:\windows\system32 but the the message appear like this: access denied c:\windows\system32 was disallowed.pls help me tnx

  6. Go here and see the post from Hunter on how to re-enable regedit. Once you’re done you should be able to follow the rest of the instructions here.

    Good luck :-)


  7. Great Tips. I was affected by New Folder.exe and in my Start Menu the Run Command disappeared. Thanks to you I have it up and running.

  8. i dont know who u r? but ur absolutely terrific..
    not many people help like this….thankssss fo me enablin my run command and task managerrr

  9. this article really helped me…..ask-leo is the best at explaining thing in layman’s terms…now that ive enabled my run command(it was disabled by a virus) thanks again leo u saved my life……

    when i tried to edit my registry it said that its been disabled by administator…whats up with that?

  10. hi! i was infected with but since then i have gotten rid of it but still suffering from the repercussions of the virus. i have fixed my homepage and my task manager but can’t fix my RUN. i tried the regedt32.exe method above but did not find the NoRun item under “Explorer” key. Is there any other way to fix the problem? much thanks

  11. Thank you so much!!!!
    you are a computer mastermind this problem was annoying me so much for the last three weeks i looked up many solutions to fix this but the virus i had stopped me from completing these methods, your way was the only one that worked thank you again

  12. Sorry but the particular file i.e. gpedit.msc appears to be hidden in my machine and the folder options is also missing from the tools menu i would be eternally grateful for a fix and also the svc keeps trying to access the net should i allow it?

  13. i have scanned my computer for viruses and have folow all ur steps but then it doesnt work.I still dont have run command in my start menu.give me some advise.tanx

  14. sir i still don’t have the run command in the start menu and also the shutdown button disappeared. i have tried the regedit process, and i have deleted the “no run” item but still nothing happens. i’ll be very grateful if you can help me with my problems. thanks in advance sir!

  15. sir sorry for my other comment, the problem is fixed now. i just restart it and the run command appears now. thanks! your’re the greatest!!! i will recommend you to my friends sir!

  16. i am unable to see flophy drive icon in mycomputer
    i have crosseed checked floppy drive,IDE cable then also problem is occuring ……..plz help me out.

  17. oh my, i just couldn’t believe it!:) you should open some kind of workshop in teaching these things because they are essential knowledge that people need to know for everyday life, especially when dealing with computers and that we’re preparing for a future deffinitely full of these kinds of problems. and on the plus side, you’ll earn millions! haha! well, god bless, and thank you ever so much. you’re a pc-miracle-doctor!

  18. thank you so much! i learned so much with this… but, like sandeep singh, i couldnt find my gpedit.msc… though i managed to return back my folder options and the run command (because of a virus), the gpedit.msc is really not existing in my computer… can you help me with that please?

  19. I tried all these options. I have got error message: ‘This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please conatct your system adminstrator.’ I am the only user of this computer. What can I do further than this. Please help me.

  20. This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please conatct your system adminstrator.’ I am the only user of this computer. What can I do further than this. Please help me.

  21. It was Basic for me.
    But When i try to give shortcut command by pressing Winlogo+r for run Command
    It displays an following error “Run command is disabled by Administrator” And one more funda is I am logon as administrator mode. Please provide an solution and mail to my E-mail address.I tried to find with GPedit.msc also Nothing is working. I hope you provide an answer for me…….

  22. Thanks a million for putting me on the right path! However, I found my “NoRun” entry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartMenu\StartMenu\StartMenuRun\Policy\NoRun
    I deleted it and had my Run command back after reboot. I know this was caused by a nasty virus I had a couple of months ago.

  23. My computer running Win 2000 is virtually hijacked by some virus. Though I did run the AV, The ‘Run’ Command window still does not show, clicking regedit32.exe / regedit.exe gives the message “Disabled by Administrator’. It is a Standalone System installed at home. How do I make the Run Command appear in such a case? and how do I regain control of my computer…ie how do i remove that Administrator…One Thing is for sure and that is the Administrator cannot be disabled from the Administrative Tools… It says cannot disable ‘Built in Administrator Accounts’. Looking forward to a solution at the earliest

  24. you r realy great man i apreciate your work about windows xp and inform me also. due to viruses my control pannel was disable and with the help of your article i enable it in very short time thnx for this

  25. My Pc has been infected by a virus which disables Task manger,regedit,control panel,the programs on my menu the disk drives in my computer heaven knows what else can anyone assit me ive been trying for a week now

  26. You are the best !!! I found some other stuff that helped me get Task manager and Regedit back they were little programs called Registryfix, EnableTM and TaskManagerFix just google them and you will find them. Offcourse the Run prompt was gone as well and no one was able to figure it out but you. You are a real genious my friend. Thank you, thank you.

  27. i use group policy and i allowed only microsoft word, excel and powerpoint.Unfortunately, I can not revert the plicy because all the applications are not running except those applications that i mention.I want to allow again all application but group policy is not opining anymore

  28. Hi Leo, a little trouble, on this example, you use the run option to execute policy editor to enable run option, it confuses me. thanks

    Re-read the article. Particularly the part that says “Oh. Wait. You don’t have Start, Run do you? That’s why you’re here.”


  29. bro, in my pc someone has disable/restrict c:/ drive also & run command also thru gpedit.msc, now what shud i do. how do i find this gpedit.msc in c:/ drive system32 bcoz its also disable/hidden whatwever u say pls help dude pls.

  30. it doesnt help. I did everything in this tutorial but still, i cannot display my run command… please, is there any other way how top do it?

  31. thanks for the tip leo! it really helps me a lot! i have one more problem.. my search window wont display and its gone in mg start menu.. pls help me with this

  32. Hey Leo,
    I read your article and was really impressed with the amount of work you done with this and the others. However, my system doesn’t run Windows XP Pro so I followed the second part of this article which was to run “regetit” manually. I followed your instructions step by step but when I tried to open “regedt32” (registry Editor) it comes up with an error saying “registry editing has been disabled by your administrator”. Is there another way I can get through it? My computer has an anti-virus system called “The Shield Dulex” and I do full computer scans every 1-2 weeks. I tried running my computer on safe mode and tried a couple of tricks that I know but I still can’t solve this problem (learnt during my schooling years. 2003 – 2008 studied Info Tech and now have a Cert II in IT).
    I would be really grateful if you helped me solve this problem and I am sure there are many with the same problem I am experiencing.
    thank you

  33. For some reason, GPEDIT.msc was not in my system32 folder, how can i find it, i searched it, and it immediately stoped the search and said search is complete. Please tell me how i can fix this, I scanned my computer, and i found the virus that disabled my task manager, so now i have that, but w/e i do, i cannot find out the virus that disabled run, even if it is gone, i cannot enable it yet.
    please help me by emailing me:
    [email address removed]

  34. When I click on Start>Run I get a window saying that a shortcut cannot be created here Do I want to create a shortcut on the desktop instead?

    I’m not really finding any ideas to try to get by this. I did foind a RUN replacement that I can place on the desktop, but I work for a school district and placing stuff on the desktp is not a good idea. If possible, I need to fix the original Start>Run dialog box.

  35. Hi Leo. I went ahead and tried to run regedt32.exe but then a thing pops up saying “registry editing has been disabled by administrator”… now what?


  36. ahmmm… i followed all your solution but it doesn’t work… when i followed the last solution you posted i cannot find the “current version” you told… please help me… thanks… farrah

  37. GREAT!
    I FOLLOW his your instruction bro.. tHANKS A LOT
    but please make it a shortcut to everyone..

    1. go FIRST C:\WINDOWS\system32
    3. UNDER user configuration, administrative templates, startmenu and taskbar,
    4. On the rightside of your screen, look for remove run from startmenu
    5. click first enables, then click apply
    6. open again the remove run from startmenu then click disabled, then click apply again.
    7. That’s it, you have your RUN OPTION WITHOUT RESTARTING YOUR SYSTEM.

    thank you so much leo..

  38. one problem, i cant find the “GPEDIT.MSC” in my System23. I found the glu32.dll and the gpkcsp.dll that it’s suppose to be between but the gpedit.msc isnt there

  39. Exellent!! Even if you did not make it as shorter way of guiding it’s very easy to follow with the use of pictures as a visual guide.. thanks a lot!! ^^

  40. thanks leo this all stuff was troubling me alot and i was not willing to format masystem or restore it.thanks anyway….keep up the good work

  41. hello,
    i have had troubles with this problem and many others like the registry editor and the folder options in windows explorer for the past 2 weeks or so.

    i have been on the web for hours looking for solutions and i have only fixed the registry.

    i followed all the instructions to the punctuation points in these instructions and the problem re-appears and the registry keys re-apear on reboot.

    i have got up to date avast and have run several full computer and thorough scans and have an active firewall.

    please help me! im going insane!

  42. This no run command could be caused by a Virus. BackDoor-EEC.gen. McAfee DATS 9/24/09 can pick it up. Other symptoms include virus being copied to a memory stick when you insert it. No folder options to change your folder views to see hidden files in Windows XP. Watch out it is nasty…still trying to clean it out.

  43. article is really nice but its not working on my computer, Joe was right the virus seems to be the same, i am not having my run command,no folder options etc etc, i have avast professional edition but so far it cant detect the virus, any help or advice appreciated, thank you


  45. I’ve tried your steps on how to back the run command at start up and it really works. But my problem is, after i restart my PC the run is gone again. Please advise me wat to my bro..Please help me

  46. How do I get command from start menu to run a disc or do anything.I get “device not ready” but yet a person was using it a couple months ago.

  47. i’ve done all the steps you’ve said
    but when the command box comes up
    it says “The command prompt has been disabled by the administrator” but i am the administrator

  48. Please tell me! How can I enable RUN and also tell me to enable Folder option in Control Panel as well as in Tools option in

  49. Dear I follow all the above instruction I could run the regedit after cracking the Admin password but any how the Run not appearing and also the properties of the descktop change the wallpaper ETC. is that because of the Domin? I still believe that we can find a solution !?
    thanks and Cheers

  50. Pl, my computer is window 7 ultimate, My computer operate window 7 normally, and all icons on the desktop are appear but icons on the desktop are can’ open and run box can’t call , how I try this problem , reply me, thanks

  51. you tell right but at the last point when i delete the no file from the regedit then it says UNABLE TO DELETE ALL SPECIFIED VALUES please reply to me


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