Just installed Windows 8, pinned Notepad to the start screen. When I press the Windows key and use the Notepad tile to run Notepad, it will focus on the currently open Notepad window. I'd like it to start a new instance of Notepad. Is this possible?


It actually is possible with a reg key to do this. it only works for desktop apps (not full screen win8 apps) though i imagine this is exactly what everyone is looking to do.


Source here.

  • Hmmpf, seems that it dosent work for me. Too bad. – Ivan Viktorovic Jan 26 '15 at 7:57
  • My searches indicate that this does not work in 8,1. The middle click suggested by ronalchn does. – TecBrat Aug 13 '15 at 8:48
  • Doesn't work in Server 2012 – BurnsBA Jan 17 '19 at 19:51

Use the Shift key to start a new instance of any application. Either Shift+Enter or Shift-Click, or else middle click.

Source: http://codeyarns.com/2012/10/22/start-multiple-instances-of-an-application-in-windows-8/

Other taskbar modifiers include:

Shift+Click         Open a new instance of the program
Ctrl+Click          Cycle between windows in a group
Middle Click        Open a new instance of the program
Ctrl+Shift+Click    Open a new instance of the program as Administrator
Shift+Right-Click   Show window menu
  • 2
    Came here to say this, I always use Middle-Click to open a new instance, it works in Windows 7 too. – Mark Allen Oct 27 '12 at 6:33
  • Ctrl-click is the greatest thing ever! Thank you! – Caleb Jares Nov 7 '12 at 18:39
  • Microsoft should've made this more visible. I've searched for standard windows hotkeys and never found these earlier. Will use these a lot from now on. – Henrik Karlsson Feb 3 '13 at 14:40

To make it always open a new window with a normal left click, change the shortcut target of the tile:

  1. Right click on the tile

  2. Open file location. A File Explorer window should open, with a Notepad shortcut in it

  3. Right click on the Notepad shortcut

  4. Click properties

  5. Change the target to %windir%\system32\cmd.exe /c start %windir%\system32\notepad.exe

    enter image description here

  • This works for programs that have no spaces in the path but not for something like Wordpad.exe. For that I use %windir%\system32\cmd.exe /c start /d "%ProgramFiles%\Windows NT\Accessories" wordpad.exe. Because the path has spaces it needs quoted, but if start sees quotes in the first argument it treats it as the title of the new window. Here I use the /d switch to specify the (quoted) path for the executable separately from the executable name. This works better for me than shift-clicking which can put new windows behind everything else--so far all new windows are on top. – User5910 Mar 2 '13 at 17:14
  • @User5910 You could (should) just put a set of empty quotes for the title - the /d method will fail if the executable name itself has spaces. I've actually answered a question addressing that very issue. – Bob Mar 2 '13 at 17:20

Another rather tedious way to go about it is to right click on the tile & select "Open in New Window"

  • In fact, this is usually the quickest way (for me) to make a new instance of an already running app. Opening the Start Screen, finding the app (however conveniently placed it may be) and Shift-Clicking it seems needlessly complicated (though I'm glad I've learned of it) compared to right-clicking the taskbar and clicking on "New whatever". – Vincent Vancalbergh Aug 26 '13 at 7:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.