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I have installed two versions of the same program: Visual Studio. Both versions have devenv.exe as their executable. If I open the run dialog and type devenv, then Visual Studio 2012 opens.

I would like to differentiate the two in the run dialog.

  • run > devenv12 opens Visual Studio 2012
  • run > devenv10 opens Visual Studio 2010.

How can I differentiate between two identically named executable in the run dialog?

  • 3
    In case you were not aware, when you run an exe by shortname in the run bar, it will execute the instance that comes up first when the %PATH% env variable is evaluated, so the order of directories in your path (from left to right) will determine which one gets run. – Frank Thomas Mar 20 '15 at 18:18
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Using your favorite text editor, create two .bat files in a directory that's on the system path that point to the different executables.

devenv12.bat

@echo off
C:\path\to\MSVS 2012\devenv.exe

devenv10.bat

@echo off
C:\path\to\MSVS 2010\devenv.exe

You should then be able to run VS 2010 or VS 2012 exactly as you've written in your question: devenv10 should open VS 2010; devenv12 should open VS 2012.

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  1. You should be able to rename the applications as you want and they still should execute normally.

  2. Specify the full path to the file, e.g. "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe"

  3. Though not exactly what you ask for, you could create shortcuts to the files and set a keyboard shortcut for each, e.g. Crtl+Alt+0 and Crtl+Alt+2 for v. 2010 and 2012 respectively.

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    #1 is very dangerous, as it's impossible to know what sorts of, e.g., registry keys are constructed assuming the executable is named devenv.exe. – hBy2Py Mar 20 '15 at 18:01
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Have you tried creating a new environment variable on your machine? You can do this by going to "Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\System", then click on "Advanced system settings" and go to "Environment Variables...".

Add a new variable named devenv10 with the path pointing to the executable of your VS2010. You can then launch VS2010 by running %devenv10%

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