Windows operating system includes so many hidden or hard to notice features that even long time users are not aware of many of the hidden features present in the Windows operating system.
The other day, when I was at a friend’s place, I noticed my friend typing the program’s name in Windows 10 Start menu search box and pressing Enter key to open another instance of the Notepad. Now, many of you might be wondering what’s wrong with my friend’s approach to open another instance of the Notepad program.
While one can always open another instance of the program (provided that the program supports multiple instances) by typing its name in the search box and pressing Enter key, there are easier ways to quickly launch another instance of applications in the Windows operating system, including Windows 10.
Do all programs support multiple instances?
No, not all programs support multiple instances. For instance, by default, another instance of Windows Media Player can’t be launched. You need to use a small, third-party tool to make Windows Media Player support multiple instances. Likewise, universal or Store apps in Windows 10 don’t support multiple instances.
In short, barring a few programs like WMP and Skype, most of the desktop programs support multiple instances. Popular Office programs like Word and Excel also support multiple instances.
4 ways to run multiple instances of a program
The following are the four methods to quickly open another instance of a program in Windows 10, Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 7.
Method 1 – open another instance of a program via mouse
Method 2 – open another instance of an application using the mouse
Method 3 – run another instance of an application using a keyboard shortcut
Method 4 – use the mouse to open another instance of a program
Method 1 of 4
Run another instance using the mouse
Step 1: If an instance of the program is already running, simply right-click on its icon on the taskbar and then click on the program’s name to open another instance of the program.
For instance, if Notepad is already running, to open another instance, right-click on the Notepad’s icon in the taskbar, and then click Notepad.
Method 2 of 4
Run another instance of a program using the mouse
Step 1: When an instance of the program is already running, hold down the shift key and then click (left-click) on the program’s icon in the taskbar to open another instance. If the application supports multiple instances, the action will open another instance.
Method 3 of 4
Open another instance using a keyboard shortcut
Like me, if you prefer opening another instance using a keyboard shortcut, there is a keyboard shortcut for that as well.
Step 1: If an instance of the program is already running, you can use Windows logo key + Shift + 1-9 to open another instance of the program. For instance, if the Notepad program is appearing right next to the Start button and already running, then you can use the Windows logo + Shift + 1 to open another instance.
Likewise, if the Paint program is the fourth program from the Start button, to open another instance, you need to press Windows logo key + Shift + 4.
Method 4 of 4
Easy way to open another instance of a program
This is the easiest way of the lot. Middle-click on the taskbar icon of a program that supports multiple instances to open another instance of the program. If this method is not working, please check your mouse settings. Go through our easy way to open multiple instances of a program in the Windows 10 guide for detailed information.
I hope this helps!
skype used to allow multiple instances. You could start a second instance of it by using ‘-secondary’ in it’s executable command line.
Not used skype for a while maybe they changed that?