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How to manage app execution aliases on Windows 10

On Windows 10, apps can declare alias names that you can use to run apps using Command Prompt. However, sometimes apps may declare a name that's already taken by another app, and when this happens, trying to run an alias may execute the incorrect application.

Starting with the Windows 10 April 2018 Update (version 1803), to overcome this limitation, the Settings app includes an option that allows you to specify which app should use the alias when multiple applications have the same name.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to select which app should use a particular execution alias when multiple apps have the same name.

How to specify which app can use a repeated alias name

If you have multiple apps using the same alias name, you can use these steps to select which app should use it:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Apps.
  3. Click on Apps & features.
  4. Click the Manage app execution aliases link.

  1. Turn of the toggle switch for the apps that have the same execution name.

Once you've completed the steps, running an alias app name using Command Prompt or Run command will only execute successfully for the app that has the toggle switch enabled.

If you disable apps that do not have conflicting names, you'll prevent those apps from running when using a Windows console, and you'll end up with command "is not recognized as internal or external command, operable program or batch file" message. However, using this option will not affect launching the app from the Start menu.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

4 Comments
  • Invoking UWP apps in command line or in File Explorer is quite difficult. You need to inspect its PackageFamilyName and ApplicationId. This is one of the reasons people don't use UWP apps.
  • I can't tell if you're saying that as a thing that bothers you or that you're glad its being addressed. This specifically makes it easier to run UWP apps from the command line, no?
  • No. This doesn't help when you have to add a browser like edge as an option within a web tool or editor, for example. There is no way to use Edge for previewing files within PaintShop Pro or other Win32 tools because the execution alias isn't a valid executable. You're stuck keeping IE installed, or using a third party browser. This is why IE still exists in these systems. This is also an issue when buying image editors like Affinity Photo/Designer and Inkscape, through the Windows Store, using Office via the Windows Store, etc. you cannot integrate them into other apps because... Where's the application? Alias doesn't work, not a valid executable. It is way too hard to launch these application both from the command line as well as from other applications. it's a complete workflow disabler. I got most stuff from the store and ended up having to refund it all and go back to Win32. It was completely unusable and unworkable. I've since deleted my Microsoft Account and don't even bother looking at the store anymore. UWP and Centennial literally feel like a badly implemented mobile IS on top of Windows. I have the same feeling I had with Windows 8. Trying to move to the Windows Store has really exposed how awful an experience it is for real world use.
  • We can't create our own aliases yet, right?