Tip: Run Calculator in Windows 10 directly

You might have noticed that in the leaked Windows 10 build 9901, Microsoft killed the good old calculator in favor of its Modern (Metro) version. Even when you type "calc.exe" into the Run box, the Modern app will open. Here is an explanation of why this happens. I will also show you an alternative way to run the Modern Calculator app directly since you have no choice anyway.


Here is how the Calculator app looks:

To open it, I press Win + R shortcut keys on my keyboard and enter calc in the Run box.

This was one of the popular ways to launch the classic calculator app. But now it is just a wrapper. To open the new Calculator directly, you need to enter the following text in the Run dialog:

calculator://

See:
Windows 10 calculator run box
The result will be exactly the same as above.

You might be curious why Microsoft left a wrapper in the OS? Well, the answer is simple: for backward compatibility. There are lots of apps which run the Windows Calculator directly from their UI, now all these apps will launch this new Metro app.
Microsoft tried to make the Metro version of Calculator similar to the classic one, i.e. it also has various working modes:
modern calculator modes
It is touch friendly and big, too big in fact for mouse users and even if it runs inside a window, it doesn't feel as nice as the classic app.

The good old calc.exe was less resource hungry and opened faster than ANY Modern app. However, it looks like Microsoft has decided to abandon it and force us to use the Modern app.

Do you like the way Microsoft is switching to Metro apps everywhere or do you prefer the classic Windows apps and would like to see them revived in the release version of Windows 10?
Credits: Whistler4Ever.

29 thoughts on “Tip: Run Calculator in Windows 10 directly

  1. MDJ

    Wow! This looks way to massive for a calculator!

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      indeed

      Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

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      1. MDJ

        Do they actually listen to people feedback? I can‘t believe that this could be what most people want.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 6

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        1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

          I have no idea. From my point of view, they do not listen to anyone.

          Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

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  2. Logan9778

    Things like this is why I’m ditching windows for Linux Mint.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      We will start Linux Mint covering in near future

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

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  3. Sleeping

    What if I copy calc.exe from Windows 8.1? Does it work? Did anyone try? :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      It will work for sure.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      Reply
    2. Morten Albertsen

      I tried this. And the calc.exe app (copied straight from Win 8.1) does not want to open

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

      Reply
  4. Jozsef

    I normally run a command to remove all the Metro apps at once. A few of them are not removable of course but I can ignore them. I have no use for stripped down cell phone apps on a desktop. I can only assume Microsoft’s management has gone mad.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Old calculator for Windows 10: http://winaero.com/blog/get-calculator-from-windows-8-and-windows-7-in-windows-10/

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      1. J

        This worked great. I just updated to the latest build after a bit of time away from testing windows 10 after looking over the initial build. And was disappointed that all the original desktop apps were removed and only the backward metro applications remained.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

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        1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

          You can get the old Calculator app back in Windows 10, here: http://winaero.com/blog/get-calculator-from-windows-8-and-windows-7-in-windows-10/

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

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  5. Ken Haley

    I don’t mind re-vamping to modernize the looks of things, but it irks me when they drop useful features. In this case, you’re no longer able to edit history as you could in the Win 7 version of Calculator. If you enter a complex calculation (like adding up a long list of numbers or some involved expression) and made a typo, you can fix the typo and re-evaluate in the old Calculator. In Windows 10, it’s no longer possible.

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  6. john werneken

    Having no tolerance for the mobile lifestyle, or ‘always in touch’, loving the digital world but having no use for it it my daily life, I HATE mobile devices.

    And I dislike touch.

    So I do detest TIFKAM (The Interface Formerly Known As Modern) Aps.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

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  7. 98cafe

    Did they remove the wrapper? I tried “calc” in the run box, but it tells me that it needs a program to launch it. Old or new, it wouldn’t open anything.

    I thought 10 was supposed to undo the FUBAR that was 8. Now I’m thinking I should just go back to 8.1 until they fix this mess.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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  8. leon

    I was allready wondering why calc doesn’t work from the run box.

    Actually I was wondering why I have to do:

    Winkey + R, then calc enter
    –> calculator is started but suspended, the window doesn’t pop-up.
    Then again, Winkey + R, calc enter
    –> calculator opens, you have to do the calc thing TWICE, but why?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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    1. peter

      Actually the calculator runs, it is listed in processes in Task manager. But it does not open the GUI

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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  9. danny

    lot of old apps including calculator just don’t work at all on windows 10. constantly get apps wont work with UIC disabled so now I’m looking for replacements on all of them. Tried going back to Windows 7 but it didn’t let me. Hate doing a clean re-install but I may have to.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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  10. Tania W

    I keep getting a message saying “you’ll need a new app to open this calculator”. Help! I don’t know what to do. Why does everything after an update have to change and become so bloody complicated??

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      May I ask you when this message appears?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  11. Brick Heck

    When I try to open Calc or calculator:// on my Win 10 machine, a popup says “You’ll need a new app to run this calculator”. Thanks for the free upgrade MS, I just need to run Open Office when I want to multiply some numbers. I no longer have a calculator.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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  12. John 15

    An offtopic question. I’m curious which Win10 theme is that? Thanks!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      the default one with colored title bars enabled.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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      1. John 15

        Thanks for info! Actually i was puzzled by the black calculator. Mine is white in Win 10 Pro. Did you applied any mods to the registry (i.e. dark theme) ?

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        1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

          See here:
          http://winaero.com/blog/enable-the-dark-theme-for-settings-and-modern-apps-in-windows-10/

          I used Winaero Tweaker, you can use it too or apply that Registry tweak mentioned in the article.

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          1. John 15

            Thanks a million!

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          2. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

            Don’t mention it.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  13. Jason

    It looks like those f*ckers at Microsoft wants old near-sighted grandma at age 94 and little toddler Tim at age 3 to be able to use the calculator in addition to us mere mortals. They didn’t stop to think that grandma calculates everything in her head and little Tim doesn’t understand addition from subtraction. F*ck those imbeciles at Metrosoft…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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