Command Prompt

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Command Prompt in Windows 7

Command Prompt is the name for the program provided with the Windows operating system which allows the user to access the computer shell, that is, a text-based (command-line) control system.

One can open the Command Prompt window by clicking the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, and then clicking Command Prompt.[1] Alternatively, "cmd.exe" can be entered into the Run/Search box to start it immediately.

About Commands

These commands are generally applicable in Windows 7 operating systems and later

Command Function Notes
ASSOC Displays or modifies file extension associations.
ATTRIB Displays or changes file attributes.
BREAK Sets or clears extended CTRL+C checking.
BCDEDIT Sets properties in boot database to control boot loading. Edit the computer's bootloader
CACLS Displays or modifies access control lists (ACLs) of files.
CALL Calls one batch program from another. Similar to "Start," except the called file is run in the same window
CD Displays the name of or changes the current directory.
CHCP Displays or sets the active code page number.
CHDIR Displays the name of or changes the current directory.
CHKDSK Checks a disk and displays a status report. Sometimes used instead of the GUI check-disk option since it provides information about problems found, and which ones where fixed (if /R is used)
CHKNTFS Displays or modifies the checking of disk at boot time.
CLS Clears the screen.
CMD Starts a new instance of the Windows command interpreter.
COLOR Sets the default console foreground and background colors.
COMP Compares the contents of two files or sets of files.
COMPACT Displays or alters the compression of files on NTFS partitions.
CONVERT Converts FAT volumes to NTFS. You cannot convert the current drive.
COPY Copies one or more files to another location. For more options, see XCOPY
DATE Displays or sets the date.
DEL Deletes one or more files. Same as the ERASE command
DIR Displays a list of files and sub-directories in a directory. For a more organized layout, use TREE
DISKCOMP Compares the contents of two floppy disks.
DISKCOPY Copies the contents of one floppy disk to another.
DISKPART Displays or configures Disk Partition properties.
DOSKEY Edits command lines, recalls Windows commands, and creates macros.
DRIVERQUERY Displays current device driver status and properties.
ECHO Displays messages, or turns command echoing on or off.
ENDLOCAL Ends localization of environment changes in a batch file.
ERASE Deletes one or more files. Same as the DEL command
EXIT Quits the CMD.EXE program (command interpreter).
FC Compares two files or sets of files, and displays the differences between them.
FIND Searches for a text string in a file or files. For more options, try FINDSTR (below)
FINDSTR Searches for strings in files. Useful for retrieving information saved to a file and setting it to a variable. Unlike PRINT, the retrieved data is readily usable
FOR Runs a specified command for each file in a set of files.
FORMAT Formats a disk for use with Windows.
FSUTIL Displays or configures the file system properties.
FTYPE Displays or modifies file types used in file extension associations.
GOTO Directs the Windows command interpreter to a labeled line in a batch program.
GPRESULT Displays Group Policy information for machine or user.
GRAFTABL Enables Windows to display an extended character set in graphics mode.
HELP Provides Help information for Windows commands. This is where most or all of this list came from
ICACLS Display, modify, backup, or restore ACLs for files and directories.
IF Performs conditional processing in batch programs.
LABEL Creates, changes, or deletes the volume label of a disk.
MD Creates a directory. Same as MKDIR
MKDIR Creates a directory. Same as MD
MKLINK Creates Symbolic Links and Hard Links
MODE Configures a system device.
MORE Displays output one screen at a time. Auto-applies the PAUSE command when the screen fills
MOVE Moves one or more files from one directory to another directory. XCOPY offers more options
OPENFILES Displays files opened by remote users for a file share.
PATH Displays or sets a search path for executable files.
PAUSE Suspends processing of a batch file and displays a message.
POPD Restores the previous value of the current directory saved by PUSHD.
PRINT Prints a text file (to screen). Retrieved data must be piped to be used as a variable. If anything other than simple output is required, see FINDSTR
PROMPT Changes the Windows command prompt.
PUSHD Saves the current directory then changes it. Change the working directory
RD Removes a directory. Use the "/s" switch if it has sub-directories, or this will fail. Same function as RMDIR
RECOVER Recovers readable information from a bad or defective disk.
REM Records comments (remarks) in batch files or CONFIG.SYS.
REN Renames a file or files. Same as RENAME (below)
RENAME Renames a file or files. Same as REN (above)
REPLACE Replaces files.
RMDIR Removes a directory. Use the "/s" switch if it has sub-directories, or this will fail. Same function as RD
ROBOCOPY Advanced utility to copy files and directory trees
SET Displays, sets, or removes Windows environment variables.
SETX Set environment variables Somewhat similar to SET
SETLOCAL Begins localization of environment changes in a batch file.
SC Displays or configures services (background processes).
SCHTASKS Schedules commands and programs to run on a computer.
SHIFT Shifts the position of replaceable parameters in batch files.
SHUTDOWN Allows proper local or remote shutdown, restart, or logoff
SORT Sorts input.
START Starts a separate window to run a specified program or command.
SUBST Associates a path with a drive letter .
SYSTEMINFO Displays machine specific properties and configuration.
TASKLIST Displays all currently running tasks including services.
TASKKILL Kill or stop a running process or application. Use TASKLIST if you need to check the exact name. Always include the program file extension, like ".exe"
TIME Displays or sets the system time. In older Windows versions, the /d switch would show the date
TIMEOUT Waits a set amount of time before continuing By default, a key may be pressed to skip the delay. However, the /NOBREAK switch may be used to force the delay without a skip option. Also, using -t -1 is the same as PAUSE
TITLE Sets the window title for a CMD.EXE session.
TREE Graphically displays the directory structure of a drive or path. Similar in function to DIR
TYPE Displays the contents of a text file.
VER Displays the Windows version. This information is also shown when Command Prompt is opened.
VERIFY Tells Windows whether to verify that your files are written correctly to a disk. On most computers, the default is off
VOL Displays a disk volume label and serial number.
XCOPY Copies files and directory trees. Can be used for move or copy, and offers a lot of options.
WMIC Displays WMI information inside interactive command shell.

Most of these and/or other commands specific to your system can be viewed by entering the word "help" into the command-line

For almost any command, one may enter and forward slash followed by a question mark (/?) after a base command to see additional information, generally including a description, syntax, and switches (with a description of each)


Variables are locations where data may be temporally stored on the RAM for use within a program or in this case, batch file or CMD session. When variable are set in CMD, the name is listed by it self (like set variable=10) When referenced, however, percent signs are placed on each side (like echo The value is %variable%)


See also


External links