Commands In Windows Command Prompt

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While Windows Settings provides easy access to configure most things, the Command Prompt—elevated or otherwise—can be indispensable in a number of scenarios, especially when you know how to use it.

Commands In Windows Command Prompt

Commands In Windows Command Prompt

Sometimes settings can be applied by typing a few letters instead of clicking through a series of menus, while other times there’s simply no other way to perform an operation except with command lines.

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We’ve compiled a list of things you can do in Windows Command Prompt, including some commands everyone should know for general use, more advanced ones for tweaking or troubleshooting your PC, and lesser-known and less-handy Command Prompt features. Our list of tips and tricks below is organized from the shortest and most useful, to the more complex and risky…

Commands In Windows Command Prompt

Cancels a command you’ve already entered and lets you start typing another while you’re typing

Directory paths do not need to be written in the first place. In addition to being able to copy/paste text and tag through directories, you can drag and drop a file directly into the command prompt window to automatically insert the location.

Commands In Windows Command Prompt

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The command prompt used to scale pretty badly and display very small text, but now it’s modernized so you can zoom in just like you do in a browser. Use ctrl + mouse wheel up/down to zoom in and out of text.

For settings that include the ability to change the font, layout, and colors of your command prompt, as well as options like quick edit mode, which automatically pastes text from your clipboard when you right-click in the window.

Commands In Windows Command Prompt

Pressing the up and down arrows on the keyboard will cycle through commands you have previously entered. More Shortcuts:

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Ctrl + M: Enables selection mode which allows you to move the cursor in any direction with the arrow keys

Commands In Windows Command Prompt

Ctrl + C or V: Starting with Windows 10, you can copy and paste with Ctrl + C and V as elsewhere in the operating system

Ctrl+Shift+Scroll on the mouse: Increases or decreases the transparency of the window (+ and – keys also work)

Commands In Windows Command Prompt

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Alt + Enter: Enables full screen mode without the title bar appearing at the top (F11 also works like elsewhere in Windows)

Command will list all the processes running on your machine along with details like their process identifiers and memory usage, while

Commands In Windows Command Prompt

There are many ways to generate a list of drivers at the command prompt, here is a line that contains additional information such as the status of a device and the file location/file name of the associated driver:

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The function keys (F) at the top of your keyboard are also shortcuts that usually re-enter previous commands without retyping them.

Commands In Windows Command Prompt

Windows Terminal was introduced in the latest version of Windows, as it is available as a free download from the Microsoft Store. The Terminal is a modernized command line tool that adds a tabbed interface where you can open multiple command lines, but also PowerShell, SSH connections, and Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), making it a very versatile option for command line users.

Windows Terminal receives frequent updates and support for modern features such as GPU-accelerated text rendering, which paves the way for icon and emoji support, as well as significantly faster text display.

Commands In Windows Command Prompt

Cmd File Extension

Some of the temporary files on your drive can be deleted with the following commands (/q runs the operation without a confirmation prompt, /f ignores the read-only attribute and forces deletion, /s deletes the contents of all subfolders):

If that’s not enough free storage, here are more temporary file locations, and we recently covered a bunch of ways to free up space on Windows, including command-line methods to launch an advanced disk cleanup tool and another to disable hibernation by deleting. The function’s system file (hiberfil.sys).

Commands In Windows Command Prompt

At a command prompt, the Windows on-screen keyboard opens, allowing you to click keys with the mouse instead of typing them.

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The “shutdown” command can be used with a range of switches to shut down, restart, and more, including the ability to force applications to close, to display a message on shutdown, and to specify how many seconds you want before the operation takes place. Example:

Commands In Windows Command Prompt

If your network card supports this feature, you can configure your computer to be a wireless hotspot from the command prompt.

You may also need to navigate some GUI menus to enable connection sharing (we couldn’t find a way to do this from the command prompt): Go to Network and Sharing > Change Adapter Settings (

Commands In Windows Command Prompt

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Right-click on the device connected to the Internet (not your new hotspot if it’s listed) and open

For persistent problems with your connection, there are some more advanced commands worth trying. Note that you may need to reconfigure your network adapter etc if you have manual settings, especially when setting up TCP/IP and Windows Firewall.

Commands In Windows Command Prompt

Are you met with a message that reads “Reboot and select the correct boot device?” Or “NTLDR is missing” when you turn on your PC? The method below worked for us to fix a Windows 8 machine and should work for other versions of Windows.

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Note that these lines must be entered in a command prompt opened in a recovery environment outside of your operating system, such as from a bootable USB drive with Windows 10/Windows 11 installation media.

Commands In Windows Command Prompt

Although this sequence has worked for us in the past, we tested this on a virtual machine by deleting the system reserved partition (where boot information is stored) and trying to restore the bootable state by entering these lines. Unfortunately, access is denied for

But the bcdboot and bootsect commands worked to get Windows to boot again, even if we only reformatted the system partition:

Commands In Windows Command Prompt

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From a recovery console outside of your Windows installation (such as from the Windows 11 installation media), C:Windows is probably D:Windows (your operating system) while C: is probably your system partition (the boot data). Get on

To close diskpart). To run the bcdboot operation from a recovery environment, you want a command something like this:

Commands In Windows Command Prompt

Still can’t start Windows? Are you experiencing blue screens or other bugs? The OS has built-in tools to scan and replace corrupt system files:

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Files and folders can be encrypted or compressed and then unencrypted and decompressed with quick individual commands for each operation – make sure to change the target destination:

Commands In Windows Command Prompt

There is a large superuser thread discussing topic variants of the same command recommended for Robocopy to do basic file backups, copying files from one location to another – but only when changes are made.

These reports are surprisingly detailed and can help you understand problems with your system’s power consumption or wireless connectivity.

Commands In Windows Command Prompt

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(Generates a report on the energy efficiency of your system – the location of the report is mentioned after the command completes)

(Generates a report with specifications of your battery and statistics and graphs of your battery usage history)

Commands In Windows Command Prompt

A variety of old Telnet services are still available, including the ability to watch Star Wars Episode IV.

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Note: If the command is not recognized, you may need to enable telnet. In Start or Control Panel, search for “Turn Windows features on or off” and check the box next to Telnet (press Ok…).

Commands In Windows Command Prompt

Note! This feature was originally published in October 2018. We’ve revised some of the content and improved it due to its old-fashioned nature, as part of our #ThrowbackThursday initiative.

If you like our content, please consider subscribing. Ad-free experience while supporting our work Our promise: All reader contributions go towards funding more content, which means: more technical features, more benchmarks and analytics The Command Prompt has always been around, and it’s still a great tool to have on your disposal. Today we will show you all the different ways to open the command prompt. We bet you don’t know all of them.

Commands In Windows Command Prompt

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The command prompt is quite a useful tool. It lets you do some things faster than you can do them in the GUI and offers some tools that you can’t find in the GUI. And in true keyboard ninja spirit, the command prompt also supports all kinds of smart keyboard shortcuts that make it even more powerful. While it’s easy to open the command prompt from the Start menu, it’s not the only way to do it. So let’s take a look at the rest.

Note: This article is based on Windows 10, but most of the methods should work on earlier versions of Windows as well. Open Command Prompt from the Windows + X Power Users menu

Commands In Windows Command Prompt

Note: If you see PowerShell instead of the Command Prompt in the Power Users menu, that’s a switch that came with the Creators Update for Windows 10. It’s very easy to switch back to show the Command Prompt in the Power Users menu if you want, or you can try PowerShell. You can do almost anything in

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