How do you open the command prompt?
How does a command line work?
an order given by one in authority: The colonel gave the command to attack.
- an order in prescribed words, usually given in a loud voice to troops at close-order drill: The command was “Right shoulder arms!”the order of execution or the second part of any two-part close-order drill command, as face in Right face!(initial capital letter)a principal component of the U.S.
- Air Force: Strategic Air Command.a body of troops or a station, ship, etc., under a commander.
- an order in prescribed words, usually given in a loud voice to troops at close-order drill: The command was “Right shoulder arms!”.
the order of execution or the second part of any two-part close-order drill command, as face in Right face!
(initial capital letter)a principal component of the U.S. Air Force: Strategic Air Command. a body of troops or a station, ship, etc., under a commander. the possession or exercise of controlling authority: a lieutenant in command of a platoon.
expertise; mastery: He has a command of French, Russian, and German. power of dominating a region by reason of location; extent of view or outlook: the command of the valley from the hill.
an electric impulse, signal, or set of signals for initiating an operation in a computer.a character, symbol, or item of information for instructing a computer to perform a specific task.a single instruction.
an electric impulse, signal, or set of signals for initiating an operation in a computer.
a character, symbol, or item of information for instructing a computer to perform a specific task.
a single instruction. Most IT experts and Linux users, in addition to computer users who work with MS-DOS, are relatively familiar with the command line and its corresponding commands.
But a lot can be achieved with the command prompt in Windows, too. For this reason, we’ll explain what the command line is, how to open it, and which CMD commands there are for Windows.
Windows console commands have changed over time: in newer Windows versions, users no longer have access to some of the familiar commands.
In the following, we’ll explain which CMD commands still work under Windows 10 so that you don’t have to tediously test which are still valid and which are outdated.
Our overview tables describe the functions of the individual commands and specify under which Microsoft operating systems they’re effective.
Windows CMD commands: an overview. $1 Domain Names. Register great TLDs for less than $1 for the first year. Grab your favorite domain name today! SSL certificate.
The command line (also called the console or terminal) is a text-based interface within the operating system, that forwards commands from the user to the operating system. This makes it possible, for example, to organize files, start programs, or run other commands linked to the operating system, computer, or network.
How do you enter commands in the command prompt?
In older operating systems (like MS-DOS), you had to work without a graphical user interface, and oftentimes even navigate without a mouse. Instead, you had to type in all commands – the directory structures were then displayed as plain text on the screen.
But even after the switch to graphical operating systems, the command line remained text-based. In general, the connection between operating system – regardless of whether graphical (GUI = graphical user interface) or text-based (CLI = command line interpreter) was condensed under the term “Shell.” The default command line interpreter for Windows is called CMD.EXE.
In addition, however, there’s also the “PowerShell”: This offers more options than CMD.EXE. For example, automations can be created better with PowerShell. In this way, users can create script programs with the PowerShell scripting language.
Many Windows console commands are based on batch files. This are usually text files (with the ending .bat or .cmd) that are run by the command line as batch processing.
These files are generally created to perform routine work and start other programs.
There are various options for accessing the command line in Windows. Technically speaking, the command line is the CMD.EXE program. This executable file should be found in the system directory of your Windows folder.
Complete list of CMD commands for Windows
(If you right-click on the file, Windows also gives you the option to start the program as an administrator – in case you have the access data for this.) To reach the program more quickly, you can use the search bar or the run menu.
The latter is opened under Windows 7, 8, and 10 with the key combination Win + R. Then all you have to do is type “cmd” into the search field and press the OK button.
The command prompt has long had a fixed spot in the Windows start menu as well.
Under Windows 7 and Windows 10, the program is found in the “System Tools” folder.
With Windows 8, Microsoft replaced the start menu with a start screen. But the command prompt is also found via the apps here.
Alternatively, Windows 8 as well as Windows 10 both offer the “Power User Tasks Menu.” You can open this with the key combination Win + X. In this way, you can find the command prompt in the normal execution as well as the administrator version.
CMD functions via defined commands. These have to be entered correctly, otherwise the command prompt can’t run the task.
Command Prompt Commands List
The same goes for parameters that you link to the commands. Individual commands can be extended using options (such as arguments). These are generally given as a letter with a minus sign (-), plus sign (+), or slash (/).
CMD also allows placeholders. For so-called wild cards, use an asterisk (*) or question mark (?). While the latter replaces a single character (i.e. letter, digit, or other character), the asterisk stands for any number of characters.
- In the command prompt and commands, you also frequently have to work with path specifications.
- You need these to navigate through your directories or specify exact positions in commands.
- For the input of a path, use the backslash (\).
Individual CMD commands can be combined with one another. Through a pipe, the output of the first command is interpreted as input for the following command.
- In the command prompt, commands are linked to one another with a vertical line (|).
This line itself is called a pipe, but officially is known as a vertical bar. Vertical bars pass data from one command to the next:. CommandA | CommandB. There’s also the possibility of redirection: where the output of a command is directly forwarded to a file (>) or the content of a text file is understood as input for the command (<).
Command > File (output in file). Command < File (input from file). Finally, Windows command line commands can also be connected in such a way that they run directly after one other. This can be controlled via a relatively simple form (&), but also via two more complex variations.
It’s also possible to only run the second command if the first was successful. Or, you can set up the exact opposite as well: The second command is only run if the first doesn’t work (||).
Both options can even be combined so that there’s an either-or string of commands:. CommandA & CommandB (the second command is run directly after the first).
CommandA && CommandB (the second command is only run if the first was successful). Command A || CommandB (the second command is only run if the first was not successful).