Windows command line commands

The command line (command line, console, terminal) in the Windows operating system is designed to work with the system in text mode. The software shell is used to connect the user with the operating system by entering text commands from the computer keyboard.

Working with the command line proceeds as follows: the user launches the cmd.exe application on the computer, the command line interface window (command line interpreter) opens, then the user enters a command or sets of commands from the keyboard, the system executes them, sometimes issues prompts or messages displayed in command line interface window.

To perform various tasks on the computer: launching programs, configuring the system, changing Windows settings, etc., you must enter certain commands for the command line.

At the dawn of the creation of operating systems, the OS did not have a graphical interface, all actions were performed using commands typed on the keyboard. After the appearance of the graphical interface, the command line did not disappear from the system.

Most users, sooner or later, come across the command line, the other part of the users are not even aware of its existence.

The advantage of the command line is that the command line is independent of the GUI of the operating system. The user enters commands in a command prompt window, and the system executes them immediately. In some cases, this process is faster than similar steps using the Windows GUI.

The command line is often used when problems occur on the computer, when it is impossible to perform work to fix system failures in another way.

It is difficult for novice users to work with the command line due to the fact that they do not know the commands. Therefore, the command line is more often used by advanced users and administrators.

In this article you will find a list of command line commands. The table contains the main command line commands that work in the operating systems Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7.

How to run command line

In Windows 10, finding the command line is not immediately obvious, so read this article about the different ways to launch the console in this OS.

In the Windows operating system, there are several ways to start the command line, here are the simplest ones:

  • From the “Start” menu, go to “Programs” (“All Programs”), and then to “System Tools” (in Windows 7 – “Accessories”), select the “Command Prompt” application.
  • In the search field, enter “cmd” (without quotes), among the results that open will be the command line.
  • After pressing “Win” + “R” on the keyboard, in the “Run” window, enter the command to launch the command line “cmd” (without quotes).

In normal mode, the command line is run as the user. To perform some actions on the command line, you need elevated Computer Administrator rights. In this case, the command line must be run as an administrator. Read the article on how to run the command prompt as an administrator on different versions of the Windows operating system.

How to run a command on the command line

Working on the command line is very simple: the user enters a text command, and then presses the “Enter” key (input). If you need to enter several consecutive commands, repeat this operation several times.

After launching the command line, the version of the Windows operating system is displayed in the command line interpreter window, and the location where the user is currently located. When started in normal mode, this is the address of the user profile on the system drive.

When running the command prompt as an administrator, the path looks like this: “C:\Windows\system32”.

Windows command line commands must be entered in the interpreter window immediately after the “>” sign, the cursor blinks in this place.

To copy a command from a computer and then paste the command into the command line, use the right-click context menu. Copy the command to the clipboard, paste the mouse cursor into the command line window, click the right mouse button. Windows 10 supports copying and pasting using standard keyboard keys: “Ctrl” + “C” and “Ctrl” + “V”.

Some system applications are launched immediately after entering a command that consists of the name of the application, for example, if you enter the “calc” command, then the Calculator system program will start on the computer.

For other programs, you will need to enter the full path to the application’s executable file. If there are spaces in the path to the file, the full path is enclosed in quotation marks, for example, the command to launch the Google Chrome browser looks like this:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\GoogleChrome\Applicationchrome.exe"

After running a command from the command line, the execution of the command is not always visible externally, due to the fact that there are internal changes in the operating system.

Other parameters are often added to the main command, keys to perform specific actions.

If you enter an incorrect command, such as a misspelled one, or if the Windows operating system is unable to execute the command for any reason, a message will appear in the command line interface window.

Windows command line commands

The user can independently learn the basic commands from the Command Line utility itself. To do this, just enter the command: “help”.

The CLI will display a list of basic commands.

To get information about the parameters of a particular command, you need to enter one of the following commands, which work in the same way (don’t forget to include a space):

command_name /?
help commandname

As a result, you will receive information about all the parameters of this command.

Windows Command Prompt: List of Basic Commands

Check out the table that summarizes the commands used in the Windows command line. If I missed any important command, write about it in the comment to this article, I add the command to the table.

Team Action to take
appwiz.cpl launching a system tool to change or remove programs
arp displaying and changing ARP tables for converting IP addresses to physical ones used by the address resolution protocol
assoc displaying or changing file name extension mappings
at launch programs at a specified time
attrib displaying and changing file attributes
azman.msc authorization manager
bcdboot tool to create and restore boot configuration data files
bcdedit editing changes in the system bootstrap database
break changing the processing mode of the key combination “Ctrl” + “C”
blastcln worm cleaning tool
bootcfg configuring, extracting, modifying, or removing command-line options in the Boot.ini file in Windows XP
call calling one batch file from another
cacls viewing and editing changing access control tables (ACL) to files
calc Launching the Calculator app
cd display name or change current folder
charmap symbol table
chcp print or change the active code page
chdir display or change the current folder
copy copy one or more files
chkdsk check disk for errors and display statistics
chkntfs output or change disk check options at boot time
ciddaemon file indexing service
cipher encrypting files and folders in NTFS
cleanmgr Disk Cleanup utility
cls screen cleaning
cmd launching another Windows command line interpreter
compmgmt.msc opening the computer management console
color setting default foreground and background colors
comexp.msc component services
comp comparing the contents of two files or two sets of files
compact viewing and changing file compression settings on NTFS partitions
compmgmt.msc Computer management
computer defaults selection of default applications
control Control Panel
control admintools administration
control desktop screen customization and personalization
control folder folder properties in explorer options
control fonts fonts
control keyboard opening the keyboard properties window
control mouse mouse properties
control printer devices and printers
control schedules Task Scheduler
control userpasswords2 user account management
convert converting the file system of a FAT volume to NTFS (does not work on the current disk)
copy copying files to another location
credwiz archiving and restoring usernames and passwords
date print or set the current date
debug debugging and program editing tool
defrag start disk defragmentation
del deleting one or more files
desk.cpl screen resolution setting
device pairing wizard adding a new device Device Manager
dfrgui disk optimization (defragmentation)
dir listing files and subfolders from a specified folder opening the Disk Management snap-in
diskpart displaying and setting disk partition properties
diskperf enable or disable the performance counter
dokey command line editing, Windows command recall, macro creation
dpiscaling display settings
dxdiag DirectX diagnostic tool
echo displaying messages and switching the mode of displaying commands on the screen
endlocal end local environment changes for a batch file
erase deleting one or more files (wipe)
esentutl Microsoft Windows database maintenance utilities
eudcedit character editor
event create creating a special event entry in the specified event log
eventvwr.msc event viewer
expand decompress compressed files
explorer Windows Explorer
fc comparing files or sets of files, displaying the differences between them
find search for a text string in one or more files
findstr search for a text string in a file
finger information about the users of the specified system running the Finger service
firewall.cpl Windows Defender Firewall
for run the specified command for each file in the set
format disk formatting
fsmgmt.msc shared folders
fsquirt Bluetooth file transfer
fsutil displaying and setting file system properties
ftype inferring or changing file types when matching filenames
ftp FTP file sharing
goto transfer control to a specified line in a batch file
getmac display the MAC addresses of one or more network adapters
gpresult group policy information for a computer or user
graftabl display extended character set in Windows graphics mode
gpedit.msc Local Group Policy Editor
gpupdate updating multiple group policy settings
hdwwiz hardware installation wizard
icacls display, modify, archive, restore ACLs for files and directories
iexpress creating a self-extracting archive
if conditional processing in batch programs (files)
ipconfig IP address information
joy.cpl gaming devices
label creating, modifying, and deleting volume labels for disks
lodctr updating registry settings related to performance counters
logman managing the Alerts and Performance Logs service
log off session termination
lpksetup install or remove Windows interface languages
lusrmgr.msc local users and groups
magnify Launching the Magnifier app
main.cpl mouse properties
makecab archiving files to CAB archive
md creating a directory (folder)
mdsched RAM error checking tool
mkdir create directory (folder)
mmsys.cpl sound properties
mode configuring system devices
mofcomp 32-bit compiler
more sequential output of data in parts of one screen
mountvol creating, viewing, and deleting connection points
move moving one or more files from one folder to another
mrinfo work with multicast messages
mrt launching the Malicious Software Removal Tool
msconfig system configuration
msg sending messages to the user
msinfo32 system information
mspaint launching the graphic editor Paint
msra Windows Remote Assistance
net network resource management
ncpa.cpl network connections
netstat displaying protocol statistics and current TCP/IP network connections
netplwiz user account management
notepad launching Notepad
odbcconf ODBC driver setup
open files displaying a list of open files and folders open in the system
optional features enable or disable Windows features
osk launching the on-screen keyboard
path print or set the search path for executable files
pause pause batch file execution, output a message
perfmon system monitor
resmon resource monitor
popd restoring the previous value of the current folder, saved by the pushd command
prompt changing the windows command line
pushd saving current directory and then changing directory
ping sending packets to the specified address
power cfg system power management
print printing a text file
qprocess displaying process information
qwinsta display information about Remote Desktop Services sessions
rd deleting a directory
recover recovery of saved data on a damaged disk
recdisc creating a Windows recovery disk
reg registry command
regedit Registry Editor
rem placing a comment in a batch file or in a config.sys file
ren renaming files and folders
rename renaming files and folders
rmdir deleting a directory
replace file replacement
rstrui restoring windows from system restore points
runas to use applications on behalf of another user
rwinsta resetting the values ​​of subsystems of equipment and programs of the session to the initial state
secpol.msc local security policy
services.msc services
set listing, setting and removing Windows environment variables
setlocal start local environment changes in a batch file
sc display and configure services (background processes)
sfc checking the integrity of all protected system files and replacing the wrong ones
sigverif file signature verification
shift changing the contents of the overridden parameters for a batch file
slui Windows activation
sndvol volume mixer
start launch the specified program or command in a separate window
schtasks launching programs and executing commands on a PC according to a schedule
sdbinst compatibility database installer
shutdown restarting or shutting down the computer
sort sorting program
subst map a drive name to a specified path
sysdm.cpl properties of the system
systeminfo operating system configuration information
taskkill force termination of a process or application
tasklist show all tasks currently running, including services
taskmgr Task Manager
tcmsetup telephony client installation
time viewing and changing the current time
timedate.cpl time and date setting
title assigning the title of the current command line interpreter window
tracert trace route to the specified node
tree graphical display of the structure of a given drive or folder
tscon attaching a user session to a remote desktop session
tsdiscon disconnecting a Remote Desktop Services session
tskill process termination
type displaying the contents of text files
typeperf displaying performance information on the screen or in a log
utilman accessibility center
ver display information about the version of Windows
verifier driver check manager
verify setting Windows to check whether files are written to disk correctly
vol print volume label and serial number for disk
vssadmin command-line tool for administering volume shadow copy service
w32tm show current settings to display time zone
winter Windows version information on the screen
wmic information about the WMI toolkit in the interactive command shell
write wordpad text editor
wscui.cpl security and service center
wusa standalone update installer
xcopy copying files and folder tree

Article Conclusions

The command line in the Windows operating system allows the user to control the computer without using a graphical interface. To perform certain actions on a PC, you must enter special commands into the command line interpreter. This article published a table with a list of the most popular commands for the Windows command line.

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