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 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.
|Action to take
|launching a system tool to change or remove programs
|displaying and changing ARP tables for converting IP addresses to physical ones used by the address resolution protocol
|displaying or changing file name extension mappings
|launch programs at a specified time
|displaying and changing file attributes
|tool to create and restore boot configuration data files
|editing changes in the system bootstrap database
|changing the processing mode of the key combination “Ctrl” + “C”
|worm cleaning tool
|configuring, extracting, modifying, or removing command-line options in the Boot.ini file in Windows XP
|calling one batch file from another
|viewing and editing changing access control tables (ACL) to files
|Launching the Calculator app
|display name or change current folder
|print or change the active code page
|display or change the current folder
|copy one or more files
|check disk for errors and display statistics
|output or change disk check options at boot time
|file indexing service
|encrypting files and folders in NTFS
|Disk Cleanup utility
|launching another Windows command line interpreter
|opening the computer management console
|setting default foreground and background colors
|comparing the contents of two files or two sets of files
|viewing and changing file compression settings on NTFS partitions
|selection of default applications
|screen customization and personalization
|folder properties in explorer options
|opening the keyboard properties window
|devices and printers
|user account management
|converting the file system of a FAT volume to NTFS (does not work on the current disk)
|copying files to another location
|archiving and restoring usernames and passwords
|print or set the current date
|debugging and program editing tool
|start disk defragmentation
|deleting one or more files
|screen resolution setting
|device pairing wizard
|adding a new device
|disk optimization (defragmentation)
|listing files and subfolders from a specified folder
|opening the Disk Management snap-in
|displaying and setting disk partition properties
|enable or disable the performance counter
|command line editing, Windows command recall, macro creation
|DirectX diagnostic tool
|displaying messages and switching the mode of displaying commands on the screen
|end local environment changes for a batch file
|deleting one or more files (wipe)
|Microsoft Windows database maintenance utilities
|creating a special event entry in the specified event log
|decompress compressed files
|comparing files or sets of files, displaying the differences between them
|search for a text string in one or more files
|search for a text string in a file
|information about the users of the specified system running the Finger service
|Windows Defender Firewall
|run the specified command for each file in the set
|Bluetooth file transfer
|displaying and setting file system properties
|inferring or changing file types when matching filenames
|FTP file sharing
|transfer control to a specified line in a batch file
|display the MAC addresses of one or more network adapters
|group policy information for a computer or user
|display extended character set in Windows graphics mode
|Local Group Policy Editor
|updating multiple group policy settings
|hardware installation wizard
|display, modify, archive, restore ACLs for files and directories
|creating a self-extracting archive
|conditional processing in batch programs (files)
|IP address information
|creating, modifying, and deleting volume labels for disks
|updating registry settings related to performance counters
|managing the Alerts and Performance Logs service
|install or remove Windows interface languages
|local users and groups
|Launching the Magnifier app
|archiving files to CAB archive
|creating a directory (folder)
|RAM error checking tool
|create directory (folder)
|configuring system devices
|sequential output of data in parts of one screen
|creating, viewing, and deleting connection points
|moving one or more files from one folder to another
|work with multicast messages
|launching the Malicious Software Removal Tool
|sending messages to the user
|launching the graphic editor Paint
|Windows Remote Assistance
|network resource management
|displaying protocol statistics and current TCP/IP network connections
|user account management
|ODBC driver setup
|displaying a list of open files and folders open in the system
|enable or disable Windows features
|launching the on-screen keyboard
|print or set the search path for executable files
|pause batch file execution, output a message
|restoring the previous value of the current folder, saved by the pushd command
|changing the windows command line
|saving current directory and then changing directory
|sending packets to the specified address
|system power management
|printing a text file
|displaying process information
|display information about Remote Desktop Services sessions
|deleting a directory
|recovery of saved data on a damaged disk
|creating a Windows recovery disk
|placing a comment in a batch file or in a config.sys file
|renaming files and folders
|renaming files and folders
|deleting a directory
|restoring windows from system restore points
|to use applications on behalf of another user
|resetting the values of subsystems of equipment and programs of the session to the initial state
|local security policy
|listing, setting and removing Windows environment variables
|start local environment changes in a batch file
|display and configure services (background processes)
|checking the integrity of all protected system files and replacing the wrong ones
|file signature verification
|changing the contents of the overridden parameters for a batch file
|launch the specified program or command in a separate window
|launching programs and executing commands on a PC according to a schedule
|compatibility database installer
|restarting or shutting down the computer
|map a drive name to a specified path
|properties of the system
|operating system configuration information
|force termination of a process or application
|show all tasks currently running, including services
|telephony client installation
|viewing and changing the current time
|time and date setting
|assigning the title of the current command line interpreter window
|trace route to the specified node
|graphical display of the structure of a given drive or folder
|attaching a user session to a remote desktop session
|disconnecting a Remote Desktop Services session
|displaying the contents of text files
|displaying performance information on the screen or in a log
|display information about the version of Windows
|driver check manager
|setting Windows to check whether files are written to disk correctly
|print volume label and serial number for disk
|command-line tool for administering volume shadow copy service
|show current settings to display time zone
|Windows version information on the screen
|information about the WMI toolkit in the interactive command shell
|wordpad text editor
|security and service center
|standalone update installer
|copying files and folder tree
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.