Command line commands

Command line commands DEFAULT

The 30 most useful Command Prompt commands for editing files and managing your PC

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  • Command Prompt commands let you manage your computer just by typing.
  • Some Command Prompt commands let you move files, while others let you change your internet settings.
  • Here are some of the most useful Command Prompt commands, and what they do.
  • Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

The Command Prompt isn't pretty, but it's one of the most powerful apps on your PC. With it, you can move or delete files, change your Wi-Fi settings, lock your hard drive, and even shut down the computer.

But to use Command Prompt, you'll need to know the commands for it. Here are some of the most useful commands, along with explanations of what they'll do.

The essential Command Prompt commands

We'll sort these commands into a few different groups, based on what they're used for.

Important: This is a list of base commands, some of which will work right away, some of which only work in specific situations, and most of which will only work if you add more text or commands afterwards. 

It would be impossible to list every use case for each command, so if a certain command doesn't work right away, carefully read the error that Command Prompt gives you or do more research online for your specific use case. You can also type the command and then add a space and /? for examples of how to use it.

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Managing your apps

Editing files

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Managing Windows

Miscellaneous

William Antonelli

Editor & Staff Writer for Tech Reference

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15 Windows Command Prompt (CMD) Commands You Must Know

The command prompt is slowly disappearing from the Windows interface and for good reasons: CMD commands are an antiquated and mostly unnecessary tool from an era of text-based input. But many commands remain useful, and Windows 8 and 10 even added new features.

Here we present the essential commands every Windows user must know.

Not sure how to access the Windows command prompt, forgot basic Windows commands, or would like to know how to see a list of switches for each command (aka prompt codes)? Refer to our beginners guide to the Windows command line for instructions.

Windows Command Prompt Commands

If you haven't poked around inside Windows' command line, you're missing out. There are lots of handy tools you can use if you know the correct things to type.

1. Assoc

Most files in Windows are associated with a specific program that is assigned to open the file by default. At times, remembering these associations can become confusing. You can remind yourself by entering the command assoc to display a full list of filename extensions and program associations.

You can also extend the command to change file associations. For example, assoc .txt= will change the file association for text files to whatever program you enter after the equal sign. The assoc command itself will reveal both the extension names and program names, which will help you properly use this command.

In Windows 10, you can view a more user-friendly interface that also lets you change file type associations on the spot. Head to Settings (Windows + I) > Apps > Default apps > Choose default app by file type.

2. Cipher

Deleting files on a mechanical hard drive doesn't really delete them at all. Instead, it marks the files as no longer accessible and the space they took up as free. The files remain recoverable until the system overwrites them with new data, which can take some time.

The cipher command, however, wipes a directory by writing random data to it. To wipe your C drive, for example, you'd use the cipher /w:d command, which will wipe free space on the drive. The command does not overwrite undeleted data, so you will not wipe out the files you need by running this command.

You can use a host of other cipher commands, however, they are generally redundant with BitLocker enabled versions of Windows.

3. Driverquery

Drivers remain among the most important software installed on a PC. Improperly configured, missing, or old drivers in Windows can cause all sorts of trouble, so it's good to have access to a list of what's on your PC.

That's exactly what the driverquery command does. You can extend it to driverquery -v to obtain more information, including the directory in which the driver is installed.

4. File Compare

You can use this command to identify differences in text between two files. It's particularly useful for writers and programmers trying to find small changes between two versions of a file. Simply type fc and then the directory path and file name of the two files you want to compare.

You can also extend the command in several ways. Typing /b compares only binary output, /c disregards the case of text in the comparison, and /l only compares ASCII text.

So, for example, you could use the following:

The above command compares ASCII text in two Word documents.

5. Ipconfig

This command relays the IP address that your computer is currently using. However, if you're behind a router (like most computers today), you'll instead receive the local network address of the router.

Still, ipconfig is useful because of its extensions. ipconfig /release followed by ipconfig /renew can force your Windows PC into asking for a new IP address, which is useful if your computer claims one isn't available. You can also use ipconfig /flushdns to refresh your DNS address. These commands are great if the Windows network troubleshooter chokes, which does happen on occasion.

6. Netstat

Entering the command netstat -an will provide you with a list of currently open ports and related IP addresses. This command will also tell you what state the port is in; listening, established, or closed.

This is a great command for when you're trying to troubleshoot devices connected to your PC or when you fear a Trojan infected your system and you're trying to locate a malicious connection.

7. Ping

Sometimes, you need to know whether or not packets are making it to a specific networked device. That's where ping comes in handy.

Typing ping followed by an IP address or web domain will send a series of test packets to the specified address. If they arrive and are returned, you know the device is capable of communicating with your PC; if it fails, you know that there's something blocking communication between the device and your computer. This can help you decide if the root of the issue is an improper configuration or a failure of network hardware.

8. PathPing

This is a more advanced version of ping that's useful if there are multiple routers between your PC and the device you're testing. Like ping, you use this command by typing pathping followed by the IP address, but unlike ping, pathping also relays some information about the route the test packets take.

9. Tracert

The tracert command is similar to pathping. Once again, type tracert followed by the IP address or domain you'd like to trace. You'll receive information about each step in the route between your PC and the target. Unlike pathping, however, tracert also tracks how much time (in milliseconds) each hop between servers or devices takes.

10. Powercfg

Powercfg is a very powerful command for managing and tracking how your computer uses energy. You can use the command powercfg hibernate on and powercfg hibernate off to manage hibernation, and you can also use the command powercfg /a to view the power-saving states currently available on your PC.

Another useful command is powercfg /devicequery s1_supported, which displays a list of devices on your computer that support connected standby. When enabled, you can use these devices to bring your computer out of standby, even remotely.

You can enable this by selecting the device in Device Manager, opening its properties, going to the Power Management tab, and then checking the Allow this device to wake the computer box.

Powercfg /lastwake will show you what device last woke your PC from a sleep state. You can use this command to troubleshoot your PC if it seems to wake from sleep at random.

You can use the powercfg /energy command to build a detailed power consumption report for your PC. The report saves to the directory indicated after the command finishes.

This report will let you know of any system faults that might increase power consumption, like devices blocking certain sleep modes, or poorly configured to respond to your power management settings.

Windows 8 added powercfg /batteryreport, which provides a detailed analysis of battery use, if applicable. Normally output to your Windows user directory, the report provides details about the time and length of charge and discharge cycles, lifetime average battery life, and estimated battery capacity.

11. Shutdown

Windows 8 introduced the shutdown command that, you guessed it, shuts down your computer.

This is, of course, redundant with the already easily accessed shutdown button, but what's not redundant is the shutdown /r /o command, which restarts your PC and launches the Advanced Start Options menu, which is where you can access Safe Mode and Windows recovery utilities. This is useful if you want to restart your computer for troubleshooting purposes.

12. Systeminfo

This command will give you a detailed configuration overview of your computer. The list covers your operating system and hardware. For example, you can look up the original Windows installation date, the last boot time, your BIOS version, total and available memory, installed hotfixes, network card configurations, and more.

Use systeminfo /s followed by the hostname of a computer on your local network, to remotely grab the information for that system. This may require additional syntax elements for the domain, user name, and password, like this:

13. System File Checker

System File Checker is an automatic scan and repair tool that focuses on Windows system files.

You will need to run the command prompt with administrator privileges and enter the command sfc /scannow. If SFC finds any corrupt or missing files, it will automatically replace them using cached copies kept by Windows for this purpose alone. The command can require a half-hour to run on older notebooks.

14. Tasklist

You can use the tasklist command to provide a current list of all tasks running on your PC. Though somewhat redundant with Task Manager, the command may sometimes find tasks hidden from view in that utility.

There's also a wide range of modifiers. Tasklist -svc shows services related to each task, use tasklist -v to obtain more detail on each task, and tasklist -m will locate DLL files associated with active tasks. These commands are useful for advanced troubleshooting.

Our reader Eric noted that you can "get the name of the executable associated with the particular process ID you're interested in." The command for that operation is tasklist | find [process id].

15. Taskkill

Tasks that appear in the tasklist command will have an executable and process ID (a four- or five-digit number) associated with them. You can force stop a program using taskkill -im followed by the executable's name, or taskkill -pid followed by the process ID. Again, this is a bit redundant with Task Manager, but you can use it to kill otherwise unresponsive or hidden programs.

16. Chkdsk

Windows automatically marks your drive for a diagnostic chkdsk scan when symptoms indicate that a local drive has bad sectors, lost clusters, or other logical or physical errors.

If you suspect your hard drive is failing, you can manually initiate a scan. The most basic command is chkdsk c:, which will immediately scan the C: drive, without a need to restart the computer. If you add parameters like /f, /r, /x, or /b, such as in chkdsk /f /r /x /b c:, chkdsk will also fix errors, recover data, dismount the drive, or clear the list of bad sectors, respectively. These actions require a reboot, as they can only run with Windows powered down.

If you see chkdsk run at startup, let it do its thing. If it gets stuck, however, refer to our chkdsk troubleshooting article.

17. schtasks

Schtasks is your command prompt access to the Task Scheduler, one of many underrated Windows administrative tools. While you can use the GUI to manage your scheduled tasks, the command prompt lets you copy&paste complex commands to set up multiple similar tasks without having to click through various options. Ultimately, it's much easier to use, once you've committed key parameters to memory.

For example, you could schedule your computer to reboot at 11pm every Friday:

To complement your weekly reboot, you could schedule tasks to launch specific programs on startup:

To duplicate the above command for different programs, just copy, paste, and modify it as needed.

18. Format

When you need to format a drive, you can either use the Windows File Explorer GUI or you can turn to the command prompt. You'll need Administrator rights to use this command. Be sure you specify the volume you want to format, followed by the desired parameters.

The command below will quick-format the D drive with the exFAT file system, with an allocation unit size of 2048 bytes, and rename the volume to "label" (without the quotes).

You can also use this command to dismount a volume (/X) or, if it's formatted with NTFS, make file compression the default setting (/R). If you're stuck, use format /? to summon help.

19. prompt

Would you like to customize your command prompt to include instructions or certain information? With the prompt command, you can!

Try this one:

You can add the current time, date, drive and path, Windows version number, and so much more.

Type "prompt" to reset your command prompt to default settings or just restart the command prompt. Unfortunately, these settings aren't permanent.

20. cls

Cluttered up your command prompt window trying out all the commands above? There's one last command you need to know to clean it all up again.

That's all. Bet Marie Kondo didn't know that one.

Windows 8 Only: Recovery Image

Virtually all Windows 8/8.1 computers ship from the factory with a recovery image, but the image may include bloatware you'd rather not have re-installed. Once you've uninstalled the software you can create a new image using the recimg command. Entering this command presents a very detailed explanation of how to use it.

You must have administrator privileges to use the recimg command, and you can only access the custom recovery image you create via the Windows 8 refresh feature.

In Windows 10, system recovery has changed. Windows 10 systems don't come with a recovery partition, which makes it more important than ever to back up your data.

Command and Conquer Your Windows PC

This article can only give you a taste of what's hidden within the Windows command line. When including all variables, there are literally hundreds of commands. Download Microsoft's command line reference guide (in Edge or Internet Explorer) for advanced support and troubleshooting.

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How to Use the New Windows Terminal for Your Productivity

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While completing a PhD, Tina started writing about consumer technology in 2006 and never stopped. Now also an editor and SEO, you can find her on Twitter or hiking a nearby trail.

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at Starts commands and programs at a particular time. With the parameter /every:date[,…] you can also set regular appointments. 10/8/7/Vista/XP auditpol Displays current monitoring policies. 10/8/7/Vista backup Creates backups of files. These can be recovered with restore (replaced by msbackup). DOS bcdboot Creates and repairs start files. 10/8/7 bcdedit Allows users to make changes to start configuration data storage (the command is a new version of bootcfq). 10/8/7/Vista bdehdcfg Prepares a hard drive for BitLocker Drive Encryption. 10/8/7 bootcfg Creates, edits, or displays the content of boot.ini (although it’s still included in the Windows 7 CMD, it has lost its function since boot.ini is no longer used for startup options, instead you should use bcdedit). 10/8/7/Vista/XP bootsect Modifies the master boot code sot that it’s compatible with the Windows Boot Manager or NT Loader (can only be started via system restore in Windows 7 and Vista). 10/8/7/Vista cacls Edits and displays the access control list. This sets access rights (outdated – replaced by icacls in newer Windows versions). 10/8/7/Vista/XP chkdsk Checks and repairs (with the parameter /R) a data drive. All Win/DOS chkntfs Changes or displays the data driver check at startup. 10/8/7/Vista/XP cmdkey Can display (/list), create (/add), or delete (/delete) login information. 10/8/7/Vista convert Converts partitions from FAT/FAT32 to NTFS. 10/8/7/Vista/XP ctty Changes the standard input and output for the system. 98/95/DOS dblspace Creates or configures compresses drives (a newer version of the command is called drvspace) .98/95/DOS defrag Defragments all or only specified drives. Use /U to observe the progress. To get an evaluation statistic after the defragmentation, use the parameter /V. All Win/DOS diskpart Manages, creates, and deletes partitions from the hard drive. 10/8/7/Vista/XP diskperf Allows users to remotely control the disk performance counter. 10/8/7/Vista diskraid Manages RAID systems. 10/8/7/Vista dism Manages and integrates Windows images. 10/8/7 dispdiag Creates a file in the current directory in which you’ll find information about your display. 10/8/7/Vista dosx Starts the DOS Protected Mode Interface, which allows MS-DOS programs more than 640 KB of RAM. Is only available to support older DOS programs. 32-Bit driverquery Creates a list with all installed drivers. 10/8/7/Vista/XP drvspace Creates or configures compressed drives. An older version of the command is called dblspace. 98/95/DOS emm386 Provides DOS with more than 640 KB of RAM. 98/95/DOS esentutl Manages databases within the extensible storage engine. 10/8/7/Vista/XP eventcreate Creates an entry (ID and message) in an event log. 10/8/7/Vista/XP eventtriggers Configures and displays event trigger. XP fdisk Creates, deletes, and manages partitions on the hard drive. Use diskpart in newer Windows versions. 98/95/DOS fltmc Allows users to manage and display filter drivers. 10/8/7/Vista/XP fondue Installs additional Windows features. The command is an abbreviation for the underlying tool: Features on Demand User Experience Tool. 10/8 format Formats a drive to the file system specified by the user. All Win/DOS fsutil Provides numerous features related to the file system, such as disk removal. 10/8/7/Vista/XP hwrcomp Compiles self-created dictionaries for handwriting recognition. 10/8/7 hwrreg Installs a compiled dictionary for handwriting recognition. 10/8/7 icacls Edits and displays the access control list. This sets access rights. An outdated version of this command is cacls. 10/8/7/Vista ktmutil Starts the kernel transaction manager. 10/8/7/Vista label Changes or deletes a drive’s label. All Win/DOS lh Loads a program into the high memory area (UMB) – has the same function as loadhigh. 98/95/DOS licensingdiag Creates an XML and a CAB file that contain information on the Windows product license. 10/8 loadfix Ensures that a program is loaded and executed above the first 64 KB of RAM. 32-bit/DOS loadhigh Has the same function as lh. 98/95/DOS lock Locks a drive so that only a user-selected program can access it directly. 98/95 lodctr Updates all registry entries that have to do with performance indicators. All Win logman Creates and manages event trace sessions and performance logs. 10/8/7/Vista/XP manage-bde Configures drive encryption with BitLocker. Use -on to encrypt a drive. Use -off to decrypt it again and end BitLocker protection. 10/8/7 mem Displays information about the RAM and indicates which programs are currently loaded in it. 32-bit/DOS memmaker Optimizes the RAM. 98/95/DOS mode Configures system devices – primarily on the COM or LPT port. All Win/DOS mofcomp Analyzes files in managed object format (MOF) and adds the classes and instances to the WMI repository. All Win mountvol Creates and deletes mount points for drives and displays them. 10/8/7/Vista/XP msav Starts Microsoft Antivirus. DOS msbackup Starts Microsoft Backup (replaces backup and restores). DOS mscdex Loads the CD-ROM support for MS-DOS. 98/95/DOS msd Starts the program Microsoft Diagnostics, with which system information can be displayed. DOS msiexec Starts the Windows installer, with which Windows can be installed and configured. 10/8/7/Vista/XP muiunattend Starts an automatic setup process for the multilingual user interface (MUI). 10/8/7/Vista netcfg Installs the minimal operating system Microsoft Windows PE. 10/8/7/Vista ocsetup Installs additional Windows functions. 8/7/Vista pentnt Recognizes floating point division errors in Pentium chips, starts floating point emulation, and disables floating point hardware. XP pkgmgr Installs, uninstalls, and configures packages and functions for Windows. 10/8/7/Vista pnpunattend Automates the installation of device drivers. 10 pnputil Installs plug-and-play devices from the command prompt. 10/8/7/Vista power Uses the IDLE status of a processor to reduce energy consumption. 98/95/DOS powercfg Allows the user to change the computer’s energy options and control energy conservation plans. 10/8/7/Vista/XP pwlauncher Configures the startup options for Windows To Go with which you can boot Windows from a USB drive. 10/8 qprocess Provides information on running processes. 10/8/7/Vista query Displays the status of a particular service. 10/8/7/Vista quser Provides information on the currently logged-in users. 10/8/7/Vista reagentc Configures the Windows recovery environment, with which you can repair the installation of the operating system. 10/8/7 recimg Creates a user-defined Windows image to restore the system. 8 reg Manages the registry of the command prompt. Users can create new keys (reg add) or delete them (reg delete). 10/8/7/Vista/XP regini Changes registry authorizations. 10/8/7/Vista/XP register-cimprovider Registers a common information model provider (CIM provider) in Windows. 10/8 regsvr32 Registers a DLL file in the registry. 10/8/7/Vista/XP relog Creates new performance indicator protocols from the data in the existing protocols. 10/8/7/Vista/XP repair-bde Repairs and decrypts defective drives that are encrypted with BitLocker. The files should be saved on a replacement drive. 10/8/7 reset Resets a session. You can also use the rwinsta command. 10/8/7/Vista/XP restore Restores backups that were created with the backup command (replaced by msbackup). DOS rwinsta Command has the same function as reset. 10/8/7/Vista/XP sc Manages services by connecting to the Service Controller. 10/8/7/Vista/XP scanreg Repairs the registry and allows a backup to be created of it. 98/95 sdbinst Applies user-defined database files (SDB). 10/8/7/Vista/XP secedit Analyzes the security settings by comparing the current configurations with templates. Settings can also be configured, imported, and exported with this command. 10/8/7/Vista/XP setver Sets a version number of MS-DOS that’s forwarded to a program – even if it doesn’t match the actual version. 32-bit/DOS setx Creates or changes environmental variable in the user of system environment. 10/8/7/Vista sfc Checks all important and protected system files. Incorrect versions are replaced by correct ones. 10/8/7/Vista/XP smartdrv Starts and manages the hard drive cache program SMARTDrive. 98/95/DOS sys Copies system files from MS-DOS and the command interpreter to another hard drive. This makes it bootable. 98/95/DOS systeminfo Displays information about the Windows installation, including all installed service packages. The information can be obtained from the local system as well as a remote computer. 10/8/7/Vista/XP tpmvscmgr Creates and deletes TPM virtual smart cards. These are virtual smartcards encrypted on the basis of the Trusted Platform Model. 10/8 tracerpt Processes logs or real-time data generated during the tracing of computer programs. 10/8/7/Vista/XP typeperf Displays performance counter data or writes it into a file. 10/8/7/Vista/XP unformat Undoes the drive formatting done by the format command. DOS unlock Unlocks a drive that was locked with the lock command. 98/95 unlodctr Deletes names as well as descriptions for extensible performance counters in the Windows registry. 10/8/7/Vista/XP vaultcmd Creates, deletes, and displays saved registration information. 10/8/7 vol Displays the label and serial number of a drive. All Win/DOS vsafe Starts the antivirus software VSafe. DOS vssadmin Manages the volume shadow copy services that can be used to store different versions (snapshots) of drives. 10/8/7/Vista/XP wbadmin Creates backups of the operating system and delivers information to the created backup copies. 10/8/7/Vista wevtutil Manages event logs and event log files. 10/8/7/Vista whoami Provides information about the current user. With the /GROUP parameter you can obtain additional information about group membership. 10/8/7/Vista winmgmt Manages WMI repositories. Backups (/backup) are possible with the command, for example. All Win winsat Evaluates various system factors – for example, processor performance or graphical capabilities. 10/8/7/Vista wmic Starts the Windows Management Instrumentation in the command prompt. Various Windows settings can be changed here – both locally and on remote computers. 10/8/7/Vista/XP xwizard Registers Windows data in the form of XML files. 10/8/7
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Command-line interface

Type of computer interface based on entering text commands and viewing text output

A command-line interface (CLI) processes commands to a computer program in the form of lines of text. The program which handles the interface is called a command-line interpreter or command-line processor. Operating systems implement a command-line interface in a shell for interactive access to operating system functions or services. Such access was primarily provided to users by computer terminals starting in the mid-1960s, and continued to be used throughout the 1970s and 1980s on VAX/VMS, Unix systems and personal computer systems including DOS, CP/M and Apple DOS.

Today, many users rely upon graphical user interfaces and menu-driven interactions. However, some programming and maintenance tasks may not have a graphical user interface and may still use a command line.

Alternatives to the command line interface include text-based user interfacemenus (for example, IBM AIX SMIT), keyboard shortcuts, and various desktop metaphors centered on the pointer (usually controlled with a mouse). Examples of this include the Microsoft Windows, DOS Shell, and Mouse Systems PowerPanel. Command-line interfaces are often implemented in terminal devices that are also capable of screen-oriented text-based user interfaces that use cursor addressing to place symbols on a display screen.

Programs with command-line interfaces are generally easier to automate via scripting.

Many software systems implement command-line interfaces for control and operation. This includes programming environments and utility programs.

Comparison to graphical user interfaces[edit]

Compared with a graphical user interface, a command-line interface requires fewer system resources to implement. Since options to commands are given in a few characters in each command line, an experienced user may often find the options easier to access. Automation of repetitive tasks is simplified by line editing and history mechanisms for storing frequently used sequences; this may extend to a scripting language that can take parameters and variable options. A command-line history can be kept, allowing review or repetition of commands.

A command-line system may require paper or online manuals for the user's reference, although often a "help" option provides a concise review of the options of a command. The command-line environment may not provide graphical enhancements such as different fonts or extended edit windows found in a GUI. It may be difficult for a new user to become familiar with all the commands and options available, compared with the icons and drop-down menus of a graphical user interface, without repeated reference to manuals.

Types[edit]

Operating system command-line interfaces[edit]

Operating system (OS) command-line interfaces are usually distinct programs supplied with the operating system. A program that implements such a text interface is often called a command-line interpreter, command processor or shell.

Examples of command-line interpreters include DEC'sDIGITAL Command Language (DCL) in OpenVMS and RSX-11, the various Unix shells (sh, ksh, csh, tcsh, zsh, Bash, etc.), CP/M's CCP, DOS' COMMAND.COM, as well as the OS/2 and the Windows CMD.EXE programs, the latter groups being based heavily on DEC's RSX-11 and RSTS CLIs. Under most operating systems, it is possible to replace the default shell program with alternatives; examples include 4DOS for DOS, 4OS2 for OS/2, and 4NT / Take Command for Windows.

Although the term 'shell' is often used to describe a command-line interpreter, strictly speaking, a 'shell' can be any program that constitutes the user-interface, including fully graphically oriented ones. For example, the default Windows GUI is a shell program named EXPLORER.EXE, as defined in the SHELL=EXPLORER.EXE line in the WIN.INI configuration file. These programs are shells, but not CLIs.

Application command-line interfaces[edit]

Application programs (as opposed to operating systems) may also have command-line interfaces.

An application program may support none, any, or all of these three major types of command-line interface mechanisms:

  • Parameters: Most operating systems support a means to pass additional information to a program when it is launched. When a program is launched from an OS command-line shell, additional text provided along with the program name is passed to the launched program.
  • Interactive command-line sessions: After launch, a program may provide an operator with an independent means to enter commands in the form of text.
  • Inter-process communication: Most operating systems support means of inter-process communication (for example, standard streams or named pipes). Command lines from client processes may be redirected to a CLI program by one of these methods.

Some applications support only a CLI, presenting a CLI prompt to the user and acting upon command lines as they are entered. Other programs support both a CLI and a GUI. In some cases, a GUI is simply a wrapper around a separate CLI executable file. In other cases, a program may provide a CLI as an optional alternative to its GUI. CLIs and GUIs often support different functionality. For example, all features of MATLAB, a numerical analysis computer program, are available via the CLI, whereas the MATLAB GUI exposes only a subset of features.

The early Sierra games, such as the first three King's Quest games (1984–1986), used commands from an internal command line to move the character around in the graphic window.

History[edit]

The command-line interface evolved from a form of dialog once conducted by humans over teleprinter (TTY) machines, in which human operators remotely exchanged information, usually one line of text at a time. Early computer systems often used teleprinter machines as the means of interaction with a human operator. The computer became one end of the human-to-human teleprinter model. So instead of a human communicating with another human over a teleprinter, a human communicated with a computer.

The mechanical teleprinter was replaced by a "glass tty", a keyboard and screen emulating the teleprinter. "Smart" terminals permitted additional functions, such as cursor movement over the entire screen, or local editing of data on the terminal for transmission to the computer. As the microcomputer revolution replaced the traditional – minicomputer + terminals – time sharing architecture, hardware terminals were replaced by terminal emulators — PC software that interpreted terminal signals sent through the PC's serial ports. These were typically used to interface an organization's new PC's with their existing mini- or mainframe computers, or to connect PC to PC. Some of these PCs were running Bulletin Board System software.

Early operating system CLIs were implemented as part of resident monitor programs, and could not easily be replaced. The first implementation of the shell as a replaceable component was part of the Multicstime-sharingoperating system.[1] In 1964, MIT Computation Center staff member Louis Pouzin developed the RUNCOM tool for executing command scripts while allowing argument substitution.[2] Pouzin coined the term "shell" to describe the technique of using commands like a programming language, and wrote a paper about how to implement the idea in the Multics operating system.[3] Pouzin returned to his native France in 1965, and the first Multics shell was developed by Glenda Schroeder.[2]

The first Unix shell, the V6 shell, was developed by Ken Thompson in 1971 at Bell Labs and was modeled after Schroeder's Multics shell.[4][5] The Bourne shell was introduced in 1977 as a replacement for the V6 shell. Although it is used as an interactive command interpreter, it was also intended as a scripting language and contains most of the features that are commonly considered to produce structured programs. The Bourne shell led to the development of the KornShell (ksh), Almquist shell (ash), and the popular Bourne-again shell (or Bash).[5]

Early microcomputers themselves were based on a command-line interface such as CP/M, DOS or AppleSoft BASIC. During the 1980s and 1990s, the introduction of the Apple Macintosh and of Microsoft Windows on PCs saw the command line interface as the primary user interface replaced by the Graphical User Interface. The command line remained available as an alternative user interface, often used by system administrators and other advanced users for system administration, computer programming and batch processing.

In November 2006, Microsoft released version 1.0 of Windows PowerShell (formerly codenamed Monad), which combined features of traditional Unix shells with their proprietary object-oriented .NET Framework. MinGW and Cygwin are open-source packages for Windows that offer a Unix-like CLI. Microsoft provides MKS Inc.'s ksh implementation MKS Korn shell for Windows through their Services for UNIX add-on.

Since 2001, the Macintosh operating system macOS has been based on a Unix-like operating system called Darwin. On these computers, users can access a Unix-like command-line interface by running the terminal emulator program called Terminal, which is found in the Utilities sub-folder of the Applications folder, or by remotely logging into the machine using ssh. Z shell is the default shell for macOS; Bash, tcsh, and the KornShell are also provided. Before macOS Catalina, Bash was the default.

Usage[edit]

A CLI is used whenever a large vocabulary of commands or queries, coupled with a wide (or arbitrary) range of options, can be entered more rapidly as text than with a pure GUI. This is typically the case with operating system command shells. CLIs are also used by systems with insufficient resources to support a graphical user interface. Some computer language systems (such as Python, Forth, LISP, Rexx, and many dialects of BASIC) provide an interactive command-line mode to allow for rapid evaluation of code.

CLIs are often used by programmers and system administrators, in engineering and scientific environments, and by technically advanced personal computer users. CLIs are also popular among people with visual disabilities since the commands and responses can be displayed using refreshable Braille displays.

Anatomy of a shell CLI[edit]

The general pattern of an OS command line interface[6][7] is:

Prompt command param1 param2 param3 … paramN
  • Prompt — generated by the program to provide context for the client.
  • Command — provided by the client. Commands are usually one of three classes:
    1. Internal commands are recognized and processed by the command line interpreter itself and not dependent upon any external executable file.
    2. Included commands run separate executable files generally considered part of the operating environment and always included with the OS.
    3. External commands run executable files that are not part of the basic OS, but added by other parties for specific purposes and applications.
  • param1 …paramN — Optional parameters provided by the client. The format and meaning of the parameters depends upon the command issued. In the case of Included or External commands, the values of the parameters are delivered to the program (specified by the Command) as it is launched by the OS. Parameters may be either Arguments or Options.

In this example, the delimiters between command-line elements are whitespace characters and the end-of-line delimiter is the newline delimiter. This is a widely used (but not universal) convention for command-line interfaces.

A CLI can generally be considered as consisting of syntax and semantics. The syntax is the grammar that all commands must follow. In the case of operating systems, DOS and Unix each define their own set of rules that all commands must follow. In the case of embedded systems, each vendor, such as Nortel, Juniper Networks or Cisco Systems, defines their own proprietary set of rules that all commands within their CLI conform to. These rules also dictate how a user navigates through the system of commands. The semantics define what sort of operations are possible, on what sort of data these operations can be performed, and how the grammar represents these operations and data—the symbolic meaning in the syntax.

Two different CLIs may agree on either syntax or semantics, but it is only when they agree on both that they can be considered sufficiently similar to allow users to use both CLIs without needing to learn anything, as well as to enable re-use of scripts.

A simple CLI will display a prompt, accept a "command line" typed by the user terminated by the Enter key, then execute the specified command and provide textual display of results or error messages. Advanced CLIs will validate, interpret and parameter-expand the command line before executing the specified command, and optionally capture or redirect its output.

Unlike a button or menu item in a GUI, a command line is typically self-documenting, stating exactly what the user wants done. In addition, command lines usually include many defaults that can be changed to customize the results. Useful command lines can be saved by assigning a character string or alias to represent the full command, or several commands can be grouped to perform a more complex sequence – for instance, compile the program, install it, and run it — creating a single entity, called a command procedure or script which itself can be treated as a command. These advantages mean that a user must figure out a complex command or series of commands only once, because they can be saved, to be used again.

The commands given to a CLI shell are often in one of the following forms:

    where doSomething is, in effect, a verb, how an adverb (for example, should the command be executed "verbosely" or "quietly") and toFiles an object or objects (typically one or more files) on which the command should act. The in the third example is a redirection operator, telling the command-line interpreter to send the output of the command not to its own standard output (the screen) but to the named file. This will overwrite the file. Using will redirect the output and append it to the file. Another redirection operator is the vertical bar (), which creates a pipeline where the output of one command becomes the input to the next command.

    CLI and resource protection[edit]

    One can modify the set of available commands by modifying which paths appear in the PATH environment variable. Under Unix, commands also need be marked as executable files. The directories in the path variable are searched in the order they are given. By re-ordering the path, one can run e.g. \OS2\MDOS\E.EXE instead of \OS2\E.EXE, when the default is the opposite. Renaming of the executables also works: people often rename their favourite editor to EDIT, for example.

    The command line allows one to restrict available commands, such as access to advanced internal commands. The Windows CMD.EXE does this. Often, shareware programs will limit the range of commands, including printing a command 'your administrator has disabled running batch files' from the prompt.[clarification needed]

    Some CLIs, such as those in network routers, have a hierarchy of modes, with a different set of commands supported in each mode. The set of commands are grouped by association with security, system, interface, etc. In these systems the user might traverse through a series of sub-modes. For example, if the CLI had two modes called interface and system, the user might use the command interface to enter the interface mode. At this point, commands from the system mode may not be accessible until the user exits the interface mode and enters the system mode.

    Command prompt[edit]

    Prompt of a BBC Microafter switch-on or hard reset

    "Command prompt" redirects here. For the Windows component named Command Prompt, see cmd.exe.

    A command prompt (or just prompt) is a sequence of (one or more) characters used in a command-line interface to indicate readiness to accept commands. It literally prompts the user to take action. A prompt usually ends with one of the characters , , ,[8][9], or [10] and often includes other information, such as the path of the current working directory and the hostname.

    On many Unix and derivative systems, the prompt commonly ends in or if the user is a normal user, but in if the user is a superuser ("root" in Unix terminology).

    End-users can often modify prompts. Depending on the environment, they may include colors, special characters, and other elements (like variables and functions for the current time, user, shell number or working directory) in order, for instance, to make the prompt more informative or visually pleasing, to distinguish sessions on various machines, or to indicate the current level of nesting of commands. On some systems, special tokens in the definition of the prompt can be used to cause external programs to be called by the command-line interpreter while displaying the prompt.

    In DOS' COMMAND.COM and in Windows NT's cmd.exe users can modify the prompt by issuing a command or by directly changing the value of the corresponding environment variable. The default of most modern systems, the style is obtained, for instance, with . The default of older DOS systems, is obtained by just , although on some systems this produces the newer style, unless used on floppy drives A: or B:; on those systems can be used to override the automatic default and explicitly switch to the older style.

    Many Unix systems feature the variable (Prompt String 1),[11] although other variables also may affect the prompt (depending on the shell used). In the Bash shell, a prompt of the form:

    [time] [email protected]: work_dir $

    could be set by issuing the command

    exportPS1='[\t] \[email protected]\H: \W $'

    In zsh the variable controls an optional "prompt" on the right-hand side of the display. It is not a real prompt in that the location of text entry does not change. It is used to display information on the same line as the prompt, but right-justified.

    In RISC OS the command prompt is a symbol, and thus (OS) CLI commands are often referred to as "star commands".[12] One can also access the same commands from other command lines (such as the BBC BASIC command line), by preceding the command with a .

    Arguments[edit]

    An MS-DOS command line, illustrating parsing into command and arguments

    A command-line argument or parameter is an item of information provided to a program when it is started. A program can have many command-line arguments that identify sources or destinations of information, or that alter the operation of the program.

    When a command processor is active a program is typically invoked by typing its name followed by command-line arguments (if any). For example, in Unix and Unix-like environments, an example of a command-line argument is:

    "file.s" is a command-line argument which tells the program rm to remove the file "file.s".

    Some programming languages, such as C, C++ and Java, allow a program to interpret the command-line arguments by handling them as string parameters in the main function. Other languages, such as Python, expose operating system specific API (functionality) through module, and in particular for "command-line arguments".

    In Unix-like operating systems, a single hyphen used in place of a file name is a special value specifying that a program should handle data coming from the standard input or send data to the standard output.

    Command-line option[edit]

    A command-line option or simply option (also known as a flag or switch) modifies the operation of a command; the effect is determined by the command's program. Options follow the command name on the command line, separated by spaces. A space before the first option is not always required, such as and in DOS, which have the same effect[10] of listing the DIR command's available options, whereas (in many versions of Unix) does require the option to be preceded by at least one space (and is case-sensitive).

    The format of options varies widely between operating systems. In most cases the syntax is by convention rather than an operating system requirement; the entire command line is simply a string passed to a program, which can process it in any way the programmer wants, so long as the interpreter can tell where the command name ends and its arguments and options begin.

    A few representative samples of command-line options, all relating to listing files in a directory, to illustrate some conventions:

    Operating systemCommandValid alternativeNotes
    OpenVMSinstruct the directory command to also display the ownership of the files.
    Note the Directory command name is not case sensitive, and can be abbreviated to as few letters as required to remain unique.
    Windowsdisplay ownership of files whose names begin with "D", sorted by size, smallest first.
    Note spaces around argument d* are required.
    Unix-like systemsdisplay in long format files and directories beginning with "D" (but not "d"), sorted by size (largest first).
    Note spaces are required around all arguments and options, but some can be run together, e.g. -lS is the same as -l -S.
    Data General RDOSCLIlist every attribute for files created before 26 April 1980.
    Note the /B at the end of the date argument is a local switch, that modifies the meaning of that argument, while /S and /E are global switches, i.e. apply to the whole command.
    Abbreviating commands[edit]

    See also: Tab completion

    In Multics, command-line options and subsystem keywords may be abbreviated. This idea appears to derive from the PL/I programming language, with its shortened keywords (e.g., STRG for STRINGRANGE and DCL for DECLARE). For example, in the Multics "forum" subsystem, the -long_subject parameter can be abbreviated -lgsj. It is also common for Multics commands to be abbreviated, typically corresponding to the initial letters of the words that are strung together with underscores to form command names, such as the use of did for delete_iacl_dir.

    In some other systems abbreviations are automatic, such as permitting enough of the first characters of a command name to uniquely identify it (such as as an abbreviation for ) while others may have some specific abbreviations pre-programmed (e.g. for in COMMAND.COM) or user-defined via batch scripts and aliases (e.g. in tcsh).

    Option conventions in DOS, Windows, OS/2[edit]

    On DOS, OS/2 and Windows, different programs called from their COMMAND.COM or CMD.EXE (or internal their commands) may use different syntax within the same operating system. For example:

    • Options may be indicated by either of the "switch characters": , , or either may be allowed. See below.
    • They may or may not be case-sensitive.
    • Sometimes options and their arguments are run together, sometimes separated by whitespace, and sometimes by a character, typically or ; thus , , , .
    • Some programs allow single-character options to be combined;[10] others do not. The switch may mean the same as ,[10] or it may be incorrect, or it may even be a valid but different parameter.

    In DOS, OS/2 and Windows, the forward slash () is most prevalent, although the hyphen-minus is also sometimes used. In many versions of DOS (MS-DOS/PC DOS 2.xx and higher, all versions of DR-DOS since 5.0, as well as PTS-DOS, Embedded DOS, FreeDOS and RxDOS) the switch character (sometimes abbreviated switchar or switchchar) to be used is defined by a value returned from a system call (INT 21h/AX=3700h). The default character returned by this API is , but can be changed to a hyphen-minus on the above-mentioned systems, except for under Datalight ROM-DOS and MS-DOS/PC DOS 5.0 and higher, which always return from this call (unless one of many available TSRs to reenable the SwitChar feature is loaded). In some of these systems (MS-DOS/PC DOS 2.xx, DOS Plus 2.1, DR-DOS 7.02 and higher, PTS-DOS, Embedded DOS, FreeDOS and RxDOS), the setting can also be pre-configured by a SWITCHAR directive in CONFIG.SYS. General Software's Embedded DOS provides a SWITCH command for the same purpose, whereas 4DOS allows the setting to be changed via .[13] Under DR-DOS, if the setting has been changed from , the first directory separator in the display of the PROMPT parameter will change to a forward slash (which is also a valid directory separator in DOS, FlexOS, 4680 OS, 4690 OS, OS/2 and Windows) thereby serving as a visual clue to indicate the change.[10] Also, the current setting is reflected also in the built-in help screens.[10] Some versions of DR-DOS COMMAND.COM also support a PROMPT token to display the current setting. COMMAND.COM since DR-DOS 7.02 also provides a pseudo-environment variable named to allow portable batchjobs to be written.[14][15] Several external DR-DOS commands additionally support an environment variable to override the system setting.

    However, many programs are hardwired to use only, rather than retrieving the switch setting before parsing command-line arguments. A very small number, mainly ports from Unix-like systems, are programmed to accept "-" even if the switch character is not set to it (for example and , supplied with Microsoft Windows, will accept the /? option to list available options, and yet the list will specify the "-" convention).

    Option conventions in Unix-like systems[edit]

    In Unix-like systems, the ASCII hyphen-minus begins options; the new (and GNU) convention is to use two hyphens then a word (e.g. ) to identify the option's use while the old convention (and still available as an option for frequently-used options) is to use one hyphen then one letter (e.g., ); if one hyphen is followed by two or more letters it may mean two options are being specified, or it may mean the second and subsequent letters are a parameter (such as filename or date) for the first option.[16]

    Two hyphen-minus characters without following letters () may indicate that the remaining arguments should not be treated as options, which is useful for example if a file name itself begins with a hyphen, or if further arguments are meant for an inner command (e.g., sudo). Double hyphen-minuses are also sometimes used to prefix "long options" where more descriptive option names are used. This is a common feature of GNU software. The getopt function and program, and the getopts command are usually used for parsing command-line options.

    Unix command names, arguments and options are case-sensitive (except in a few examples, mainly where popular commands from other operating systems have been ported to Unix).

    Option conventions in other systems[edit]

    FlexOS, 4680 OS and 4690 OS use .

    CP/M typically used .

    Conversational Monitor System (CMS) uses a single left parenthesis to separate options at the end of the command from the other arguments. For example, in the following command the options indicate that the target file should be replaced if it exists, and the date and time of the source file should be retained on the copy:

    Data General's CLI under their RDOS, AOS, etc. operating systems, as well as the version of CLI that came with their Business Basic, uses only as the switch character, is case-insensitive, and allows "local switches" on some arguments to control the way they are interpreted, such as has the global option "U" to the macro assembler command to append user symbols, but two local switches, one to specify LIB should be skipped on pass 2 and the other to direct listing to the printer, $LPT.

    Built-in usage help[edit]

    See also: help (command)

    One of the criticisms of a CLI is the lack of cues to the user as to the available actions.[citation needed] In contrast, GUIs usually inform the user of available actions with menus, icons, or other visual cues.[citation needed] To overcome this limitation, many CLI programs display a brief summary of its valid parameters, typically when invoked with no arguments or one of , , , , , , , , , or .[10][17][18]

    However, entering a program name without parameters in the hope that it will display usage help can be hazardous, as programs and scripts for which command line arguments are optional will execute without further notice.

    Although desirable at least for the help parameter, programs may not support all option lead-in characters exemplified above. Under DOS, where the default command-line option character can be changed from to , programs may query the SwitChar API in order to determine the current setting. So, if a program is not hardwired to support them all, a user may need to know the current setting even to be able to reliably request help. If the SwitChar has been changed to and therefore the character is accepted as alternative path delimiter also at the DOS command line, programs may misinterpret options like or as paths rather than help parameters.[10] However, if given as first or only parameter, most DOS programs will, by convention, accept it as request for help regardless of the current SwitChar setting.[10][13]

    In some cases, different levels of help can be selected for a program. Some programs supporting this allow to give a verbosity level as an optional argument to the help parameter (as in , , etc.) or they give just a short help on help parameters with question mark and a longer help screen for the other help options.[19]

    Depending on the program, additional or more specific help on accepted parameters is sometimes available by either providing the parameter in question as an argument to the help parameter or vice versa (as in or in (assuming would be another parameter supported by the program)).[20][21][18][17][19][nb 1]

    In a similar fashion to the help parameter, but much less common, some programs provide additional information about themselves (like mode, status, version, author, license or contact information) when invoked with an "about" parameter like , , , or .[17]

    Since the and characters typically also serve other purposes at the command line, they may not be available in all scenarios, therefore, they should not be the only options to access the corresponding help information.

    The end of the HELPcommand output from RT-11SJdisplayed on a VT100

    If more detailed help is necessary than provided by a program's built-in internal help, many systems support a dedicated external "" command (or similar), which accepts a command name as calling parameter and will invoke an external help system.

    In the DR-DOS family, typing or at the COMMAND.COM prompt instead of a command itself will display a dynamically generated list of available internal commands;[10]4DOS and NDOS support the same feature by typing at the prompt[13] (which is also accepted by newer versions of DR-DOS COMMAND.COM); internal commands can be individually disabled or reenabled via .[13] In addition to this, some newer versions of DR-DOS COMMAND.COM also accept a command to display a list of available built-in pseudo-environment variables. Besides their purpose as quick help reference this can be used in batchjobs to query the facilities of the underlying command-line processor.[10]

    Command description syntax[edit]

    Built-in usage help and man pages commonly employ a small syntax to describe the valid command form:[22][23][24][nb 2]

    • angle brackets for required parameters:
    • square brackets for optional parameters:
    • ellipses for repeated items:
    • vertical bars for choice of items:

    Notice that these characters have different meanings than when used directly in the shell. Angle brackets may be omitted when confusing the parameter name with a literal string is not likely.

    The space character[edit]

    In many areas of computing, but particularly in the command line, the space character can cause problems as it has two distinct and incompatible functions: as part of a command or parameter, or as a parameter or name separator. Ambiguity can be prevented either by prohibiting embedded spaces in file and directory names in the first place (for example, by substituting them with underscores), or by enclosing a name with embedded spaces between quote characters or using an escape character before the space, usually a backslash (). For example

    is ambiguous (is "program name" part of the program name, or two parameters?); however

    …,
    …,

    and

    are not ambiguous. Unix-based operating systems minimize the use of embedded spaces to minimize the need for quotes. In Microsoft Windows, one often has to use quotes because embedded spaces (such as in directory names) are common.

    Command-line interpreter[edit]

    Although most users think of the shell as an interactive command interpreter, it is really a programming language in which each statement runs a command. Because it must satisfy both the interactive and programming aspects of command execution, it is a strange language, shaped as much by history as by design.

    — Brian W. Kernighan & Rob Pike[25]

    See also: List of command-line interpreters

    The term command-line interpreter (CLI) is applied to computer programs designed to interpret a sequence of lines of text which may be entered by a user, read from a file or another kind of data stream. The context of interpretation is usually one of a given operating system or programming language.

    Command-line interpreters allow users to issue various commands in a very efficient (and often terse) way. This requires the user to know the names of the commands and their parameters, and the syntax of the language that is interpreted.

    The Unix mechanism and OS/2 EXTPROC command facilitate the passing of batch files to external processors. One can use these mechanisms to write specific command processors for dedicated uses, and process external data files which reside in batch files.

    Many graphical interfaces, such as the OS/2 Presentation Manager and early versions of Microsoft Windows use command-lines to call helper programs to open documents and programs. The commands are stored in the graphical shell[clarification needed] or in files like the registry or the OS/2 file.

    Early history[edit]

    The earliest computers did not support interactive input/output devices, often relying on sense switches and lights to communicate with the computer operator. This was adequate for batch systems that ran one program at a time, often with the programmer acting as operator. This also had the advantage of low overhead, since lights and switches could be tested and set with one machine instruction. Later a single system console was added to allow the operator to communicate with the system.

    From the 1960s onwards, user interaction with computers was primarily by means of command-line interfaces, initially on machines like the Teletype Model 33 ASR, but then on early CRT-based computer terminals such as the VT52.

    All of these devices were purely text based, with no ability to display graphic or pictures.[nb 3] For business application programs, text-based menus were used, but for more general interaction the command line was the interface.

    Around 1964 Louis Pouzin introduced the concept and the name shell in Multics, building on earlier, simpler facilities in the Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS).[26][better source needed]

    From the early 1970s the Unix operating system adapted the concept of a powerful command-line environment, and introduced the ability to pipe the output of one command in as input to another. Unix also had the capability to save and re-run strings of commands as "shell scripts" which acted like custom commands.

    The command-line was also the main interface for the early home computers such as the Commodore PET, Apple II and BBC Micro – almost always in the form of a BASIC interpreter. When more powerful business oriented microcomputers arrived with CP/M and later DOS computers such as the IBM PC, the command-line began to borrow some of the syntax and features of the Unix shells such as globbing and piping of output.

    The command-line was first seriously challenged by the PARCGUI approach used in the 1983 Apple Lisa and the 1984 Apple Macintosh. A few computer users used GUIs such as GEOS and Windows 3.1 but the majority of IBM PC users did not replace their COMMAND.COM shell with a GUI until Windows 95 was released in 1995.[27][28]

    Modern usage as an operating system shell[edit]

    While most non-expert computer users now use a GUI almost exclusively, more advanced users have access to powerful command-line environments:

    • The default VAX/VMS command shell, using the DCL language, has been ported to Windows systems at least three times, including PC-DCL and Acceler8 DCL Lite. Unix command shells have been ported to VMS and DOS/Windows 95 and Windows NT types of operating systems.
    • COMMAND.COM is the command-line interpreter of MS-DOS, IBM PC DOS, and clones such as DR-DOS, SISNE plus, PTS-DOS, ROM-DOS, and FreeDOS.
    • Windows Resource Kit and Windows Services for UNIX include Korn and the Bourne shells along with a Perl interpreter (Services for UNIX contains ActiveStateActivePerl in later versions and Interix for versions 1 and 2 and a shell compiled by Microsoft)
    • IBM OS/2 (and derivatives such as eComStation and ArcaOS) has the cmd.exe processor. This copies the COMMAND.COM commands, with extensions to REXX.
    • cmd.exe is part of the Windows NT stream of operating systems.
    • Yet another cmd.exe is a stripped-down shell for Windows CE 3.0.
    • An MS-DOS type interpreter called PocketDOS has been ported to Windows CE machines; the most recent release is almost identical to MS-DOS 6.22 and can also run Windows 1, 2, and 3.0, QBasic and other development tools, 4NT and 4DOS. The latest release includes several shells, namely MS-DOS 6.22, PC DOS 7, DR DOS 3.xx, and others.
    • Windows users might use the CScript interface to alternate programs, from command-line. PowerShell provides a command-line interface, but its applets are not written in Shell script. Implementations of the Unix shell are also available as part of the POSIX sub-system,[29]Cygwin, MKS Toolkit, UWIN, Hamilton C shell and other software packages. Available shells for these interoperability tools include csh, ksh, sh, Bash, rsh, tclsh and less commonly zsh, psh
    • Implementations of PHP have a shell for interactive use called php-cli.
    • Standard Tcl/Tk has two interactive shells, Tclsh and Wish, the latter being the GUI version.
    • Python, Ruby, Lua, XLNT, and other interpreters also have command shells for interactive use.
    • FreeBSD uses tcsh as its default interactive shell for the superuser, and ash as default scripting shell.
    • Many Linux distributions have the Bash implementation of the Unix shell.
    • Apple macOS and some Linux distributions use zsh. Previously, macOS used tcsh and Bash.
    • Embedded Linux (and other embedded Unix-like) devices often use the Ash implementation of the Unix shell, as part of Busybox.
    • Android uses the mksh shell,[30][31] which replaces a shell derived from ash[32] that was used in older Android versions, supplemented with commands from the separate toolbox[33] binary.
    • Routers with Cisco IOS,[34]Junos[35] and many others are commonly configured from the command line.

    Scripting[edit]

    Most command-line interpreters support scripting, to various extents. (They are, after all, interpreters of an interpreted programming language, albeit in many cases the language is unique to the particular command-line interpreter.) They will interpret scripts (variously termed shell scripts or batch files) written in the language that they interpret. Some command-line interpreters also incorporate the interpreter engines of other languages, such as REXX, in addition to their own, allowing the executing of scripts, in those languages, directly within the command-line interpreter itself.

    Conversely, scripting programming languages, in particular those with an evalfunction (such as REXX, Perl, Python, Ruby or Jython), can be used to implement command-line interpreters and filters. For a few operating systems, most notably DOS, such a command interpreter provides a more flexible command-line interface than the one supplied. In other cases, such a command interpreter can present a highly customised user interface employing the user interface and input/output facilities of the language.

    Other command-line interfaces[edit]

    The command line provides an interface between programs as well as the user. In this sense, a command line is an alternative to a dialog box. Editors and databases present a command line, in which alternate command processors might run. On the other hand, one might have options on the command line, which opens a dialog box. The latest version of 'Take Command' has this feature. DBase used a dialog box to construct command lines, which could be further edited before use.

    Programs like BASIC, diskpart, Edlin, and QBASIC all provide command-line interfaces, some of which use the system shell. Basic is modeled on the default interface for 8-bit Intel computers. Calculators can be run as command-line or dialog interfaces.

    Emacs provides a command-line interface in the form of its minibuffer. Commands and arguments can be entered using Emacs standard text editing support, and output is displayed in another buffer.

    There are a number of text mode games, like Adventure or King's Quest 1-3, which relied on the user typing commands at the bottom of the screen. One controls the character by typing commands like 'get ring' or 'look'. The program returns a text which describes how the character sees it, or makes the action happen. The text adventureThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a piece of interactive fiction based on Douglas Adam's book of the same name, is a teletype-style command-line game.

    The most notable of these interfaces is the standard streams interface, which allows the output of one command to be passed to the input of another. Text files can serve either purpose as well. This provides the interfaces of piping, filters and redirection. Under Unix, devices are files too, so the normal type of file for the shell used for stdin,stdout and stderr is a tty device file.

    Another command-line interface allows a shell program to launch helper programs, either to launch documents or start a program. The command is processed internally by the shell, and then passed on to another program to launch the document. The graphical interface of Windows and OS/2 rely heavily on command-lines passed through to other programs – console or graphical, which then usually process the command line without presenting a user-console.

    Programs like the OS/2 E editor and some other IBM editors, can process command-lines normally meant for the shell, the output being placed directly in the document window.

    A web browser's URL input field can be used as a command line. It can be used to "launch" web apps, access browser configuration, as well as perform a search. Google, which has been called "the command line of the internet" will perform a domain-specific search when it detects search parameters in a known format.[36] This functionality is present whether the search is triggered from a browser field or on Google's website.

    There are JavaScript libraries that allow to write command line applications in browser as standalone Web apps or as part of bigger application.[37] An example of such a website is the CLI interface to DuckDuckGo.[38] There are also Web-based SSH applications, that allow to give access to server command line interface from a browser.

    Many video games on the PC feature a command line interface often referred to as a console. It is typically used by the game developers during development and by mod developers for debugging purposes as well as for cheating or skipping parts of the game.

    See also[edit]

    Notes[edit]

    1. ^An example is the comprehensive internal help system of the DR-DOS 7.03DEBUG command, which can be invoked via at the debug prompt (rather than only the default overview). Specific help pages can be selected via (where is the number of the page). Additionally, help for specific commands can be displayed by specifying the command name after , f.e. will invoke help for the various dump commands (like etc.). Some of these features were already supported by the DR DOS 3.41SID86 and GEMSID.
    2. ^Conventions for describing commands on DOS-like operating systems. Notable difference: The Windows Server 2003 R2 documentation uses italic letters for "Information that the user must supply", while the Server 2008 documentation uses angle brackets. Italics can not be displayed by the internal "help" command while there is no problem with angle brackets.
    3. ^With the exception of ASCII art.

    References[edit]

    1. ^"Unix Shells".
    2. ^ ab"The Origin of the Shell". www.multicians.org. Retrieved 2017-04-12.
    3. ^Metz, Cade (2013-01-03). "Say Bonjour to the Internet's Long-Lost French Uncle". Wired. Retrieved 2017-07-31.
    4. ^Mazières, David (Fall 2004). "MULTICS - The First Seven Years". Advanced Operating Systems. Stanford Computer Science Department. Retrieved 2017-08-01.
    5. ^ abJones, M. (2011-12-06). "Evolution of shells in Linux". developerWorks. IBM. Retrieved 2017-08-01.
    6. ^"GNU BASH Reference".
    7. ^"Microsoft Windows Command Shell Overview".
    8. ^SID Users Guide(PDF). Digital Research. 1978. 595-2549. Archived(PDF) from the original on 2019-10-20. Retrieved 2020-02-06. (4+69 pages)
    9. ^SID-86 User's Guide for CP/M-86 (2 ed.). Digital Research. August 1982 [March 1982]. SID86UG.WS4. Archived from the original on 2019-10-20. Retrieved 2020-02-06.[1] (NB. A retyped version of the manual by Emmanuel Roche with Q, SR, and Z commands added.)
    10. ^ abcdefghijkPaul, Matthias R. (1997-07-30). NWDOS-TIPs – Tips & Tricks rund um Novell DOS 7, mit Blick auf undokumentierte Details, Bugs und Workarounds. MPDOSTIP. Release 157 (in German) (3 ed.). Archived from the original on 2017-09-10. Retrieved 2014-09-06. (NB. NWDOSTIP.TXT is a comprehensive work on Novell DOS 7 and OpenDOS 7.01, including the description of many undocumented features and internals. It is part of the author's yet larger MPDOSTIP.ZIP collection maintained up to 2001 and distributed on many sites at the time. The provided link points to a HTML-converted older version of the NWDOSTIP.TXT file.)
    11. ^Parker, Steve (2011). "Chapter 11: Choosing and using shells". Shell Scripting: Expert Recipes for Linux, Bash and more. Programmer to programmer. Indianapolis, USA: John Wiley & Sons. p. 262. ISBN .
    12. ^RISC OS 3 User Guide(PDF). Acorn Computers Limited. 1992-03-01. p. 125.
    13. ^ abcdBrothers, Hardin; Rawson, Tom; Conn, Rex C.; Paul, Matthias R.; Dye, Charles E.; Georgiev, Luchezar I. (2002-02-27). 4DOS 8.00 online help.
    14. ^Paul, Matthias R. (1998-01-09). DELTREE.BAT R1.01 Extended file and directory delete. Caldera, Inc. Archived from the original on 2019-04-08. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
    15. ^DR-DOS 7.03 WHATSNEW.TXT — Changes from DR-DOS 7.02 to DR-DOS 7.03. Caldera, Inc. 1998-12-24. Archived from the original on 2019-04-08. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
    16. ^"Argument Syntax (The GNU C Library)". www.gnu.org. Retrieved 2021-07-09.
    17. ^ abcPaul, Matthias R. (2002-05-13). "[fd-dev] mkeyb". freedos-dev. Archived from the original on 2018-09-10. Retrieved 2018-09-10.
    18. ^ abPaul, Matthias R. (2002-01-09). "SID86". Newsgroup: comp.os.cpm. Retrieved 2018-04-08.
    19. ^ abPaul, Matthias R.; Frinke, Axel C. (2006-01-16). FreeKEYB - Advanced international DOS keyboard and console driver (User Manual) (v7 preliminary ed.).
    20. ^CCI Multiuser DOS 7.22 GOLD Online Documentation. Concurrent Controls, Inc. (CCI). 1997-02-10. HELP.HLP. (NB. The symbolic instruction debugger SID86 provides a short help screen on and comprehensive help on .)
    21. ^Paul, Matthias R. (1997-05-24) [1991]. DRDOSTIP.TXT – Tips und Tricks für DR DOS 3.41 - 5.0. MPDOSTIP (in German) (47 ed.). Archived from the original on 2016-11-07. Retrieved 2016-11-07.
    22. ^"The Open Group Base Specifications Issue 7, Chapter 12.1 Utility Argument Syntax". The Open Group. 2008. Retrieved 2013-04-07. – Linux Conventions and Miscellany Manual (NB. Conventions for describing commands on Unix-like operating systems.)
    23. ^"Command shell overview". Windows Server 2003 Product Help. Microsoft. 2005-01-21. Retrieved 2013-04-07.
    24. ^"Command-Line Syntax Key". Windows Server 2008 R2 TechNet Library. Microsoft. 2010-01-25. Retrieved 2013-04-07.
    25. ^Kernighan, Brian W.; Pike, Rob (1984). The UNIX Programming Environment. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall. ISBN .
    26. ^Pouzin, Louis. "The Origin of the Shell". Multicians.org. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
    27. ^"Remembering Windows 95's launch 15 years later".
    28. ^"A history of Windows". windows.microsoft.com. Archived from the original on 2015-03-01.
    29. ^"Windows POSIX shell compatibility".
    30. ^"master - platform/external/mksh - Git at Google". android.googlesource.com. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
    31. ^"Android adb shell - ash or ksh?". stackoverflow.com. Retrieved 2018-03-14.
    32. ^"Android sh source". Archived from the original on 2012-12-17.
    33. ^"Android toolbox source".
    34. ^"Cisco IOS Configuration Fundamentals Configuration Guide, Release 12.2". Cisco. 2013-10-30. Using the Command-Line Interface.
    35. ^"Command-Line Interface Overview". www.juniper.net. Retrieved 2018-03-14.
    36. ^"Google strange goodness".
    37. ^jQuery Terminal Emulator
    38. ^DuckDuckGo TTY

    External links[edit]

    Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Command-line_interface

    Commands command line

    Windows commands

    All supported versions of Windows (server and client) have a set of Win32 console commands built in.

    This set of documentation describes the Windows Commands you can use to automate tasks by using scripts or scripting tools.

    Prerequisites

    The information that is contained in this topic applies to:

    • Windows Server 2019
    • Windows Server (Semi-Annual Channel)
    • Windows Server 2016
    • Windows Server 2012 R2
    • Windows Server 2012
    • Windows Server 2008 R2
    • Windows Server 2008
    • Windows 10
    • Windows 8.1

    Command shell overview

    The Command shell was the first shell built into Windows to automate routine tasks, like user account management or nightly backups, with batch (.bat) files. With Windows Script Host you could run more sophisticated scripts in the Command shell. For more information, see cscript or wscript. You can perform operations more efficiently by using scripts than you can by using the user interface. Scripts accept all Commands that are available at the command line.

    Windows has two command shells: The Command shell and PowerShell. Each shell is a software program that provides direct communication between you and the operating system or application, providing an environment to automate IT operations.

    PowerShell was designed to extend the capabilities of the Command shell to run PowerShell commands called cmdlets. Cmdlets are similar to Windows Commands but provide a more extensible scripting language. You can run Windows Commands and PowerShell cmdlets in Powershell, but the Command shell can only run Windows Commands and not PowerShell cmdlets.

    For the most robust, up-to-date Windows automation, we recommend using PowerShell instead of Windows Commands or Windows Script Host for Windows automation.

    Note

    You can also download and install PowerShell Core, the open source version of PowerShell.

    Caution

    Incorrectly editing the registry may severely damage your system. Before making the following changes to the registry, you should back up any valued data on the computer.

    Note

    To enable or disable file and directory name completion in the Command shell on a computer or user logon session, run regedit.exe and set the following reg_DWOrd value:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor\completionChar\reg_DWOrd

    To set the reg_DWOrd value, use the hexadecimal value of a control character for a particular function (for example, 0 9 is Tab and 0 08 is Backspace). User-specified settings take precedence over computer settings, and command-line options take precedence over registry settings.

    Command-line reference A-Z

    To find information about a specific command, in the following A-Z menu, click the letter that the command starts with, and then click the command name.

    A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

    A

    B

    C

    D

    E

    F

    G

    H

    I

    J

    K

    L

    M

    N

    O

    P

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    Sours: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/administration/windows-commands/windows-commands
    15 CMD Commands Every Windows User Should Know

    The Windows command prompt is a feature that’s been a core part of the Windows operating system for a long time. There are some CMD commands that are so useful and easy to use that even regular users see the Windows command prompt as a key part of the operating system.

    There are always rumors that it will be phased out at some point, but that’s unlikely to happen any time soon.

    The following are 21 of the best CMD commands you should know if you want to have more control over your Windows PC.

    Also, be sure to check out our YouTube video where we go over the commands listed in this article:

    21 CMD Prompt Commands You Should Know

    1. ASSOC: Fix File Associations

    One of the most powerful tools in the CMD command library is the ASSOC command.

    Your computer associates certain file extensions with certain programs. This is how your computer knows to open Adobe when you double click a PDF file, or Microsoft Word when you double click a DOC file.

    You can view all the file associations your computer knows about by typing ASSOC in the command window. You’ll see the file extension and the program it’s associated with.

    You can set the association by typing something like assoc .doc=Word.Document.8.

    2. FC: File Compare

    Sometimes when files are changed over time, it’s hard to remember what the differences were between versions. You may not know that a CMD command offers the ability to compare files and see all differences, but it’s true.

    The FC command performs either an ascii or a binary file comparison and will list all of the differences that it finds.

    Fc /a File1.txt File2.txt will compare two ascii files.

    Fc /b Picture1.jpg Picture2.jpg will do a binary compare on two images.

    3. IPCONFIG: IP Configuration

    Network troubleshooting is never simple, but one command that makes it much easier is IPCONFIG.

    Using this command in the CMD command prompt returns detailed information about your current network adapter connection including:

    • Current IP Address
    • Subnet Mask
    • Default Gateway IP
    • Current domain

    This information can help you troubleshoot router issues and other connection issues you could be having with your network adapter.

    4. NETSTAT: Network Statistics

    Concerned that you could have malware running on your computer that’s connecting to internet locations without you knowing about it?

    If you run a NETSTAT command in the command prompt, you can get a list of all active TCP connections from your computer.

    5. PING: Send Test Packets

    An IT Analyst’s best friend is the PING command.  Running this command sends test packets over the network to the target system.

    You can use the PING command to test whether your computer can access another computer, a server, or even a website. It can help with revealing network disconnections. It also provides transit time for the packets in milliseconds, so it also reveals a bad network connection as well.

    6. TRACERT: Trace Route

    TRACERT is a fascinating Windows Command to use. If you’re ever curious to see the path your internet traffic takes to get from your browser to a remote system like Google servers, you can use TRACERT to see it.

    The command stands for “Trace Route”, which sends packets out to a remote destination (server or website), and provides you with all of the following information:

    • Number of hops (intermediate servers) before getting to the destination
    • Time it takes to get to each hop
    • The IP and sometimes the name of each hop

    TRACERT can reveal how the routes of your internet requests change depending where you’re accessing the web. It also helps with troubleshooting a router or switch on a local network that may be problematic.

    7. POWERCFG: Power Configuration

    Are you frustrated with how quickly your laptop seems to run out of power? It could be that your power settings are configured as efficiently as possible. There’s a windows CMD command called POWERCFG (power configuration) that can help. Run the command prompt as an administrator and type powercfg – energy to get a full power efficiency report.

    The process can take up to about a minute, but when it’s done, you’ll see whether there are any warnings or errors that might help you improve the power efficiency of your system.

    View the energy-report.html file to see the details of those errors and warnings.

    8. SHUTDOWN: Turn Off Computer

    The SHUTDOWN command is a pretty versatile command that lets you shutdown the computer but control the behavior of that shutdown. It’s commonly used as a scheduled task or part of an IT batch job after patches have been applied to a computer system.

    Typing shutdown /i from the command prompt will initiate a shutdown, but it’ll upon a GUI to give the user an option on whether to restart or do a full shutdown. If you don’t want to have any GUI pop up, you can just issue a shutdown /s command.

    There is a long list of other parameters you can use to do a log off, hibernate, restart, and more. Just type shutdown without any arguments to see them all.

    9. SYSTEMINFO: System Information

    If you need to know what brand of network card you have, processor details, or the exact version of your Windows OS, the SYSTEMINFO command can help.

    This command polls your system and pulls the most important information about your system. It lists the information in a clean format that’s easy to read.

    10. SFC: System File Checker

    If you’re ever concerned that a virus or some other software might have corrupted your core system files, there’s a Windows command that can scan those files and ensure their integrity.

    You need to launch CMD as administrator (right click and choose Run as Administrator). Typing SFC /SCANNOW will check the integrity of all protected system files. If a problem is found, the files will be repaired with backed-up system files.

    The SFC command also lets you:

    • /VERIFYONLY: Check the integrity but don’t repair the files.
    • /SCANFILE: Scan the integrity of specific files and fix if corrupted.
    • /VERIFYFILE: Verify the integrity of specific files but don’t repair them.
    • /OFFBOOTDIR: Use this to do repairs on an offline boot directory.
    • /OFFWINDIR: Use this to do repairs on an offline Windows directory.
    • /OFFLOGFILE: Specify a path to save a log file with scan results.

    The scan can take up to 10 or 15 minutes, so give it time.

    11. NET USE: Map drives

    If you want to map a new drive, you could always open File Explorer, right click on This PC, and go through the Map Network Drive wizard. However, using the NET USE command, you can do the same thing with one command string.

    For example, if you have a share folder on a computer on your network called \\OTHER-COMPUTER\SHARE\, you can map this as your own Z: drive by typing the command:

    Net use Z: “\\OTHER-COMPUTER\SHARE” /persistent:yes

    The persistent switch tells your computer that you want this drive remapped every time you log back into your computer.

    12. CHKDSK: Check Disk

    While the SFC command only checks the integrity of core system files, you can use the CHKDSK command to scan an entire drive.

    The command to check the C: drive and repair any problems, launch the command window as an administrator and type CHKDSK /f C:.

    This command checks for things like:

    • File fragmentation
    • Disk errors
    • Bad sectors

    The command can fix any disk errors (if possible). When the command is finished, you’ll see a status of the scan and what actions were taken.

    13. SCHTASKS: Schedule Tasks

    Windows comes with a wizard for creating scheduled tasks. For example, maybe you have a BAT file stored on C:\temp that you want to run every day at noon.

    You’d have to click through the Scheduled Task wizard to configure this. Or you can type a single SCHTASKS command to set it up.

    SCHTASKS /Create /SC HOURLY /MO 12 /TR Example /TN c:\temp\File1.bat

    The scheduled switch accepts arguments like minute, hourly, daily, and monthly. Then you specify the frequency with the /MO command.

    If you typed the command correctly, you’ll see the response, SUCCESS: The scheduled task “Example” has successfully been created.

    14. ATTRIB: Change File Attributes

    In Windows, you can change file attributes by right clicking on a file and finding the right property to change. However, instead of hunting around for the file attribute, you can use the ATTRIB command to set the file attributes.

    For example, if you type: ATTRIB +R +H C:\temp\File1.bat, it’ll set File1.bat as a hidden, read-only file.

    There is no response when it’s successful, so unless you see an error message, the command worked.

    Other Windows CMD Commands

    As you can see, there are some powerful and useful things you can do with the Windows command prompt, if you know the right commands.

    Believe it or not, there are even more commands that will give you the ability to do some things you probably never realized just by typing a simple command.

    • BITSADMIN: Initiate upload or download jobs over the network or internet and monitor the current state of those file transfers.
    • COLOR: Change the background color of the command prompt window.
    • COMP: Compare the contents of any two files to see the differences.
    • FIND/FINDSTR: Search for strings inside of any ASCII files.
    • PROMPT: Change the command prompt from C:\> to something else.
    • TITLE: Change the title of the command prompt window.
    • REGEDIT: Edit keys in the Windows registry (use with caution).
    • ROBOCOPY: A powerful file copy utility built right into Windows.

    If you’re interested in learning more, Microsoft offers a full list of all of the Windows CMD commands included in the latest version of the Windows OS.

    Sours: https://helpdeskgeek.com/help-desk/21-cmd-commands-all-windows-users-should-know/

    You will also like:

    List of Command Prompt Commands

    CommandDescriptionAppendThe append command can be used by programs to open files in another directory as if they were located in the current directory. The append command is available in MS-DOS as well as in all 32-bit versions of Windows. The append command is not available in 64-bit versions of Windows.ArpThe arp command is used to display or change entries in the ARP cache. The arp command is available in all versions of Windows.AssocThe assoc command is used to display or change the file type associated with a particular file extension. The assoc command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.AtThe at command is used to schedule commands and other programs to run at a specific date and time. The at command is available in Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. Beginning in Windows 8, command line task scheduling should instead be completed with the schtasks command.AtmadmThe atmadm command is used to display information related to asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) connections on the system. The atmadm command is available in Windows XP. Support for ATM was removed beginning in Windows Vista, making the atmadm command unnecessary.AttribThe attrib command is used to change the attributes of a single file or a directory. The attrib command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.AuditpolThe auditpol command is used to display or change audit policies. The auditpol command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.BcdbootThe bcdboot command is used to copy boot files to the system partition and to create a new system BCD store. The bcdboot command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.BcdeditThe bcdedit command is used to view or make changes to Boot Configuration Data. The bcdedit command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista. The bcdedit command replaced the bootcfg command beginning in Windows Vista.BdehdcfgThe bdehdcfg command is used to prepare a hard drive for BitLocker Drive Encryption. The bdehdcfg command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.BitsadminThe bitsadmin command is used to create, manage, and monitor download and upload jobs. The bitsadmin command is available in Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista. While the bitsadmin command is available in both Windows 8 and Windows 7, it is being phased out. The BITS PowerShell cmdlets should be used instead.BootcfgThe bootcfg command is used to build, modify, or view the contents of the boot.ini file, a hidden file that is used to identify in what folder, on which partition, and on which hard drive Windows is located. The bootcfg command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. The bootcfg command was replaced by the bcdedit command beginning in Windows Vista. Bootcfg is still available in Windows 10, 8, 7, and Vista, but it serves no real value since boot.ini is not used in these operating systems.BootsectThe bootsect command is used to configure the master boot code to one compatible with BOOTMGR (Vista and later) or NTLDR (XP and earlier). The bootsect command is available in Windows 10 and Windows 8. The bootsect command is also available in Windows 7 and Windows Vista but only from the Command Prompt available in System Recovery Options.BreakThe break command sets or clears extended CTRL+C checking on DOS systems. The break command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS. The break command is available in Windows XP and later versions of Windows to provide compatibility with MS-DOS files but it has no effect in Windows itself.CaclsThe cacls command is used to display or change access control lists of files. The cacls command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. The cacls command is being phased out in favor of the icacls command, which should be used instead in all versions of Windows after Windows XP.CallThe call command is used to run a script or batch program from within another script or batch program. The call command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS. The call command has no effect outside of a script or batch file. In other words, running the call command at the Command Prompt or MS-DOS prompt will do nothing.CdThe cd command is the shorthand version of the chdir command. The cd command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.CertreqThe certreq command is used to perform various certification authority (CA) certificate functions. The certreq command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.CertutilThe certutil command is used to dump and display certification authority (CA) configuration information in addition to other CA functions. The certutil command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.ChangeThe change command changes various terminal server settings like install modes, COM port mappings, and logons. The change command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.ChcpThe chcp command displays or configures the active code page number. The chcp command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.ChdirThe chdir command is used to display the drive letter and folder that you are currently in. Chdir can also be used to change the drive and/or directory that you want to work in. The chdir command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.ChecknetisolationThe checknetisolation command is used to test apps that require network capabilities. The checknetisolation command is available in Windows 10 and Windows 8.ChglogonThe chglogon command enables, disables, or drains terminal server session logins. The chglogon command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista. Executing the chglogon command is the same as executing change logon.ChgportThe chgport command can be used to display or change COM port mappings for DOS compatibility. The chgport command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista. Executing the chgport command is the same as executing change port.ChgusrThe chgusr command is used to change the install mode for the terminal server. The chgusr command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista. Executing the chgusr command is the same as executing change user.ChkdskThe chkdsk command, often referred to as check disk, is used to identify and correct certain hard drive errors. The chkdsk command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.ChkntfsThe chkntfs command is used to configure or display the checking of the disk drive during the Windows boot process. The chkntfs command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.ChoiceThe choice command is used within a script or batch program to provide a list of choices and return the value of that choice to the program. The choice command is available in MS-DOS and all versions of Windows except Windows XP. Use the set command with the /p switch in place of the choice command in batch files and scripts that you plan to use in Windows XP.CipherThe cipher command shows or changes the encryption status of files and folders on NTFS partitions. The cipher command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.ClipThe clip command is used to redirect the output from any command to the clipboard in Windows. The clip command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.ClsThe cls command clears the screen of all previously entered commands and other text. The cls command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.CmdThe cmd command starts a new instance of the cmd.exe command interpreter. The cmd command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.CmdkeyThe cmdkey command is used to show, create, and remove stored user names and passwords. The cmdkey command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.CmstpThe cmstp command installs or uninstalls a Connection Manager service profile. The cmstp command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.ColorThe color command is used to change the colors of the text and background within the Command Prompt window. The color command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.CommandThe command command starts a new instance of the command.com command interpreter. The command command is available in MS-DOS as well as in all 32-bit versions of Windows. The command command is not available in 64-bit versions of Windows.CompThe comp command is used to compare the contents of two files or sets of files. The comp command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.CompactThe compact command is used to show or change the compression state of files and directories on NTFS partitions. The compact command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.ConvertThe convert command is used to convert FAT or FAT32 formatted volumes to the NTFS format. The convert command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.CopyThe copy command does simply that — it copies one or more files from one location to another. The copy command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS. The xcopy command is considered to be a more "powerful" version of the copy command.CscriptThe cscript command is used to execute scripts via Microsoft Script Host. The cscript command is available in all versions of Windows. The cscript command is most popularly used to manage printers from the command line using scripts like prncnfg.vbs, prndrvr.vbs, prnmngr.vbs, and others.CttyThe ctty command is used to change the default input and output devices for the system. The ctty command is available in Windows 98 and 95 as well as in MS-DOS. The functions provided by the ctty command were no longer necessary beginning in Windows XP because the command.com interpreter (MS-DOS) is no longer the default command line interpreter.DateThe date command is used to show or change the current date. The date command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.DblspaceThe dblspace command is used to create or configure DoubleSpace compressed drives. The dblspace command is available in Windows 98 and 95, as well as in MS-DOS. DriveSpace, executed using the drvspace command, is an updated version of DoubleSpace. Windows began handling compression beginning in Windows XP.DebugThe debug command starts Debug, a command line application used to test and edit programs. The debug command is available in MS-DOS as well as in all 32-bit versions of Windows. The debug command is not available in 64-bit versions of Windows.DefragThe defrag command is used to defragment a drive you specify. The defrag command is the command line version of Microsoft's Disk Defragmenter. The defrag command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.DelThe del command is used to delete one or more files. The del command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS. The del command is the same as the erase command.DeltreeThe deltree command is used to delete a directory and all the files and subdirectories within it. The deltree command is available in Windows 98 and 95, as well as in MS-DOS. Beginning in Windows XP, a folder and its files and subfolders can be removed using the /s function of the rmdir command. Deltree was no longer needed with this new rmdir ability so the command was removed.DiantzThe diantz command is used to losslessly compress one or more files. The diantz command is sometimes called Cabinet Maker. The diantz command is available in Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. The diantz command is the same as the makecab command.DirThe dir command is used to display a list of files and folders contained inside the folder that you are currently working in. The dir command also displays other important information like the hard drive's serial number, the total number of files listed, their combined size, the total amount of free space left on the drive, and more. The dir command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.DiskcompThe diskcomp command is used to compare the contents of two floppy disks. The diskcomp command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS, with the exclusion of Windows 10.DiskcopyThe diskcopy command is used to copy the entire contents of one floppy disk to another. The diskcopy command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS, with the exclusion of Windows 10.DiskpartThe diskpart command is used to create, manage, and delete hard drive partitions. The diskpart command is available in Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. The diskpart command replaced the fdisk command beginning in Windows XP.DiskperfThe diskperf command is used to manage disk performance counters remotely. The diskperf command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.DiskraidThe diskraid command starts the DiskRAID tool which is used to manage and configure RAID arrays. The diskraid command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.DismThe dism command starts the Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool (DISM). The DISM tool is used to manage features in Windows images. The dism command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.DispdiagThe dispdiag command is used to output a log of information about the display system. The dispdiag command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.DjoinThe djoin command is used to create a new computer account in a domain. The djoin command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.DoskeyThe doskey command is used to edit command lines, create macros, and recall previously entered commands. The doskey command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.DosshellThe dosshell command starts DOS Shell, a graphical file management tool for MS-DOS. The dosshell command is available in Windows 95 (in MS-DOS mode) and also in MS-DOS version 6.0 and later MS-DOS versions that were upgraded from previous versions that contained the dosshell command. A graphical file manager, Windows Explorer, became an integrated part of the operating system beginning in Windows 95.DosxThe dosx command is used to start DOS Protected Mode Interface (DPMI), a special mode designed to give MS-DOS applications access to more than the normally allowed 640 KB. The dosx command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. The dosx command is not available in 64-bit versions of Windows. The dosx command and DPMI is only available in Windows to support older MS-DOS programs.DriverqueryThe driverquery command is used to show a list of all installed drivers. The driverquery command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.DrvspaceThe drvspace command is used to create or configure DriveSpace compressed drives. The drvspace command is available in Windows 98 and 95, as well as in MS-DOS. DriveSpace is an updated version of DoubleSpace, executed using the dblspace command. Windows began handling compression beginning in Windows XP.EchoThe echo command is used to show messages, most commonly from within script or batch files. The echo command can also be used to turn the echoing feature on or off. The echo command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.EditThe edit command starts the MS-DOS Editor tool which is used to create and modify text files. The edit command is available in MS-DOS as well as in all 32-bit versions of Windows. The edit command is not available in 64-bit versions of Windows.EdlinThe edlin command starts the Edlin tool which is used to create and modify text files from the command line. The edlin command is available in all 32-bit versions of Windows but is not available in 64-bit versions of Windows. In MS-DOS, the edlin command is only available up to MS-DOS 5.0, so unless your later version of MS-DOS was upgraded from 5.0 or prior, you won't see the edlin command.Emm386The emm386 command is used to give MS-DOS access to more than 640 KB of memory. The emm386 command is available in Windows 98 and 95, as well as in MS-DOS. Windows itself has access to extended and expanded memory beginning in Windows 95.EndlocalThe endlocal command is used to end the localization of environment changes inside a batch or script file. The endlocal command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.EraseThe erase command is used to delete one or more files. The erase command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS. The erase command is the same as the del command.EsentutlThe esentutl command is used to manage Extensible Storage Engine databases. The esentutl command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.EventcreateThe eventcreate command is used to create a custom event in an event log. The eventcreate command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.EventtriggersThe eventtriggers command is used to configure and display event triggers. The eventtriggers command is available in Windows XP. Beginning in Windows Vista, event triggers are created using the Attach Task To This Event feature in Event Viewer, making the eventtriggers command unnecessary.Exe2binThe exe2bin command is used to convert a file of the EXE file type (executable file) to a binary file. The exe2bin command is available in 32-bit versions of Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. The exe2bin command is not available in any 64-bit version of Windows.ExitThe exit command is used to end the cmd.exe (Windows) or command.com (MS-DOS) session that you're currently working in. The exit command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.ExpandThe expand command is used to extract the files and folders contained in Microsoft Cabinet (CAB) files. The expand command is available in MS-DOS as well as in all versions of Windows. The expand command is not available in the 64-bit version of Windows XP.Extrac32The extrac32 command is used to extract the files and folders contained in Microsoft Cabinet (CAB) files. The extrac32 command is available in all versions of Windows. The extrac32 command is actually a CAB extraction program for use by Internet Explorer but can be used to extract any Microsoft Cabinet file. Use the expand command instead of the extrac32 command if possible.ExtractThe extract command is used to extract the files and folders contained in Microsoft Cabinet (CAB) files. The extract command is available in Windows 98 and 95. The extract command was replaced by the expand command beginning in Windows XP.FasthelpThe fasthelp command provides more detailed information on any of the other MS-DOS commands. The fasthelp command is only available in MS-DOS. The help command replaced the fasthelp command beginning in Windows 95.FastopenThe fastopen command is used to add a program's hard drive location to a special list stored in memory, potentially improving the program's launch time by removing the need for MS-DOS to locate the application on the drive. The fastopen command is available in MS-DOS as well as in all 32-bit versions of Windows. The fastopen command is not available in 64-bit versions of Windows. Fastopen is only available in Windows 10, Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP to support older MS-DOS files.FcThe fc command is used to compare two individual or sets of files and then show the differences between them. The fc command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.FdiskThe fdisk command is used to create, manage, and delete hard drive partitions. The fdisk command is available in Windows 98 and 95, as well as in MS-DOS. The fdisk command was replaced by the diskpart command beginning in Windows XP. Partition management is also available from Disk Management in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.FindThe find command is used to search for a specified text string in one or more files. The find command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.FindstrThe findstr command is used to find text string patterns in one or more files. The findstr command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.FingerThe finger command is used to return information about one or more users on a remote computer that's running the Finger service. The finger command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.FltmcThe fltmc command is used to load, unload, list, and otherwise manage Filter drivers. The fltmc command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.FondueThe fondue command, short for Features on Demand User Experience Tool, is used to install any of the several optional Windows features from the command line. The fondue command is available in Windows 8. Optional Windows features can also be installed from the Programs and Features applet in Control Panel.ForThe for command is used to run a specified command for each file in a set of files. The for command is most often used within a batch or script file. The for command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.ForcedosThe forcedos command is used to start the specified program in the MS-DOS subsystem. The forcedos command is only available in 32-bit versions of Windows XP. The forcedos command is only used for MS-DOS programs that are not recognized as such by Windows XP.ForfilesThe forfiles command selects one or more files to execute a specified command on. The forfiles command is most often used within a batch or script file. The forfiles command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.FormatThe format command is used to format a drive in the file system that you specify. The format command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS. Drive formatting is also available from Disk Management in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.FsutilThe fsutil command is used to perform various FAT and NTFS file system tasks like managing reparse points and sparse files, dismounting a volume, and extending a volume. The fsutil command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.FtpThe ftp command can be used to transfer files to and from another computer. The remote computer must be operating as an FTP server. The ftp command is available in all versions of Windows.FtypeThe ftype command is used to define a default program to open a specified file type. The ftype command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.GetmacThe getmac command is used to display the media access control (MAC) address of all the network controllers on a system. The getmac command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.GotoThe goto command is used in a batch or script file to direct the command process to a labeled line in the script. The goto command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.GpresultThe gpresult command is used to display Group Policy settings. The gpresult command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.GpupdateThe gpupdate command is used to update Group Policy settings. The gpupdate command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.GraftablThe graftabl command is used to enable the ability of Windows to display an extended character set in graphics mode. The graftabl command is available in all versions of Windows and in MS-DOS up to version 5.0. The graftabl command is not available in 64-bit versions of Windows.GraphicsThe graphics command is used to load a program that can print graphics. The graphics command is available in MS-DOS as well as in all 32-bit versions of Windows. The graphics command is not available in 64-bit versions of Windows.HelpThe help command provides more detailed information on any of the other Command Prompt or MS-DOS commands. The help command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.HostnameThe hostname command displays the name of the current host. The hostname command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.HwrcompThe hwrcomp command is used to compile custom dictionaries for handwriting recognition. The hwrcomp command is available in Windows 8 and Windows 7.HwrregThe hwrreg command is used to install a previously compiled custom dictionary for handwriting recognition. The hwrreg command is available in Windows 8 and Windows 7.IcaclsThe icacls command is used to display or change access control lists of files. The icacls command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista. The icacls command is an updated version of the cacls command.IfThe if command is used to perform conditional functions in a batch file. The if command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.InterlnkThe interlnk command is used to connect two computers via a serial or parallel connection to share files and printers. The interlnk command is only available in MS-DOS. The ability to directly connect two computers is handled by the networking functions in all versions of Windows.IntersvrThe intersvr command is used to start the Interlnk server and to copy Interlnk files from one computer to another. The intersvr command is only available in MS-DOS. The ability to directly connect two computers is handled by the networking functions in all versions of Windows.IpconfigThe ipconfig command is used to display detailed IP information for each network adapter utilizing TCP/IP. The ipconfig command can also be used to release and renew IP addresses on systems configured to receive them via a DHCP server. The ipconfig command is available in all versions of Windows.IpxrouteThe ipxroute command is used to display and change information about IPX routing tables. The ipxroute command is available in Windows XP. Microsoft removed their built-in NetWare client beginning in Windows Vista, removing the associated ipxroute command as well.IrftpThe irftp command is used to transmit files over an infrared link. The irftp command is available in Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.IscsicliThe iscsicli command starts the Microsoft iSCSI Initiator, used to manage iSCSI. The iscsicli command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.Kb16The kb16 command is used to support MS-DOS files that need to configure a keyboard for a specific language. The kb16 command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. The kb16 command is not available in 64-bit versions of Windows. The kb16 command replaced the keyb command beginning in Windows XP but only exists to support older MS-DOS files.KeybThe keyb command is used to configure a keyboard for a specific language. The keyb command is available in Windows 98 and 95, as well as in MS-DOS. See the kb16 command for an equivalent command in later versions of Windows. Keyboard language settings are handled by the Region and Language or Regional and Language Options (depending on the version of Windows) Control Panel applets in Windows beginning in Windows XP.KlistThe klist command is used to list Kerberos service tickets. The klist command can also be used to purge Kerberos tickets. The klist command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 7.KsetupThe ksetup command is used to configure connections to a Kerberos server. The ksetup command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 7.KtmutilThe ktmutil command starts the Kernel Transaction Manager utility. The ktmutil command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.LabelThe label command is used to manage the volume label of a disk. The label command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.LhThe lh command is the shorthand version of the loadhigh command. The lh command is available in Windows 98 and 95, as well as in MS-DOS.LicensingdiagThe licensingdiag command is a tool used to generate a text-based log and other data files that contain product activation and other Windows licensing information. The licensingdiag command is available in Windows 10 and Windows 8.LoadfixThe loadfix command is used to load the specified program in the first 64K of memory and then runs the program. The loadfix command is available in MS-DOS as well as in all 32-bit versions of Windows. The loadfix command is not available in 64-bit versions of Windows.LoadhighThe loadhigh command is used to load a program into high memory and is usually used from within the autoexec.bat file. The loadhigh command is available in Windows 98 and 95, as well as in MS-DOS. Memory usage is handled automatically beginning in Windows XP.LockThe lock command is used to lock a drive, enabling direct disk access for a program. The lock command is only available in Windows 98 and 95. Drive locking is no longer available as of Windows XP.LodctrThe lodctr command is used to update registry values related to performance counters. The lodctr command is available in all versions of Windows.LogmanThe logman command is used to create and manage Event Trace Session and Performance logs. The logman command also supports many functions of Performance Monitor. The logman command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.LogoffThe logoff command is used to terminate a session. The logoff command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.LpqThe lpq command displays the status of a print queue on a computer running Line Printer Daemon (LPD). The lpq command is available in all versions of Windows. The lpq command is not available by default in Windows 10, 8, 7, or Vista, but can be enabled by turning on the LPD Print Service and LPR Port Monitor features from Programs and Features in Control Panel.LprThe lpr command is used to send a file to a computer running Line Printer Daemon (LPD). The lpr command is available in all versions of Windows. The lpr command is not available by default in Windows 10, 8, 7, or Vista, but can be enabled by turning on the LPD Print Service and LPR Port Monitor features from Programs and Features in Control Panel.MakecabThe makecab command is used to losslessly compress one or more files. The makecab command is sometimes called Cabinet Maker. The makecab command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. The makecab command is the same as the diantz command, a command that was removed after Windows 7.Manage-bdeThe manage-bde command is used to configure BitLocker Drive Encryption from the command line. The manage-bde command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7. A script by the name of manage-bde.wsf exists in Windows Vista and can be used with the cscript command to perform BitLocker tasks from the command line in that operating system.MdThe md command is the shorthand version of the mkdir command. The md command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.MemThe mem command shows information about used and free memory areas and programs that are currently loaded into memory in the MS-DOS subsystem. The mem command is available in MS-DOS as well as in all 32-bit versions of Windows. The mem command is not available in 64-bit versions of Windows.MemmakerThe memmaker command is used to start MemMaker, a memory optimization tool. The memaker command is available in Windows 98 and 95, as well as in MS-DOS. Memory usage is automatically optimized beginning in Windows XP.MkdirThe mkdir command is used to create a new folder. The mkdir command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.MklinkThe mklink command is used to create a symbolic link. The mklink command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.ModeThe mode command is used to configure system devices, most often COM and LPT ports. The mode command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.MofcompThe mofcomp command properly displays the data within a Managed Object Format (MOF) file. The mofcomp command is available in all versions of Windows.MoreThe more command is used to display the information contained in a text file. The more command can also be used to paginate the results of any other Command Prompt or MS-DOS command. The more command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.MountThe mount command is used to mount Network File System (NFS) network shares. The mount command is available in Windows 7 and Windows Vista. The mount command is not available by default in Windows Vista or Windows 7 but can be enabled by turning on the Services for NFS Windows feature from Programs and Features in Control Panel. The mount command is not available in Windows 10 or 8 because Service for UNIX (SFU) was discontinued.MountvolThe mountvol command is used to display, create, or remove volume mount points. The mountvol command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.MoveThe move command is used to move one or files from one folder to another. The move command is also used to rename directories. The move command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.MrinfoThe mrinfo command is used to provide information about a router's interfaces and neighbors. The mrinfo command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.MsavThe msav command starts Microsoft Antivirus. The msav command is only available in MS-DOS. Microsoft Antivirus was designed for MS-DOS and Windows 3.x only. Microsoft provides an optional virus protection suite called Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows XP and later operating systems, and third party antivirus tools are available for all versions of Windows.MsbackupThe msbackup command starts Microsoft Backup, a tool used to back up and restore one or more files. The msbackup command is only available in MS-DOS. The msbackup command was replaced with Microsoft Backup beginning in Windows 95 and then Backup and Restore in later versions of Windows.MscdexThe mscdex command is used to provide CD-ROM access to MS-DOS. The mscdex command is available in Windows 98 and 95, as well as in MS-DOS. Windows provides access to CD-ROM drives for the MS-DOS subsystem beginning in Windows XP, so the mscdex command is unnecessary in this and later operating systems.MsdThe msd command starts Microsoft Diagnostics, a tool used to display information about your computer. The msd command is only available in MS-DOS. The msd command was replaced with System Information beginning in Windows 95.MsgThe msg command is used to send a message to a user. The msg command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.MsiexecThe msiexec command is used to start Windows Installer, a tool used to install and configure software. The msiexec command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.MuiunattendThe muiunattend command starts the Multilanguage User Interface unattended setup process. The muiunattend command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.NbtstatThe nbtstat command is used to show TCP/IP information and other statistical information about a remote computer. The nbtstat command is available in all versions of Windows.NetThe net command is used to display, configure, and correct a wide variety of network settings. The net command is available in all versions of Windows.Net1The net1 command is used to display, configure, and correct a wide variety of network settings. The net1 command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. The net command should be used instead of the net1 command. The net1 command was made available in Windows NT and Windows 2000 as a temporary fix for a Y2K issue that the net command had, which was corrected before the release of Windows XP. The net1 command remains in later versions of Windows only for compatibility with older programs and scripts that utilized the command.NetcfgThe netcfg command is used to install the Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE), a lightweight version of Windows used to deploy workstations. The netcfg command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.NetshThe netsh command is used to start Network Shell, a command-line utility used to manage the network configuration of the local, or a remote, computer. The netsh command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.NetstatThe netstat command is most commonly used to display all open network connections and listening ports. The netstat command is available in all versions of Windows.NfsadminThe nfsadmin command is used to manage Server for NFS or Client for NFS from the command line. The nfsadmin command is available in Windows 7 and Windows Vista. The nfsadmin command is not available by default in Windows Vista or Windows 7 but can be enabled by turning on the Services for NFS Windows feature from Programs and Features in Control Panel. The nfsadmin command is not available in Windows 10 or 8 because Service for UNIX (SFU) was discontinued.NlsfuncThe nlsfunc command is used to load information specific to a particular country or region. The nlsfunc command is available in MS-DOS as well as in all 32-bit versions of Windows. The nlsfunc command is not available in 64-bit versions of Windows. Nlsfunc is only available in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP to support older MS-DOS files.NltestThe nltest command is used to test secure channels between Windows computers in a domain and between domain controllers that are trusting other domains. The nltest command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.NslookupThe nslookup is most commonly used to display the hostname of an entered IP address. The nslookup command queries your configured DNS server to discover the IP address. The nslookup command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.NtbackupThe ntbackup command is used to perform various backup functions from the Command Prompt or from within a batch or script file. The ntbackup command is available in Windows XP. The ntbackup command was replaced with the wbadmin beginning in Windows Vista.NtsdThe ntsd command is used to perform certain command line debugging tasks. The ntsd command is available in Windows XP. The ntsd command was removed beginning in Windows Vista due to the addition of dump file support in Task Manager.OcsetupThe ocsetup command starts the Windows Optional Component Setup tool, used to install additional Windows features. The ocsetup command is available in Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista. Beginning in Windows 8, Microsoft is depreciating the ocsetup command in favor of the dism command.OpenfilesThe openfiles command is used to display and disconnect open files and folders on a system. The openfiles command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.PathThe path command is used to display or set a specific path available to executable files. The path command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.PathpingThe pathping command functions much like the tracert command but will also report information about network latency and loss at each hop. The pathping command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.PauseThe pause command is used within a batch or script file to pause the processing of the file. When the pause command is used, a "Press any key to continue…" message displays in the command window. The pause command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.PentntThe pentnt command is used to detect floating point division errors in the Intel Pentium chip. The pentnt command is also used to enable floating point emulation and disable floating point hardware. The pentnt command is available in Windows XP. The pentnt command was removed beginning in Windows Vista due to the lack of Intel Pentium CPU use at the time of this operating system release.PingThe ping command sends an Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) Echo Request message to a specified remote computer to verify IP-level connectivity. The ping command is available in all versions of Windows.PkgmgrThe pkgmgr command is used to start the Windows Package Manager from the Command Prompt. Package Manager installs, uninstalls, configures, and updates features and packages for Windows. The pkgmgr command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.PnpunattendThe pnpunattend command is used to automate the installation of hardware device drivers. The pnpunattend command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.PnputilThe pnputil command is used to start the Microsoft PnP Utility, a tool used to install a Plug and Play device from the command line. The pnputil command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.PopdThe popd command is used to change the current directory to the one most recently stored by the pushd command. The popd command is most often utilized from within a batch or script file. The popd command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.PowerThe power command is used to reduce the power consumed by a computer by monitoring software and hardware devices. The power command is available in Windows 98 and 95, as well as in MS-DOS. The power command was replaced by operating system integrated power management functions beginning in Windows XP.PowercfgThe powercfg command is used to manage the Windows power management settings from the command line. The powercfg command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.PrintThe print command is used to print a specified text file to a specified printing device. The print command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.PromptThe prompt command is used to customize the appearance of the prompt text in Command Prompt or MS-DOS. The prompt command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.PushdThe pushd command is used to store a directory for use, most commonly from within a batch or script program. The pushd command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.PwlauncherThe pwlauncher command is used to enable, disable, or show the status of your Windows To Go startup options. The pwlauncher command is available in Windows 10 and 8.QappsrvThe qappsrv command is used to display all Remote Desktop Session Host servers available on the network. The qappsrv command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.QbasicThe qbasic command starts QBasic, the MS-DOS based programming environment for the BASIC programming language. The qbasic command is available in Windows 98 and 95, as well as in MS-DOS. The qbasic command is not installed by default with Windows 98 or 95 but is available from the installation disc or disks.QprocessThe qprocess command is used to display information about running processes. The qprocess command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.QueryThe query command is used to display the status of a specified service. The query command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.QuserThe quser command is used to display information about users currently logged on to the system. The quser command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.QwinstaThe qwinsta command is used to display information about open Remote Desktop Sessions. The qwinsta command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.RasautouThe rasautou command is used to manage Remote Access Dialer AutoDial addresses. The rasautou command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.RasdialThe rasdial command is used to start or end a network connection for a Microsoft client. The rasdial command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.RcpThe rcp command is used to copy files between a Windows computer and a system running the rshd daemon. The rcp command is available in Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. The rcp command is not available by default in Windows Vista or Windows 7 but can be enabled by turning on the Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications Windows feature from Programs and Features in Control Panel and then installing the Utilities and SDK for UNIX-based Applications available here for Windows Vista and here for Windows 7. The rcp command is not available in Windows 10 or 8 because Service for UNIX (SFU) was discontinued.RdThe rd command is the shorthand version of the rmdir command. The rd command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.RdpsignThe rdpsign command is used to sign a Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) file. The rdpsign command is available in Windows 7.ReagentcThe reagentc command is used to configure the Windows Recovery Environment (RE). The reagentc command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.RecimgThe recimg command is used to create a custom refresh image. The recimg command is available in Windows 8.RecoverThe recover command is used to recover readable data from a bad or defective disk. The recover command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.RegThe reg command is used to manage the Windows Registry from the command line. The reg command can perform common registry functions like adding registry keys, exporting the registry, etc. The reg command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.ReginiThe regini command is used to set or change registry permissions and registry values from the command line. The regini command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.Register-cimproviderThe register-cimprovider command is used to register a Common Information Model (CIM) Provider in Windows. The register-cimprovider command is available in Windows 10 and Windows 8.Regsvr32The regsvr32 command is used to register a DLL file as a command component in the Windows Registry. The regsvr32 command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.RelogThe relog command is used to create new performance logs from data in existing performance logs. The relog command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.RemThe rem command is used to record comments or remarks in a batch or script file. The rem command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.RenThe ren command is the shorthand version of the rename command. The ren command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.RenameThe rename command is used to change the name of the individual file that you specify. The rename command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.Repair-bdeThe repair-bde command is used to repair or decrypt a damaged drive that's been encrypted using BitLocker. The repair-bde command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.ReplaceThe replace command is used to replace one or more files with one or more other files. The replace command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.ResetThe reset command, executed as reset session, is used to reset the session subsystem software and hardware to known initial values. The reset command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.RestoreThe restore command is used to restore files that were backed up using the backup command. The restore command is only available in MS-DOS. The backup command was only available up to MS-DOS 5.00 but the restore command was included by default with later versions of MS-DOS to provide a way to restore files that were backed up in previous versions of MS-DOS.RexecThe rexec command is used to run commands on remote computers running the rexec daemon. The rexec command is available in Windows Vista and Windows XP. The rsh command is not available by default in Windows Vista but can be enabled by turning on the Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications Windows feature from Programs and Features in Control Panel and then installing the Utilities and SDK for UNIX-based Applications available here. The rexec command is not available in Windows 7 but can be executed in Windows XP via Windows XP Mode if need be.RmdirThe rmdir command is used to delete an existing or completely empty folder. The rmdir command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.RobocopyThe robocopy command is used to copy files and directories from one location to another. This command is also called Robust File Copy. The robocopy command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista. The robocopy command is superior to both the copy command and the xcopy command because robocopy supports many more options.RouteThe route command is used to manipulate network routing tables. The route command is available in all versions of Windows.RpcinfoThe rpcinfo command makes a remote procedure call (RPC) to an RPC server and reports what it finds. The rpcinfo command is available in Windows 7 and Windows Vista. The rpcinfo command is not available by default in Windows Vista or Windows 7 but can be enabled by turning on the Services for NFS Windows feature from Programs and Features in Control Panel. The rpcinfo command is not available in Windows 8 because Service for UNIX (SFU) was discontinued.RpcpingThe rpcping command is used to ping a server using RPC. The rpcping command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.RshThe rsh command is used to run commands on remote computers running the rsh daemon. The rsh command is available in Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. The rsh command is not available by default in Windows Vista or Windows 7 but can be enabled by turning on the Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications Windows feature from Programs and Features in Control Panel and then installing the Utilities and SDK for UNIX-based Applications available here for Windows Vista and here for Windows 7. The rsh command is not available in Windows 10 or 8 because Service for UNIX (SFU) was discontinued.RsmThe rsm command is used to manage media resources using Removable Storage. The rsm command is available in Windows Vista and Windows XP. The rsm command was optional in Windows Vista and then removed in Windows 7 due to Removable Storage Manager being removed from the operating system. Search for the rsm command in the C:\Windows\winsxs folder in Windows Vista if you're having trouble executing the command.RunasThe runas command is used to execute a program using another user's credentials. The runas command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.RwinstaThe rwinsta command is the shorthand version of the reset session command. The rwinsta command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.ScThe sc command is used to configure information about services. The sc command communicates with the Service Control Manager. The sc command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.ScandiskThe scandisk command is used to start Microsoft ScanDisk, a disk repair program. The scandisk command is available in Windows 98 and 95, as well as in MS-DOS. The scandisk command was replaced by the chkdsk command beginning in Windows XP.ScanregThe scanreg command starts Windows Registry Checker, a basic registry repair program and backup utility. The scanreg command is available in Windows 98 and Windows 95. The functions provided by the scanreg command were no longer necessary beginning in Windows XP due to changes in how the Windows Registry functions.SchtasksThe schtasks command is used to schedule specified programs or commands to run at certain times. The schtasks command can be used to create, delete, query, change, run, and end scheduled tasks. The schtasks command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.​SdbinstThe sdbinst command is used to deploy customized SDB database files. The sdbinst command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.SeceditThe secedit command is used to configure and analyze system security by comparing the current security configuration to a template. The secedit command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.SetThe set command is used to display, enable, or disable environment variables in MS-DOS or from the Command Prompt. The set command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.SetlocalThe setlocal command is used to start the localization of environment changes inside a batch or script file. The setlocal command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.SetspnThe setspn command is used to manage the Service Principal Names (SPN) for an Active Directory (AD) service account. The setspn command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.SetverThe setver command is used to set the MS-DOS version number that MS-DOS reports to a program. The setver command is available in MS-DOS as well as in all 32-bit versions of Windows. The setver command is not available in 64-bit versions of Windows.SetxThe setx command is used to create or change environment variables in the user environment or the system environment. The setx command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.SfcThe sfc command is used to verify and replace important Windows system files. The sfc command is also referred to as System File Checker or Windows Resource Checker, depending on the operating system. The sfc command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.ShadowThe shadow command is used to monitor another Remote Desktop Services session. The shadow command is available in Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.ShareThe share command is used to install file locking and file sharing functions in MS-DOS. The share command is available in MS-DOS as well as in all 32-bit versions of Windows. The share command is not available in 64-bit versions of Windows. Share is only available in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP to support older MS-DOS files.ShiftThe shift command is used to change the position of replaceable parameters in a batch or script file. The shift command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.ShowmountThe showmount command is used to display information about NFS mounted file systems. The showmount command is available in Windows 7 and Windows Vista. The showmount command is not available by default in Windows Vista or Windows 7 but can be enabled by turning on the Services for NFS Windows feature from Programs and Features in Control Panel. The showmount command is not available in Windows 10 or 8 because Service for UNIX (SFU) was discontinued.ShutdownThe shutdown command can be used to shut down, restart, or log off the current system or a remote computer. The shutdown command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.SmartdrvThe smartdrv command installs and configures SMARTDrive, a disk caching utility for MS-DOS. The smartdrv command is available in Windows 98 and 95, as well as in MS-DOS. Caching is automatic beginning in Windows XP, making the smartdrv command unnecessary.SortThe sort command is used to read data from a specified input, sort that data, and return the results of that sort to the Command Prompt screen, a file, or another output device. The sort command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.StartThe start command is used to open a new command line window to run a specified program or command. The start command can also be used to start an application without creating a new window. The start command is available in all versions of Windows.SubstThe subst command is used to associate a local path with a drive letter. The subst command is a lot like the net use command except a local path is used instead of a shared network path. The subst command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS. The subst command replaced the assign command beginning with MS-DOS 6.0.SxstraceThe sxstrace command is used to start the WinSxs Tracing Utility, a programming diagnostic tool. The sxstrace command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.SysThe sys command is used to copy the MS-DOS system files and command interpreter to a disk. The sys command is available in Windows 98 and 95, as well as in MS-DOS. The sys command is used most often to create a simple bootable disk or hard drive. The necessary system files for Windows are too large to fit on a disk, so the sys command was removed beginning in Windows XP.SysteminfoThe systeminfo command is used to display basic Windows configuration information for the local or a remote computer. The systeminfo command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.TakeownThe takedown command is used to regain access to a file that that an administrator was denied access to when reassigning ownership of the file. The takeown command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.TaskkillThe taskkill command is used to terminate a running task. The taskkill command is the command line equivalent of ending a process in Task Manager in Windows. The taskkill command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.TasklistDisplays a list of applications, services, and the Process ID (PID) currently running on either a local or a remote computer. The tasklist command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.TcmsetupThe tcmsetup command is used to set up or disable the Telephony Application Programming Interface (TAPI) client. The tcmsetup command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.TelnetThe telnet command is used to communicate with remote computers that use the Telnet protocol. The telnet command is available in all versions of Windows. The telnet command is not available by default in Windows 10, 8, 7, or Vista, but can be enabled by turning on the Telnet Client Windows feature from Programs and Features in Control Panel.TftpThe tftp command is used to transfer files to and from a remote computer that's running the Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) service or daemon. The tftp command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. The tftp command is not available by default in Windows 8, 7, or Vista, but can be enabled by turning on the TFTP Client Windows feature from Programs and Features in Control Panel.TimeThe time command is used to show or change the current time. The time command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.TimeoutThe timeout command is typically used in a batch or script file to provide a specified timeout value during a procedure. The timeout command can also be used to ignore keypresses. The timeout command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.TitleThe title command is used to set the Command Prompt window title. The title command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.TlntadmnThe tlntadmn command is used to administer a local or remote computer running Telnet Server. The tlntadmn command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. The tlntadmn command is not available by default in Windows 8, 7, or Vista, but can be enabled by turning on the Telnet Server Windows feature from Programs and Features in Control Panel.TpmvscmgrThe tpmvscmgr command is used to create and destroy TPM virtual smart cards. The tpmvscmgr command is available in Windows 8.TracerptThe tracerpt command is used to process event trace logs or real-time data from instrumented event trace providers. The tracerpt command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.TracertThe tracert command sends Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) Echo Request messages to a specified remote computer with increasing Time to Live (TTL) field values and displays the IP address and hostname, if available, of the router interfaces between the source and destination. The tracert command is available in all versions of Windows.TreeThe tree command is used to graphically display the folder structure of a specified drive or path. The tree command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.TsconThe tscon command is used to attach a user session to a Remote Desktop session. The tscon command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.TsdisconThe tsdiscon command is used to disconnect a Remote Desktop session. The tsdiscon command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.TskillThe tskill command is used to end the specified process. The tskill command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.TsshutdnThe tsshutdn command is used to remotely shut down or restart a terminal server. The tsshutdn command is available in Windows XP. The ability to shut down a computer remotely is also available in the more powerful shutdown command, so tsshutdn was removed beginning in Windows Vista.TypeThe type command is used to display the information contained in a text file. The type command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.TypeperfThe typerperf command displays performance data in the Command Prompt window or writes the data to specified log file. The typeperf command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.TzutilThe tzutil command is used to display or configure the current system's time zone. The tzutil command can also be used to enable or disable Daylight Saving Time adjustments. The tzutil command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.UmountThe umount command is used to remove Network File System (NFS) mounted network shares. The umount command is available in Windows 7 and Windows Vista. The umount command is not available by default in Windows Vista or Windows 7 but can be enabled by turning on the Services for NFS Windows feature from Programs and Features in Control Panel. The umount command is not available in Windows 10 or 8 because Service for UNIX (SFU) was discontinued.UndeleteThe undelete command is used to undo a deletion performed with the MS-DOS delete command. The undelete command is only available in MS-DOS. The undelete command was removed beginning in Windows 95 due to the availability of the Recycle Bin in Windows. Additionally, free file recovery programs are available from third-party software makers.UnformatThe unformat command is used to undo the formatting on a drive performed by the MS-DOS format command. The unformat command is only available in MS-DOS. The unformat command was removed beginning in Windows 95 due to file system changes.UnlockThe unlock command is used to unlock a drive, disabling direct disk access for a program. The unlock command is only available in Windows 98 and 95. Drive locking is no longer available as of Windows XP.UnlodctrThe unlodctr command removes Explain text and Performance counter names for a service or device driver from the Windows Registry. The unlodctr command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.VaultcmdThe vaultcmd command is used to create, remove, and show stored credentials. The vaultcmd command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.VerThe ver command is used to display the current Windows or MS-DOS version number. The ver command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.VerifyThe verify command is used to enable or disable the ability of Command Prompt, or MS-DOS, to verify that files are written correctly to a disk. The verify command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.VolThe vol command shows the volume label and serial number of a specified disk, assuming this information exists. The vol command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS.VsafeThe vsafe command is used to start VSafe, a basic virus protection system for MS-DOS. The vsafe command is only available in MS-DOS. VSafe was designed for MS-DOS and Windows 3.x only. Microsoft provides an optional virus protection suite called Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows XP and later operating systems, and third-party antivirus tools are available for all versions of Windows.VssadminThe vssadmin command starts the Volume Shadow Copy Service administrative command line tool which displays current volume shadow copy backups and all installed shadow copy writers and providers. The vssadmin command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.W32tmThe w32tm command is used to diagnose issues with Windows Time. The w32tm command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.WaitforThe waitfor command is used to send or wait for a signal on a system. The waitfor command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.WbadminThe wbadmin command is used to start and stop backup jobs, display details about a previous backup, list the items within a backup, and report on the status of a currently running backup. The wbadmin command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista. The wbadmin command replaced the ntbackup command beginning in Windows Vista.WecutilThe wecutil command is used to manage subscriptions to events that are forwarded from WS-Management supported computers. The wecutil command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.WevtutilThe wevtutil command starts the Windows Events Command Line Utility which is used to manage event logs and publishers. The wevtutil command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.WhereThe where command is used to search for files that match a specified pattern. The where command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.WhoamiThe whoami command is used to retrieve user name and group information on a network. The whoami command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.WinmgmtThe winmgmt command starts the command line version of WMI, a scripting tool in Windows. The winmgmt command is available in all versions of Windows.WinrmThe winrm command is used to start the command line version of Windows Remote Management, used to manage secure communications with local and remote computers using web services. The winrm command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.WinrsThe winrs command is used to open a secure command window with a remote host. The winrs command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.WinsatThe winsat command starts the Windows System Assessment Tool, a program that assesses various features, attributes, and capabilities of a computer running Windows. The winsat command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.WmicThe wmic command starts the Windows Management Instrumentation Command line (WMIC), a scripting interface that simplifies the use of Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) and systems managed via WMI. The wmic command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.WsmanhttpconfigThe wsmanhttpconfig command is used to manage aspects of the Windows Remote Management (WinRM) service. The wsmanhttpconfig command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.XcopyThe xcopy command can copy one or more files or directory trees from one location to another. The xcopy command is generally considered a more "powerful" version of the copy command through the robocopy command trumps even xcopy. The xcopy command is available in all versions of Windows, as well as in MS-DOS. A command by the name of xcopy32 existed in Windows 95 and Windows 98. To avoid a long and confusing explanation here, just know that no matter if you executed the xcopy command or the xcopy32 command, you were always executing the most updated version of the command.XwizardThe xwizard command, short for Extensible Wizard, is used to register data in Windows, often from a preconfigured XML file. The xwizard command is available in Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.
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