Here are answers to some common questions about Command Prompt.

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What is Command Prompt?

Command Prompt helps you type and run MS‑DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System) commands and other computer commands. By typing commands, you can perform tasks on your PC without using a mouse or touch. Command Prompt is typically only used by advanced users.

When you're using Command Prompt, the term command prompt also refers to the right angle bracket (>). The command prompt can also include other important info, such as the current working directory where the command will be run. For example, if you open the Command Prompt window and see C:\> with a blinking cursor to the right of it, the command you enter will be run on the entire C drive of your PC.

How do I get to a command prompt?

To open a command prompt, follow these steps:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, then click Search.)

  2. Enter cmd in the search box, and then tap or click Command Prompt.

What commands can I run using Command Prompt?

You can run MS‑DOS commands and other computer commands.

To view a list of common commands, type help at the command prompt, and then press Enter.

To view more info about each of these commands, type help<command name>, where you type the name of the command you want more info about instead of <command name>.

How do I change the Command Prompt window?

You can change the appearance of the Command Prompt window by setting Command Prompt options.

To set Command Prompt options

  1. After you open Command Prompt, right-click or press and hold the title bar and do one of the following:

    • To change the settings for all Command Prompt windows, tap or click Defaults.

    • To change the settings for the current Command Prompt window, tap or click Properties.

  2. Select the options you want, and then tap or click OK when you're done.

How do I run a command with elevated permissions?

Some commands that you can run using Command Prompt might require elevated or administrative permissions. To run these commands, you can use the Run as administrator command.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, then click Search.)

  2. Enter cmd in the search box, and then right-click or press and hold Command Prompt.

  3. Tap or click Run as administrator.

How do I pin Command Prompt to my Start screen?

To learn how to pin Command Prompt to your Start screen, see the Start screen tutorial.

How do I pin Command Prompt to the taskbar?

To learn how to pin Command Prompt to the taskbar, see How to use the taskbar.




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