Command Prompt

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Command Prompt is a native command-line shell for Windows NT-based systems, such as Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10. Also, Command Prompt is available in Windows Server 2003, 2008 and 2012.

Its function is to execute the commands entered in its dialog box. Basically, CMD commands are tasks performed autonomously with scripts and .bat files.

Command Prompt: what it does and how to use it?

The program performs troubleshoot, solves certain errors and has several administrative functions.

Officially, Command Prompt is referred to as Windows Command Processor. In other less official settings, it is called command shell or cmd prompt, or even cmd.exe.

Still Command Prompt is not a DOS prompt or MS-DOS itself. Some people make this mistake because it has certain resemblances. Still, Command Prompt is a Windows program that can use the command lines available in MS-DOS, but it is not the same thing.

How to open Command Prompt

Of course, like any other program, before you start using it, you should know how to open it first. Fortunately, for Command Prompt, the procedure is easy and quick.

command prompt open search box

Just type “command prompt” in the search box from the Start menu. It should appear as the first (and only) search result. For an added comfort, you can just type “cmd“, the result would be the same.

Alternatively, you can open the program with the help of cmd Run command. Type “run” in the search box, open the Run app, and then type “cmd” in the box and click ok. Also, you go to its original location at C:>Windows>system32>cmd.exe.

open run search box

run command prompt

Still, using the shortcut is way faster and easier. As you can see, even with Run, there are additional steps to be followed.

How to use Command Prompt

To use Command Prompt is also easy. Still, it depends on what to do with it. You must enter a valid command along with the needed parameters required by the task at hand.

There’s no room for mistakes when you enter a command. The Command Prompt will not recognize a command if you misspell a word, so, it will fail to execute or worse, it will execute a wrong command.

Syntax is also very important. For example, if you want to delete a certain document, but by mistake, you leave a space, the Command Prompt would delete the entire folder.

cmd use delete folder

In the image above, Command Prompt would delete the entire “Downloads” folder. So, it is necessary to be cautious when using CMD commands.

Speaking of “del” command, you can use it to delete a certain type of file. Just write “*”, followed by the extension of the file (eg: .jpg, .mp3, .iso etc.).

cmd delete jpg

You can use a large variety of commands. The most commonly used are chkdsk, format, ping, del, shutdown, help, and copy.

So, as you can see, the commands are logical and intuitive. For example, “chkdsk” stands for “check disk”. It is a very useful tool, where Windows will check your disk for errors. Also, chkdsk will fix certain issues. For further details about this tool, check out our guide on how to use it.

Moreover, the Command Prompt is probably the most efficient tool for fixing corrupted files. How exactly you can do that? Well, this guide will provide you with everything you need to know about the matter.

Also, as in an example above, certain characters can have specific functions in Command Prompt.

In short, the Command Prompt is a tool where you can do almost everything, from repairing your computer, running programs or even deleting your files.

To make things easier for you, in Windows 10 you can even save text from Command Prompt to not write the same commands over and over again. Here is the full guide on how to do that.

Do you want to change your MAC address? No worries, Command Prompt is all you need for the task. Check out our complete guide on how to do that.


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