Command Prompt or CMD is a command line interpreter in the Windows family of operating systems created by Microsoft Corporation. As a passionate network engineer who has been using some of things commands in my configurations, l have tried to curate an A to Z list of Windows CMD Commands which will help every tech savvy person from any technological field. The list includes both internal and external commands applicable to the command prompt.
By Cisco Eng. Shingie Lev Muringi
In the case of Windows OS, most users are not even remotely concerned about the Command Prompt or cmd.exe. People know that there is some inbuilt software with a black screen which is used to troubleshoot Windows issues sometimes. For instance, when a user has to repair a corrupt pen drive. On the other hand, Linux users are very much familiar with the command line utility and it’s a part of their daily computer usage.
CMD is a command line interpreter, a program designed to understand the commands input by a user, from a text file, or any other medium,in Windows NT family. It is the modern version of the COMMAND.COM which was the default shell present in the DOS operating systems and as a command line interpreter in Windows 9x family.
Similar to Linux command line, the Command Prompt in Windows NT – Windows X, 7, 8, 8.1, 10 – is quite efficient. Using various commands, you can ask your Windows OS to perform desired tasks which you normally do by using the GUI.
How to open Windows CMD?
You can open the Windows Command Prompt by typing cmd in the Start Menu search bar. Alternatively, you can press CTRL+R to open the RUN utility, type cmd, and press Enter.
Are the Commands Case-Sensitive?
The commands used in the Windows Command Prompt are not case-sensitive, unlike the Linux command line. For example, when you type dir or DIR, it’s the same thing. But individual commands may have various options which can be case-sensitive.
A to Z List of Windows CMD Commands
Here is an A to Z list of Windows CMD commands which will be beneficial to you. Once you get the hang of these commands, you can do most of your work more quickly without using the normal graphical interface.
To display help for the commands:
For example, to see help for the ping command:
Note: Some of these commands may require relevant service or Windows version to work correctly.
A – Windows CMD commands
Used to add and list users in a CSV file
Used for bulk modifying contents in an active directory
Address Resolution Protocol is used to map IP address to the hardware address
Used to change associations for file extensions
One step file association
Run a command at a specific time
Display connection info of the ATM adapter
Used to change file attributes
B – Windows CMD Commands
Used to create and repair a system partition
Used to manage boot configuration data
Used to manage the Background Intelligent Transfer Service
Used to edit boot configuration in Windows
Enable/Disable break capability (CTRL+C) in CMD
C – Windows CMD Commands
Used to change permissions of files
Used one batch program to call another
Used to request a certificate from a certification authority
Manage Certification Authority files and services
Used to change folder (directory) or go to a specific one
Used to change terminal services
Displays the number of active console code page
Same as cd command
Used to check and repair issues in the disk
Used to check the NTFS file system
Accept user input (via keyboard) to a batch file
Used to encrypt/decrypt files and folder
Used clean temp files and recycle bin automatically
Copy result of any command (stdin) to Windows clipboard
Clear CMD screen
Used to start a new CMD shell
Used to manage stored usernames and passwords
Used to install or remove a connection manager service profile
Change the color of the CMD shell using options
Compare contents of two files or two sets of files
Compress files and folders on an NTFS partition
Compress one or more files
Convert a FAT partition to NTFS
Copy one or more files to another location
Show the mapping between logical and physical processors
Cleans specified profiles of wasted space and disabled user-specific file associations
Configure offline files on a client computer
Import or Export the data of an active directory
D – Windows CMD Commands
Used to display the date or change it.
Used to defragment system hard drive.
Used to delete a file(s).
Used to delete user profile(s).
Used to delete a folder and its sub-folders.
Access the command line device manager utility.
Used to display files and folders list.
Manage File Server Resource Manager quotas.
Used to display disk usage.
Compare contents of two floppy disks.
Copy data of one floppy disk to another.
Make changes to partitions of storage, both internal and connected.
Access the Disk Shadow Copy Service.
View used space in folder(s).
Used to edit command line, recall commands, and create macros.
Display a list of installed device drivers.
View and edit access control entries for objects in active directory.
Used to add objects to active directory.
View objects in active directory.
Find objects in an active directory.
Used to modify objects in an active directory.
Rename or move an active directory object.
Remove objects from an active directory.
Manage Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services
E – Windows CMD Commands
Turn command-echoing feature on/off, display a message on the screen.
End localization environment changes in a batch file.
Used to delete on or more file(s).
Add custom event to Windows event log (Admin rights required).
Display list of events and their properties from event logs.
Display and configure event triggers on local and remote machines.
Exit the command line (Quit current batch script).
Uncompress one or more .CAB file(s)
Open Windows Explorer.
Uncompress one or more Windows cabinet file(s)
F – Windows CMD Commands
Used to compare two files.
Used to search a specified text string in a file.
Used to find string patterns in files.
Display information about user(s) on a specified remote computer.
Used to enable/disable flat temporary folders.
Run a command in a loop for a file(s) for defined parameter.
Used for batch processing of selected file(s)
Used to format a disk.
Used to check free space on a disk.
File system utility to manage file and drive properties.
Use FTP service to transfer files from one PC to another.
Display/ Modify file extension type associations.
G – Windows CMD Commands
Used to display the MAC address of your network adapter.
Used to direct a batch program to a line identified by a label.
Display Group Policy Settings and Resultant Set of Policy for a user.
Update local and active directory based on group policy settings.
Turn on the ability to display an extended character in graphics mode.
H – Windows CMD Commands
Display a list of commands and see online information for them.
Used to display hostname of the computer.
I – Windows CMD Commands
Used to change permissions of files and folders.
Used to create a self-extracting zip archive.
Used for conditional processing in batch programs.
Display the group(s) an active user belongs to.
Replace the files which the OS is currently using (restart required).
Display and change Windows IP configuration.
Used to configure IP Security policies.
Display and modify routing table information used by IPX protocol.
Used to send files over an infrared link (infrared functionality required).
L – Windows CMD Commands
Used to change the name of a disk.
Update registry values with latest performance counters.
Used to manage performance monitor logs.
Log a user off.
Add the date, time, and a message to a text file.
Displays print queue status.
Used to send a file to a computer running the Line Printer Daemon service.
M – Windows CMD Commands
Manage files server for Mackintosh.
Used to create .cab files.
Used to send email from command line.
Microsoft Baseline Security Analyser.
Used to show memory usage.
Used to create directories and sub-directories.
Used to create directories and sub-directories.
Used to create symbolic link to a directory.
Access Microsoft Management Console.
Configure COM, LPT, CON system devies.
Display one screen of output at time.
Create, list, or delete a volume mount point.
Used to move files from one folder to another.
Move user account to a domain or between machines.
Used to send a pop-up message to a user.
Install, modify, consfigure using Windows Installer.
Display system information.
Create a remote desktop connection.
N – Windows CMD Commands
Display NetBIOS over TCP/IP information.
Used to manage network resources and services.
Network Domain Manager utility
Display or modify network configuration
Display active TCP/IP connections.
Used to display locale information
List domain controllers, force remote shutdown, etc.
Display date and time.
Check IP address on a Name Server.
Backup data to tape using CMD or batch file.
Runs cmd.exe instead of command.exe in an MS-DOS application.
Manage Active Directory Domain Services
Used to edit user account privileges.
Only for system developers.
Used to modify network bindings.
O – Windows CMD Commands
Queries or displays open files.
P – Windows CMD Commands
Display and configure Virtual memory settings.
Set PATH environment variable for executable files.
Latency and Packet loss info for each node in the network path.
Used to stop processing of a batch file.
Starts Phone Book Administrator
Detect Floating Point Division error in the Pentium chip.
Access performance monitor in CMD
Display a user\’s ACL permissions for a file.
Test network connection to a computer.
Go to the latest path/folder stored by PUSHD command
Display TCP and UDP port status.
Used to configure power settings and know battery health.
List/create/delete TCP printer ports, display/change port configuration.
Clear printer queue, print a test page.
Monitor system for CPU spikes, generate a crash report during a spike.
Used to change the Prompt in CMD.
Run a CMD process on a remote computer.
Display remotely opened files, close an open file.
List system information about a local/remote machine.
Kill a process(es) using its name or process ID.
Display process status and info about active processes.
See active users on machine.
Display event log records.
Used to change account password.
Used to measure network performance.
Display and control services on a machine.
Shutdown/restart/logoff/lock a local or remote machine.
Used to suspend a process on a local or remote computer.
Change current folder and store previous folder for use by POPD.
Q – Windows CMD Commands
query session or qwinstaDisplay user session info on Terminal server or RD sessionhost.query termserver or qappsrvList all terminal servers and RD Session host servers on the network.query user or quserDisplay user session info on a terminal server or RD session host server.
Search file(s) for a given string pattern.
query process or qprocess
Display information about processes.
R – Windows CMD Commands
Display Remote Access Service Status.
Manage RAS connections.
Copy files to a computer running remote shell service.
Recover readable data from a defective disk.
Display/add/change registry keys and values in Windows registry.
Import/export/delete settings from a .reg text file.
Used to register/unregister a DLL file.
Used to change registry permissions.
Export performance counters to other formats like TSV, CSV, SQL.
Add comments in batch file.
Used to rename a file(s).
Used to replace a file with another file of same name.
Used to reset a remote desktop session.
Run commands on remote machines running Rexec service.
Used to delete a folder(s).
Used to delete a folder(s).
Manage file and printer shares local or remote servers.
Used to copy files and folders that have changed.
Display/change the local IP routing table.
Run commands on remote servers running RSH service.
Manage media resources using Removable storage.
Run a program as a different user.
Used to run a DLL program.
S – Windows CMD Commands
Use Service Controller to manage Windows services.
Schedule command(s) to run at a specific time.
Configure system security.
Display/set/remove environment variables in CMD.
Control visibility of environment variables in a batch file.
Manage Service Principal Names for an Active Directory service account.
Set Environment Variables permanently.
System File Checker
List/edit a file share or print on any computer.
Used to run a command as a different user.
Change the position of the batch parameters in a batch file.
Create a Windows shortcut.
Shutdown the computer.
Put computer to sleep for specified number of seconds.
Software Licensing Management tool for activation and KMS.
Used to sort and display a redirected or piped input.
Start a program, command, or batch file.
Find ANSI and UNICODE strings in binary files.
Display/modify ACEs for file and folder permissions.
Associate a path with a drive letter.
Monitor and log system activity to Windows event log.
Display detailed configuration information about the computer.
T – Windows CMD Commands
Used to take the ownership of a file.
Used to terminate on or more running processes.
Display a list of running apps and services.
Enable/disable TAPI client.
Communicate with a remote machine using TELNET protocol.
Transfer files to and from a remote machine running TFTP protocol.
Display/change system time.
Delay a batch file execution for specified seconds.
Change the text on top of CMD window.
Change file timestamps.
Process event trace logs and generate trace analysis report.
Trace route to a remote host by sending ICMP request messages.
Display a folder structure in the form of a graphical tree.
Terminate a remote desktop connection.
Terminate a running process on a RD Session Host server.
Shutdown/reboot a terminal server remotely.
Show contents of a text file.
Write performance data to a CMD window or a log file.
Time Zone Utility.
U – Windows CMD Commands
Remove performance counter names and explain text for a service from the registry.
V – Windows CMD Commands
Show version number of installed OS.
Verify whether files are saved correctly on the disk.
Show disk volume label and serial number.
Show shadow copy backups, installed shadow copy writers and providers.
W – Windows CMD Commands
Access Windows Time Service Utility
Used to synchronise events between networked computer(s).
Retrieve information about event logs and publishers.
Find and display file(s) in the current directory.
Display information about the active user.
Compare contents of two files or sets of files.
Windows Remote Management.
Windows Remote Shell.
Windows Management Instrumentation Command.
Windows Update Agent to download new update files.