Displaying the Command Prompt Window

by Barry Dysert
(last updated August 31, 2015)

2

Microsoft Windows is a very visually oriented operating system. This makes it easy to use because you can use your mouse to "point and click" your way to the results you want. This ease of use sometimes comes at a price, however. There are times when you need to perform repetitive operations or batch several commands together. By using the Windows Command Prompt, you can perform a wide variety of commands much more quickly than you could with the mouse.

There are about 100 line-oriented commands that can be entered at the Window's Command Prompt. A few examples include: CD (change directory), COPY (copies files to another location), DEL (deletes files), DIR (provides a directory listing of a folder's contents), etc.

Displaying the Command Prompt window in Windows 7 is quite simple. Just click the Start button, type CMD, and press Enter. A black window appears, often called a DOS box or DOS window. This is the Command Prompt window. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Command Prompt window.

If you are using Windows 8, displaying the Command Prompt window is different, but equally simple. I simply move the mouse pointer into the bottom-left corner of the screen (all the way into the bottom-left corner) and then right-click the mouse. You can then choose Command Prompt from the resulting Context menu.

You can now type line-oriented commands at the prompt ("C:\>") and terminate each one by pressing the Enter key. If you've never worked at the Command level before, one of the first commands you may want to type is the Help command: Just type the word Help and press Enter. You'll then see a list of the commands available to you.

To exit the Command Prompt window, either type the word Exit and press Enter, or simply click the window's Close button.

 This tip (11215) applies to Windows 7 and 8.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Creating a Library

Creating a library can be done with just a couple of clicks. Although it appears that libraries have some issues, you can ...

Discover More

Exporting a Portion of the Registry

Windows wouldn't function if it weren't for the Registry, and many system tweaks involve editing it. Before making such ...

Discover More

Adding the Administrative Tools Option to the Start Menu

It's useful to have the Administrative Tools easy to get to. This tip shows you how to add the Administrative Tools option to ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Changing Font Size in a Command Prompt Window

If you work at the command level very much, you may want to change the fonts that are used. You can control what typefaces to ...

Discover More

Renaming Files Using the Command Line

The rename command can really be a timesaver over trying to do the similar sort of thing with Windows Explorer. You can ...

Discover More

Using the Sort Command

Sorting data is a common task even of end users. Fortunately, The Windows command line provides us with a Sort utility so we ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three minus 2?

2015-08-31 09:19:18

BHershman

The newsletter introducing this tip said "You may have the need to perform repetitive operations or group several commands together to run as a batch".

The tip does not actually address the issue of creating and executing a file of batch commands. This would be helpful for the majority of Windows users who were not around in the long-ago days of MS-DOS.


2015-08-31 09:07:48

Patricia Quick

So like your comments as I am a senior citizen who teaches a class on Windows 7 and a lot of these comments I have never seen in a textbook. I, therefore, share them with my classes--all students are 50 or older and I have a young lady now that is 92.


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.