Switching Between Command Line and File Explorer

Written by Barry Dysert (last updated June 15, 2020)

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Have you ever been in a folder in File Explorer and wanted to bring up the command prompt at that same location? (Working with the command prompt can be found in other WindowsTips.) Or perhaps you're already at the command prompt level and want to bring up File Explorer at your default directory. Both of these things can be done quite easily.

Let's take the first case. Say you're in File Explorer and looking at the files in a folder called C:\Users\Barry.Dysert\Documents\Personal\Tips.Net. You want to do some things with the files in that folder that could be more easily done from the command prompt level. Instead of bringing up a command window and typing that long directory string, you can accomplish your goal simply by clicking in the address bar of File Explorer and typing (without quotes) "cmd.". (That's the string "cmd" followed by a period.) Immediately upon pressing Enter a command window appears, and its default directory is set to C:\Users\Barry.Dysert\Documents\Personal\Tips.Net. Now you can do your command-level work and close the window when you're finished.

In the second case, you're already in a command window, and your default directory is set to someplace long—say, C:\Users\Barry.Dysert\Documents\Personal\Tips.Net. In this case, you want to invoke File Explorer and have it set to that same folder. Easy enough; at the command prompt type:

C:\Users\Barry.Dysert\Documents\Personal\Tips.Net> Explorer .

(That is, type the word "Explorer", follow it with a space and then a period, and press Enter.)

Immediately, File Explorer launches, and it is pointing to your Tips.Net folder. Now you can work in File Explorer and close the window when you're finished.

 This tip (13461) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 35 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer. He is currently a software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. When not working with Windows or writing Tips, Barry is an amateur writer. His first non-fiction book is titled "A Chronological Commentary of Revelation." ...

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What is three less than 9?

2020-06-15 08:53:05

Glenn

Great tip, Barry! I've been using batch files and the DOS prompt (Command window) for years but never knew of this. You just taught an old dog another new trick. Thanks!


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