Most people will use Powershell, the *nix-like command interpreter brought to Windows. I am “old school”. I remember MS-DOS when I was young, I always wanted to learn it better. I read an article on the Windows Blog that mentioned that the Command Prompt still lives and it encouraged me to re-delve into it. Having used the Command Prompt for a bit I can tell that it is decent.
A command interpreter and its tools can be easier to use than the File Explorer for certain tasks. For example: with a large number of file management tasks; to recycle all photos:
del *.jpg; and move or rename a file:
move name.txt dir\subdir\rename.txt.
Most commands that get used are described with the
help command. I made an organized list below which is mostly a rehash of the
help command will provide ore details.
FILE HIERARCHY NAVIGATION cd/chdir —directory change to, just "cd" will display path dir —directory content list popd —directory location return to pushd —directory location change to, remember old tree —directory hierarchal view FILE MANAGEMENT copy —dir/file copy del/erase —dir/file to recycle bin md/mkdir —directory make, has recursive ability "c:\a\b\…" move —dir/file move or rename rd/rmdir —directory remove (erases), `/s` for recursive other —attrib cipher compact expand icacls makecab recover en/ame replace robocopy xcopy DISK MANAGEMENT diskpart —disk partition and format tool: efficient yet use with attention other —chkdsk convert defrag fdisk format label subst PROCESSES exit —exit Command Prompt or script taskkill —terminate task or application other —powercfg runas sc shutdown start tasklist REGISTRY assoc ftype reg regini regsvr32 USER ENVIRONMENT doskey —macros (aliases in Linux) define, history show path/set —per term environmental-varible editing/addition, type "Environmental Variables" in Start Menu to keep prompt —Command Prompt elements define other —date mode setx time title ver whoami FILE CONTENTS comp —like diff!? find —find text string, in file or piped more —display output one screen at a time "type file|more" type —display contents of text file(s) other —fc findstr print SCRIPTING choice —choice prompt?! cscript —scripting engine? used for Visual Basic echo —display message for —loop defined inputs to command goto if —conditional processor pause rem —remark (that is, a note line) NETWORKING arp getmac hostname ipconfig net netsh netstat nslookup ping MAINTENANCE AND CARE driverquery msiexec sfc systeminfo w32tm WBAdmin winsat BOOT MANAGEMENT bcdedit bootcfg MISCELLANEOUS clip —output of command place in clipboard cls —clear screen help
dir\subdir) opens file explorer
- tab-completion is available for files and directories (e.g.
cd d[tab]will loop through directories starting with
f7displays command history,
f8search command history
- doskey can add macros (Linux “aliases”), more can be read on this post
- I created a Command Prompt shortcut for administrative use; I like to make my admin Command Prompt use different foreground and background colors to consistently remind me to be heedful: Start Menu → type Command Prompt → right-click and Open file location → Command Prompt shortcut copy, paste, rename “Command Prompt (Admin)” → right-click “Properties” edit shortcut command to add option:
%windir%\system32\cmd.exe /k "color 74 & echo Administrator"→ and then “Advanced” button to choose Administrator.
- Batch-files are used for task scripting. Windows Batch Scripting seems to cover it alright.
- piping (
|), redirection (
||are available; a few details can be found here
- I created a white theme to use with the Command Prompt, see image on right.
- My posticon I converted into a white icon. For anyone who would like it it can be downloaded here.