There are two types of commands that we can run from a command prompt, and they include:
Internal commands are nothing but the built-in commands that are shipped along with the operating system. An internal command is embedded into the command.com or cmd.exe file.
Internal commands are more commonly used and important to the operation and use of the Windows operating system. By embedding them in the command.com file, they can be quickly accessed and always available to Windows when needed. The various internal commands and their descriptions can be seen in the table below. For more details on each of the commands, visit microsoft page.
assoc Displays or modifies file name extension associations.
call Call one batch program from another
cd Change Directory – move to a specific Folder
cls Clear the screen
color Change colours of the CMD window
copy Copy one or more files to another location
date Display or set the date
del Delete one or more files
dir Display a list of files and folders
del Display message on screen
endlocal End localisation of environment changes in a batch file
erase Delete one or more files
exit Quit the current script/routine
for /f Loop command: against a set of files
ftype File extension file type associations
goto Direct a batch program to jump to a labelled line
if Conditionally performs a command
md Create new folder (directory)
mkdir Create new folder (directory)
move Move files from one folder to another
path Display or set a search path for executable files
pause Suspend processing of a batch file and display a message
popd Return to a previous directory saved by pushd
prompt Change the command prompt
pushd Save and then change the current directory
rem Record comments (remarks) in a batch file
ren Rename a file or files
rd Delete folder(s)
set Display, set, or remove session environment variables
setlocal Control the visibility of environment variables
shift Shift the position of batch file parameters
start Start a program, command or batch file
time Display or set the system time
title Set the window title for a cmd.exe session
type Display the contents of a text file
ver Display version information
verify Verify that files have been saved
vol Display a disk label
:: Comment / Remark
An external command is an Windows command that may not be included in the cmd.exe
but available through separate executable files.
append – Allows programs to open data files in specified directories as if they were in the current directory.
attrib – Displays or changes file attributes.
chkdsk – Checks a disk and displays a status report.
choice – Prompts the user to make a choice in a batch program.
comp – Compares the contents of two files or sets of files.
dblspace – Creates and manages drives compressed by using double space.
debug – Starts Debug, a program testing and editing tool.
defrag – Reorganizes the files on a disk to optimize the disk.
deltree – Deletes a directory and all the files and subdirectories in it.
diskcomp – Compares the contents of two floppy disks.
diskcopy – Copies the contents of one floppy disk to another.
doskey – Edits command lines, recalls Windows commands, and creates macros.
dosshell -Starts Windows Shell.
drvspace – Creates and manages drives compressed by using DriveSpace.
edit – Starts MS-DOS editor, which creates and changes ASCII files.
emm386 – Enables or disables EMM386 expanded memory support.
expand – Decompresses one or more compressed files.
fasthelp – Provides summary Help information for Windows commands.
fastopen – Decreases the amount of time needed to open frequently used files and directories.
fc – Compares two files or sets of files, and displays the differences between them.
fdisk – Configures a hard disk for use with Windows.
find – Searches for a text string in a file or files.
format – Formats a disk for use with Windows.
graphics – Loads a program that can print graphics.
help – Provides complete, interactive Help information for Windows commands.
interlink – Connects two computers via parallel or serial ports.
intersvr – Starts the Interlnk server.
keyb – Configures a keyboard for a specific language.
label – Creates, changes, or deletes the volume label of a disk.
loadfix – Loads a program above the first 64K of memory, and runs the program.
mem – Displays the amount of used and free memory in your system.
memmaker – Starts the Memmaker program, which optimizes your computer’s memory.
mode – Configures a system device.
more – Displays output one screen at a time.
move – Moves one or more files. Also renames files and directories.
msav – Scans your computer for known viruses.
msbackup – Backs up or restores one or more files from one disk to another.
msd – Provides detailed technical information about your computer.
nlsfunc – Loads country-specific information.
power – Turns power management on and off.
print – Prints a text file while you are using other MS-DOS commands.
qbasic – Starts the MS-DOS QBasic programming environment.
replace – Replaces files.
restore – Restores files that were backed up by using the MSBACKUP command.
scandisk – Checks a drive for errors and repairs any problems it finds.
setver – Sets the version number that MS-DOS reports to a program.
share – Installs file-sharing and locking capabilities on your hard disk.
sort – Sorts input.
subst – Associates a path with a drive letter.
sys – Copies MS-DOS system files and command interpreter to a disk you specify.
tree – Graphically displays the directory structure of a drive or path.
undelete – Restores files previously deleted with the del command.
unformat – Restores a disk erased by the format command.
vsafe – Continuously monitors your computer for viruses.
xcopy – Copies files (except hidden and system files) and directory trees.
Run line commands
Many of these commands work by executing via the windows command prompt. However to ensure that all these commands will work for you, use the run line. On your keyboard, type the Windows button + R. This will take you to the run line. You can then execute these commands there.
accwiz – Accessibility Wizard
appwiz.cpl – Add/Remove Programs
ciadv.msc – Indexing Service
control admintools – Administrative Tools
cleanmgr – Disk Cleanup Utility
control color – Display Properties
compmgmt.msc – Computer Management Console
control folders – Folder Options
cliconfg – SQL Client Configuration
certmgr.msc – Certificate Manager
charmap – Character Map
chkdsk – Check Disk Utility
clipbrd – Clipboard Viewer
calc – Opens calculator
cmd – Opens command prompt
devmgmt.msc – Device Manager
dfrg.msc – Disk Defragmenter
diskmgmt.msc – Disk Management
dcomcnfg – Component Services
ddeshare – DDE Shares
diskpart – Disk Partition Manager
desk.cpl – Display Properties
dxdiag – Direct X Troubleshooter
eudcedit– Private Character Editor
eventvwr.msc – Event Viewer ( Maintaining System Logs )
explorer – Opens My Documents
freecell – FreeCell Game
fsquirt – Bluetooth Transfer Wizard
fsmgmt.msc – Shared Folders
gpedit.msc – Group Policy Editor
hdwwiz.cpl – Add Hardware Wizard
iexpress– Iexpress Wizard (Package creator)
iexplore – Internet Explorer
inetcpl.cpl – Internet Explorer Properties
ipconfig – Windows IP Configuration
intl.cpl – Regional Settings
joy.cpl – Game Controllers
lusrmgr.msc – Local Users and Groups
logoff – Logs out current user
magnify – Open Magnifier
makecab – Cabinet Maker, file compressor.
msconfig – Open System Configuration Utility
mshearts – Opens Hearts game
msinfo32 – System Information
mspaint – Opens Mspaint
msmsgs – Windows Messenger
mstsc – Remote Desktop
mmsys.cpl – Sounds and Audio
mqbkup – Message Queue Backup\Restore Utility
notepad – Opens a New Notepad
ntmsmgr.msc – Removable Storage
ntmsoprq.msc – Removable Storage Operator Requests
ncpa.cpl – Network Connections
netsetup.cpl – Network Setup Wizard
openfiles – Used to view Files Opened Remotely via local share points
odbccp32.cpl – ODBC Data Source Administrator
osk – On Screen Keyboard
proxycfg – Proxy configuration
packager – Object Packager
perfmon.msc – Performance Monitor
powercfg.cpl Power Options
pentnt – Checks for Floating point error in Intel based processors.
qappsrv – Displays the available application terminal servers on the network.
qprocess– Displays information about processes.
qwinsta – Display information about Terminal Sessions.
rcp – Copies files to and from computer running the RCP service.
recover – Recovers readable information from a bad or defective disk.
relog – Used for Logging.
replace – Replaces files.
rexec – Runs commands on remote hosts running the REXEC service
route – Manipulates network routing tables.
rsh – Runs commands on remote hosts running the RSH service
rsm – Manages media resources using Removable Storage
runas – Allows a user to run specific tools and programs with different permissions than the user’s current logon provides.
regedit – Opens Registry Editor
rsop.msc – Resultant Set of Policy
rwinsta – Reset the session
rasphone – Remote Access Phonebook
services.msc – Used for Managing all the services on the computer.
sigverif – File Signature Verification Tool
secpol.msc – Local Security Settings
shutdown – Shutdown Windows
syskey – Windows System Security Tool
sc – Communicates with the service controller and installed services.
schtasks – Replaced with at.
setver – Sets the version number that MS-DOS reports to a program
shadow – Helps in remote connection & network used to monitor another TerminalServices session
shrpubw – Shared Folder Wizard
sndvol32 – Volume Control
sysedit – Windows.ini, system.ini, config.sys, autoexec.bat
sol – Opens up Solitaire Game
timedate.cpl – Date and Time Properties
telephon.cpl – Phone and Modem Options
telnet – Telnet Client
tftp – Transfers files to and from a remote computer running the TFTP service
tlntadmn – Telnet Administration. Used to start, stop, and send msg to a terminal session connected via telnet.
tscon – Attaches a user session to a terminal session.
tsdiscon – Disconnects a session from a terminal server.
tskill – Ends a process. Can also terminate a process running on a remote session.
tourstart – Windows XP Tour Wizard
tsshutdn – shutdown in 60 sec
typeperf – Very useful in login events. Used to monitor Processor threads and writes into a specified log file.
userinit – My Documents
verifier – Driver Verifier Utility
winchat – Microsoft Chat
winmine – Minesweeper Game
wuaucpl.cpl – Automatic Updates
wscui.cpl – Security Center
wmplayer – Windows Media Player
wmimgmt.msc – Windows Management Infrastructure
w32tm – Tool used to diagnose problems occurring with Windows Time. register to run as a service and add default configuration to the registry
winmsd – System Information.
wupdmgr – Windows Update Launches
winver – Displays Windows Version
write – Opens WordPad