Command Prompt is a Windows application that allows you to issue computer commands. It automates tasks, solves problems, and can do all kinds of work. We’re going to show you how to get the most out of it, including changing colors, running multiple commands, getting help on any command, and more.
To open a command prompt, type cmd in the Start menu search bar and select the best match. Alternatively, press Windows key + R, type cmd in the Run utility, and press Enter to launch Command Prompt.
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1. How to Always Open Command Prompt as Administrator
You can run the command line in standard and administrator modes. Some commands only work in the latter, so it makes sense to always use that mode.
To set Command Prompt to always open as administrator from the Start menu:
- Type cmd in the start menu search bar.
- Right-click the best match and click Open File Location.
- Right-click the command prompt shortcut and click Properties.
- On the Shortcuts tab, click Advanced.
- Check Run as administrator and click OK.
2. How to quickly access the command line through the Power User menu
If you press the Windows key + X, you will launch the Power User menu. It provides quick access to Device Manager, Disk Management and Task Manager.
It may list the command line, but yours may have Windows PowerShell.
To configure the command line to appear in the Power User menu:
- Press the Windows key + I to open Settings.
- Click Personalization > Taskbar.
- Replace Command Prompt with Windows PowerShell in the menu when I right-click the Start button or slide
- when I press the Windows logo key + X.
3. How to open the command line through the folder context menu
Sometimes, you need to run a command line string from a specific folder. Instead of doing it manually, you can edit the registry so that if you hold Shift and right-click on a folder, you’ll get an option to open a command window here.
4. How to copy and paste in the command line
To paste the text into the command line, press Ctrl + V as you would in other applications.
Copying works a bit differently. First, press Ctrl + M to enter Mark mode. Left-click and drag to highlight the text you want, then press Ctrl + C or Enter to copy it to your clipboard.
Does it sound too complicated? Right-click the command prompt title bar and click Properties. Switch to the Options tab, tick Quick Edit Mode and click OK. You don’t have to press anything before the text is highlighted.
5. Use arrow keys for previous commands
If you enter a previous command that you want to reuse, use the up and down arrows on your keyboard to move between them. This is useful when you run the same commands over and over again or when you want to correct a mistake you made.
6. Drag and drop files to input into the command line
Typing the folder or file path name at the command line is tedious. No need to waste time as there is a faster way.
Navigate to the folder or file you want in File Explorer. Left-click and drag to the Command Prompt window. Only then will the way be clear. It’s that simple!
7. How to get help in any order
Have a command that you can’t remember how to use or what it does? No problem. just add /? Information about your command will be displayed, such as the options you can use and some examples. Works on all of them.
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8. Use the tab to auto-complete commands
You can press the Tab key to auto-complete your command. This is useful when you don’t know the full name of the command or to save you time. For example, instead of typing the full file path, you can press Tab to complete it yourself.
If you don’t like what’s on offer, press Tab to advance through the options. Alternatively, press Shift + Tab to change options.
9. How to output to file or clipboard on the command line
To do this, enter a > after your command and the file you want to output. For example, N To output your config to a text file in docs I would enter ipconfig > C:\Users\Joe\Documents\myinfo.txt. Publish to your clipboard, ready to paste elsewhere. To do this, your command | Clip. For example, ipconfig | Clip.
10. How to cancel an order
If you have submitted a command that you want to stop, press Ctrl + C. It will terminate until the command is processed. It does not change what has already been done, but it stops moving forward.
11. How to run multiple commands
If you have multiple commands you want to use, you don’t need to enter each one and wait for them to finish. Instead, you can separate your commands with &&.
12. How to customize the appearance of the command line
The command line’s default black-and-white appearance is iconic, but it doesn’t hurt to mix things up a bit. To begin customizing the appearance, right-click the Command Prompt title bar and click Properties.
Finally, go to the Colors tab. As you might expect, here, you can change the color of many command-line elements. Use the radio buttons to select what you want to recolor, then click the color to set it. Alternatively, enter values for red, green, and blue. The opacity slider adjusts the entire command line window. If you don’t want opacity, set it to 100%.