A to Z List Of Windows CMD Commands You Need To Know

A to Z List Of Windows CMD Commands You Need To Know

Command Prompt or CMD is a command line interpreter in the Windows family of operating systems created by Microsoft Corporation. In this article, we have tried to curate an A to Z list of Windows CMD Commands. The list includes both internal and external commands applicable to the command prompt.

In the case of Windows OS, most users are not even remotely concerned about the Command Prompt or cmd.exe. People know that there is some inbuilt software with a black screen which is used to troubleshoot Windows issues sometimes. For instance, when a user has to repair a corrupt pen drive. On the other hand, Linux users are very much familiar with the command line utility and it’s a part of their daily computer usage.

CMD is a command line interpreter – a program designed to understand the commands input by a user, from a text file, or any other medium – in Windows NT family. It is the modern version of the COMMAND.COM which was the default shell present in the DOS operating systems and as a command line interpreter in Windows 9x family.

Similar to Linux command line, the Command Prompt in Windows NT – Windows X, 7, 8, 8.1, 10 – is quite efficient. Using various commands, you can ask your Windows OS to perform desired tasks which you normally do by using the GUI.

Also Read: A To Z List of Linux Commands

How to open Windows CMD?

You can open the Windows Command Prompt by typing cmd in the Start Menu search bar. Alternatively, you can press CTRL+R to open the RUN utility, type cmd, and press Enter.

Are the Commands Case-Sensitive?

The commands used in the Windows Command Prompt are not case-sensitive, unlike the Linux command line. For example, when you type dir or DIR, it’s the same thing. But individual commands may have various options which can be case-sensitive.

A to Z List of Windows CMD Commands

Here is an A to Z list of Windows CMD commands which will be beneficial to you. Once you get the hang of these commands, you can do most of your work more quickly without using the normal graphical interface.

To display help for the commands:

command_name /?

Press Enter.

For example, to see help for the ping command:

ping /?

Note: Some of these commands may require relevant service or Windows version to work correctly.

A – Windows CMD commands

A Description
addusers Used to add and list users in a CSV file
admodcmd Used for bulk modifying contents in an active directory
arp Address Resolution Protocol is used to map IP address to the hardware address
assoc Used to change associations for file extensions
associat One step file association
at Run a command at a specific time
atmadm Display connection info of the ATM adapter
attrib Used to change file attributes

B – Windows CMD Commands

B Description
bcdboot Used to create and repair a system partition
bcdedit Used to manage boot configuration data
bitsadmin Used to manage the Background Intelligent Transfer Service
bootcfg Used to edit boot configuration in Windows
break Enable/Disable break capability (CTRL+C) in CMD

C – Windows CMD Commands

C Description
cacls Used to change permissions of files
call Used one batch program to call another
certreq Used to request a certificate from a certification authority
certutil Manage Certification Authority files and services
cd Used to change folder (directory) or go to a specific one
change Used to change terminal services
chcp Displays the number of active console code page
chdir Same as cd command
chkdsk Used to check and repair issues in the disk
chkntfs Used to check the NTFS file system
choice Accept user input (via keyboard) to a batch file
cipher Used to encrypt/decrypt files and folder
cleanmgr Used clean temp files and recycle bin automatically
clip Copy result of any command (stdin) to Windows clipboard
cls Clear CMD screen
cmd Used to start a new CMD shell
cmdkey Used to manage stored usernames and passwords
cmstp Used to install or remove a connection manager service profile
color Change the color of the CMD shell using options
comp Compare contents of two files or two sets of files
compact Compress files and folders on an NTFS partition
compress Compress one or more files
convert Convert a FAT partition to NTFS
copy Copy one or more files to another location
coreinfo Show the mapping between logical and physical processors
cprofile Cleans specified profiles of wasted space and disabled user-specific file associations
cscmd Configure offline files on a client computer
csvde Import or Export the data of an active directory

D – Windows CMD Commands

D Description
date Used to display the date or change it.
defrag Used to defragment system hard drive.
del Used to delete a file(s).
delprof Used to delete user profile(s).
deltree Used to delete a folder and its sub-folders.
devcon Access the command line device manager utility.
dir Used to display files and folders list.
dirquota Manage File Server Resource Manager quotas.
diruse Used to display disk usage.
diskcomp Compare contents of two floppy disks.
diskcopy Copy data of one floppy disk to another.
diskpart Make changes to partitions of storage, both internal and connected.
diskshadow Access the Disk Shadow Copy Service.
diskuse View used space in folder(s).
doskey Used to edit command line, recall commands, and create macros.
driverquery Display a list of installed device drivers.
dsacls View and edit access control entries for objects in active directory.
dsadd Used to add objects to active directory.
dsget View objects in active directory.
dsquery Find objects in an active directory.
dsmod Used to modify objects in an active directory.
dsmove Rename or move an active directory object.
dsrm Remove objects from an active directory.
dsmgmt Manage Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services

E – Windows CMD Commands

E Description
echo Turn command-echoing feature on/off, display a message on the screen.
endlocal End localization environment changes in a batch file.
erase Used to delete on or more file(s).
eventcreate Add custom event to Windows event log (Admin rights required).
eventquerry Display list of events and their properties from event logs.
eventtriggers Display and configure event triggers on local and remote machines.
exit Exit the command line (Quit current batch script).
expand Uncompress one or more .CAB file(s)
explorer Open Windows Explorer.
extract Uncompress one or more Windows cabinet file(s)

F – Windows CMD Commands

F Description
fc Used to compare two files.
find Used to search a specified text string in a file.
findstr Used to find string patterns in files.
finger Display information about user(s) on a specified remote computer.
flattemp Used to enable/disable flat temporary folders.
For Run a command in a loop for a file(s) for defined parameter.
forfiles Used for batch processing of selected file(s)
format Used to format a disk.
freedisk Used to check free space on a disk.
fsutil File system utility to manage file and drive properties.
ftp Use FTP service to transfer files from one PC to another.
ftype Display/ Modify file extension type associations.

G – Windows CMD Commands

G Description
getmac Used to display the MAC address of your network adapter.
goto Used to direct a batch program to a line identified by a label.
gpresult Display Group Policy Settings and Resultant Set of Policy for a user.
gpupdate Update local and active directory based on group policy settings.
graftabl Turn on the ability to display an extended character in graphics mode.

H – Windows CMD Commands

H Description
help Display a list of commands and see online information for them.
hostname Used to display hostname of the computer.

I – Windows CMD Commands

I Description
icacls Used to change permissions of files and folders.
iexpress Used to create a self-extracting zip archive.
if Used for conditional processing in batch programs.
ifmember Display the group(s) an active user belongs to.
inuse Replace the files which the OS is currently using (restart required).
ipconfig Display and change Windows IP configuration.
ipseccmd Used to configure IP Security policies.
ipxroute Display and modify routing table information used by IPX protocol.
irftp Used to send files over an infrared link (infrared functionality required).

L – Windows CMD Commands

L Description
label Used to change the name of a disk.
lodctr Update registry values with latest performance counters.
logman Used to manage performance monitor logs.
logoff Log a user off.
logtime Add the date, time, and a message to a text file.
lpq Displays print queue status.
lpr Used to send a file to a computer running the Line Printer Daemon service.

M – Windows CMD Commands

M Description
macfile Manage files server for Mackintosh.
makecab Used to create .cab files.
mapisend Used to send email from command line.
mbsacli Microsoft Baseline Security Analyser.
mem Used to show memory usage.
md Used to create directories and sub-directories.
mkdir Used to create directories and sub-directories.
mklink Used to create symbolic link to a directory.
mmc Access Microsoft Management Console.
mode Configure COM, LPT, CON system devies.
more Display one screen of output at time.
mountvol Create, list, or delete a volume mount point.
move Used to move files from one folder to another.
moveuser Move user account to a domain or between machines.
msg Used to send a pop-up message to a user.
msiexec Install, modify, consfigure using Windows Installer.
msinfo32 Display system information.
mstsc Create a remote desktop connection.

N – Windows CMD Commands

N Description
nbstat Display NetBIOS over TCP/IP information.
net Used to manage network resources and services.
netdom Network Domain Manager utility
netsh Display or modify network configuration
netstat Display active TCP/IP connections.
nlsinfo Used to display locale information
nltest List domain controllers, force remote shutdown, etc.
now Display date and time.
nslookup Check IP address on a Name Server.
ntbackup Backup data to tape using CMD or batch file.
ntcmdprompt Runs cmd.exe instead of command.exe in an MS-DOS application.
ntdsutil Manage Active Directory Domain Services
ntrights Used to edit user account privileges.
ntsd Only for system developers.
nvspbind Used to modify network bindings.

O – Windows CMD Commands

O Description
openfiles Queries or displays open files.

P – Windows CMD Commands

P Description
pagefileconfig Display and configure Virtual memory settings.
path Set PATH environment variable for executable files.
pathping Latency and Packet loss info for each node in the network path.
pause Used to stop processing of a batch file.
pbadmin Starts Phone Book Administrator
pentnt Detect Floating Point Division error in the Pentium chip.
perfmon Access performance monitor in CMD
perms Display a user’s ACL permissions for a file.
ping Test network connection to a computer.
popd Go to the latest path/folder stored by PUSHD command
portqry Display TCP and UDP port status.
powercfg Used to configure power settings and know battery health.
print Used to print a text file(s) from CMD.
printbrm For backup/recovery/migration of the print queue.
prncnfg Used to configure/rename a printing device.
prndrvr List/add/delete printer drivers.
prnjobs List/pause/resume/cancel print jobs.
prnmngr List/add/delete printers, display/set default printer.
prnport List/create/delete TCP printer ports, display/change port configuration.
prnqctl Clear printer queue, print a test page.
procdump Monitor system for CPU spikes, generate a crash report during a spike.
prompt Used to change the Prompt in CMD.
psexec Run a CMD process on a remote computer.
psfile Display remotely opened files, close an open file.
psinfo List system information about a local/remote machine.
pskill Kill a process(es) using its name or process ID.
pslist Display process status and info about active processes.
psloggedon See active users on machine.
psloglist Display event log records.
pspasswd Used to change account password.
psping Used to measure network performance.
psservice Display and control services on a machine.
psshutdown Shutdown/restart/logoff/lock a local or remote machine.
pssuspend Used to suspend a process on a local or remote computer.
pushd Change current folder and store previous folder for use by POPD.

Q – Windows CMD Commands

Q Description
qgrep Search file(s) for a given string pattern.
query process or qprocess Display information about processes.

R – Windows CMD Commands

R Description
rasdial Display Remote Access Service Status.
rasphone Manage RAS connections.
rcp Copy files to a computer running remote shell service.
recover Recover readable data from a defective disk.
reg Display/add/change registry keys and values in Windows registry.
regedit Import/export/delete settings from a .reg text file.
regsvr32 Used to register/unregister a DLL file.
regini Used to change registry permissions.
relog Export performance counters to other formats like TSV, CSV, SQL.
rem Add comments in batch file.
ren Used to rename a file(s).
replace Used to replace a file with another file of same name.
reset session Used to reset a remote desktop session.
rexec Run commands on remote machines running Rexec service.
rd Used to delete a folder(s).
rmdir Used to delete a folder(s).
rmtshare Manage file and printer shares local or remote servers.
robocopy Used to copy files and folders that have changed.
route Display/change the local IP routing table.
rsh Run commands on remote servers running RSH service.
rsm Manage media resources using Removable storage.
runas Run a program as a different user.
rundll32 Used to run a DLL program.

S – Windows CMD Commands

S Description
sc Use Service Controller to manage Windows services.
schtasks Schedule command(s) to run at a specific time.
secedit Configure system security.
set Display/set/remove environment variables in CMD.
setlocal Control visibility of environment variables in a batch file.
setspn Manage Service Principal Names for an Active Directory service account.
setx Set Environment Variables permanently.
sfc System File Checker
share List/edit a file share or print on any computer.
shellrunas Used to run a command as a different user.
shift Change the position of the batch parameters in a batch file.
shortcut Create a Windows shortcut.
shutdown Shutdown the computer.
sleep Put computer to sleep for specified number of seconds.
slmgr Software Licensing Management tool for activation and KMS.
sort Used to sort and display a redirected or piped input.
start Start a program, command, or batch file.
strings Find ANSI and UNICODE strings in binary files.
subinacl Display/modify ACEs for file and folder permissions.
subst Associate a path with a drive letter.
sysmon Monitor and log system activity to Windows event log.
systeminfo Display detailed configuration information about the computer.

T – Windows CMD Commands

T Description
takeown Used to take the ownership of a file.
taskkill Used to terminate on or more running processes.
tasklist Display a list of running apps and services.
tcmsetup Enable/disable TAPI client.
telnet Communicate with a remote machine using TELNET protocol.
tftp Transfer files to and from a remote machine running TFTP protocol.
time Display/change system time.
timeout Delay a batch file execution for specified seconds.
title Change the text on top of CMD window.
touch Change file timestamps.
tracerpt Process event trace logs and generate trace analysis report.
tracert Trace route to a remote host by sending ICMP request messages.
tree Display a folder structure in the form of a graphical tree.
tsdiscon Terminate a remote desktop connection.
tskill Terminate a running process on a RD Session Host server.
tssutdn Shutdown/reboot a terminal server remotely.
type Show contents of a text file.
typeperf Write performance data to a CMD window or a log file.
tzutil Time Zone Utility.

U – Windows CMD Commands

U Description
unlodctr Remove performance counter names and explain text for a service from the registry.

V – Windows CMD Commands

V Descrption
ver Show version number of installed OS.
verify Verify whether files are saved correctly on the disk.
vol Show disk volume label and serial number.
vssadmin Show shadow copy backups, installed shadow copy writers and providers.

W – Windows CMD Commands

W Description
w32tm Access Windows Time Service Utility
waitfor Used to synchronise events between networked computer(s).
wevtutil Retrieve information about event logs and publishers.
where Find and display file(s) in the current directory.
whoami Display information about the active user.
windiff Compare contents of two files or sets of files.
winrm Windows Remote Management.
winrs Windows Remote Shell.
wmic Windows Management Instrumentation Command.
wuauclt Windows Update Agent to download new update files.

X – Windows CMD Commands

X Description
xcalcs Change ACLs for files and folders.
xcopy Copy files or directory trees to another folder.

This was the ultimate A-Z List of Windows CMD Commands which has been created with the inputs from SS64 and TechNet. A lot of attention has been paid while preparing it but if you find any discrepancy, feel free to notify.

Did you find this helpful? Tell us in the comments below.


Also Read: A To Z List of Linux Commands


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