Windows Command Prompt

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What Does Windows Command Prompt Mean?

Windows Command Prompt is a command line interpreter program that is included with various versions of Windows OS beginning with Windows NT. It is similar to the console-based Disk Operating System (DOS) that was used before Windows was introduced as a graphical user interface. Command Prompt can be used to browse through directories and to execute programs and batch files with the help of specific commands.

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Windows Command Prompt is also known as cmd.exe, console window and CMD prompt.

Techopedia Explains Windows Command Prompt

Windows Command Prompt is a command line interpreter application that is found in most versions of Windows. It can be used to execute batch files, run diagnostics, perform advanced administrative functions, troubleshoot problems and solve certain issues. Command Prompt’s file name is cmd.exe.

Command Prompt uses a command line interface where the user enters specific commands for carrying out operations, and the interface is implemented using Win32 Console. Command Prompt always opens with the current directory, which is usually the user directory, as in C:UsersWindows>.

There are more than 100 commands that can be used with Command Prompt, and the exact number differs from one Windows version to another. The commands used in Command Prompt are not case sensitive, but must be entered correctly. Arrow keys can be used to scroll through the command history. Certain control structures can also be used in certain commands. Some of the common commands include help, exit, cd, dir, copy and move.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.