Command Prompt, also known as Command Line Interface or CLI, is a way of interacting with your computer through text-based commands. Instead of using a graphical user interface (GUI) with icons and menus, you type in commands to perform tasks such as navigating through directories, creating and deleting files, and executing programs.
Command-line interfaces (CLI) and prompts have been the primary method of interacting with computers since the earliest days of computing until the 1980s. During this time, CLI was the standard interface on consumer-based computers like MS-DOS systems. Today, the CLI is still a fundamental aspect of Linux, and Windows systems offer the CLI for administrative tasks.
The command prompt is a program named cmd.exe that executes CLI commands. When a user types a command in the prompt, it contains the command name, arguments, and any other settings required to run the program. On Windows, this program is known as the Windows Command Processor.
Command prompt interfaces are concise and powerful. They offer access to tools and functionalities that may not be available through the graphical user interface (GUI).
Additionally, command prompts enable automation through scripting, making them an indispensable tool for advanced users. However, mastering the CLI commands can be challenging for beginners.
How To Access Command Prompt?
To access Command Prompt on a Windows computer, you can follow these simple steps:
1. Open the “Start” menu on your Windows computer. You can usually find it at the bottom left corner of your screen.
2. Type “cmd” into the search bar. This will bring up the Command Prompt application.
3. Click on the Command Prompt application to open it.
Alternatively, you can access the Command Prompt using the “Run” dialog box. To do that, follow these steps:
1. Press the “Windows” key and the “R” key simultaneously.
2. Type “cmd” into the “Run” dialog box.
3. Click “OK” or press “Enter” to open the Command Prompt.
Once you’ve accessed the Command Prompt, you can start typing in commands to perform various tasks. Remember that the commands are text-based, so you’ll need to know the correct syntax to use them effectively.
How To Use Command Prompt?
Using Command Prompt may seem intimidating at first, but it’s actually quite straightforward once you get the hang of it.
The following are some simple steps and commands to help you use Command Prompt:
Navigate Through Directories
You can navigate through directories using the
cd command. For example, if you want to navigate to the “Documents” folder on your computer, type the following command and hit enter:
With this command, you’ll be taken to the Documents folder on your computer. Similarly, if you want to access any other folder using the command prompt, just type
cd Folder_Name and hit enter.
List Files and Directories
To view a list of files and directories in the current directory, just type the
dir command and hit enter.
When you type
dir, it will display a list of all the files and folders in the current directory.
Create a New Directory
To create a new directory, you can use the
mkdir command. For example, if you want to create a new directory called “Photos,” type the below command and hit enter:
mkdir Photos will create a new directory called “Photos” in the current directory.
Remove/Delete a Directory
When you type
rmdir followed by the name of a directory, it will remove that directory from the current directory.
Note that in the above example, the “Photos” directory will only be removed if it is empty. If it is not, you can not remove that directory.
Run an Executable File
To run an executable file, use the
start command followed by the name of the file. For example, if you want to run a file called
When you type the above command and hit “enter,” it will open Chrome Browser on your PC/Laptop.
Check The Network Configuration
ipconfig; this command displays the network configuration information for your computer, including the IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway.
This information can be useful for troubleshooting network issues.
These are just a few commonly used commands in Command Prompt. There are many more commands and functionalities available you can try out.
Examples of Commands With Functionality
The following are some of the most commonly used commands in Command Prompt:
cd: This command is used to change the current directory to a different directory.
dir: This command lists the files and folders in the current directory.
mkdir: This command creates a new directory.
rmdir: This command removes a directory.
ipconfig: This command displays the network configuration information for your computer, including the IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway.
ping: This command sends a packet of data to a website or IP address to test the connection.
tasklist: This command displays a list of all the currently running processes on your computer.
netstat: This command displays information about your network connections and their status.
ipconfig/release: This command releases the current IP address of your computer.
ipconfig /renew: This command requests a new IP address for your computer.
systeminfo: This command displays detailed information about your computer’s hardware and software.
net user: This command allows you to manage user accounts on your computer.
net localgroup: This command allows you to manage local user groups on your computer.
net share: This command allows you to manage shared folders on your computer.
taskkill: This command allows you to end a running process or application on your computer.
Again, these are just a few examples of the many commands available in Command Prompt. Learning how to use these commands can be very helpful for troubleshooting issues and managing your computer more efficiently.