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Microsoft has slowly but surely pushed the command line 10 Windows Command Line Tips You Should Check Out 10 Windows Command Line Tips You Should Check Out Read More aside in the Windows interface. This is not without reason, as it’s an antiquated and mostly unnecessary tool from an era of text-based input that has long passed.

But there still are some commands that remain useful, and Windows 8 even added new features. Here are the commands every Windows user needs to know.

In case you’re not sure how to access the command prompt, forgot basic commands, or would like to know how to see a list of  switches for each command, you can refer to our beginners guide to the Windows command line A Beginners Guide To The Windows Command Line A Beginners Guide To The Windows Command Line Read More for instructions.

ASSOC

assoccmd2

Most files in Windows are associated with a specific program that is assigned to open the file by default. At times, remembering these associations can become confusing. You can remind yourself by entering the command “assoc” to display a full list of file extensions and the programs they’re connected with.

You can also extend the command to change file associations. For example, “assoc .txt=” will change the file association for text files to whatever program you enter after the equal sign. The ASSOC command itself will reveal both the extension names and program names, which will help you properly use this command. You can probably do this more easily in the GUI, but the command line interface is a perfectly functional alternative.

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Cipher

ciphercmd

Deleting files on a mechanical hard drive doesn’t really delete them at all How To Securely Delete Files From Your HDD Or SSD In Windows How To Securely Delete Files From Your HDD Or SSD In Windows Did you know files never actually get deleted? That's why they can be recovered; by you or someone else. If this makes you feel uncomfortable, learn how to securely delete files. Read More . Instead, it marks the files as no longer accessible and the space they took up as free. The files remain recoverable until they’re overwritten with new data, which can take some time.

The cipher command 5 Windows 7 Features You Didn't Know Existed 5 Windows 7 Features You Didn't Know Existed Windows 7 contains many little-known features. Here we highlight the more impressive ones that could boost your productivity and deepen your love for Windows 7. Read More , however, can be used to wipe a directory by writing random data to it. To wipe your C drive, for example, you’d use the command “cipher /w:c”, which will wipe free space on the drive. The command does not overwrite undeleted data, so you will not wipe out files you need by running this command.

There’s also a host of other cipher commands, however, they are generally redundant with Bitlocker enabled versions of Windows.

Driverquery

driverquerycmd

Drivers remain among the most important software installed on a PC. Improperly configured or missing drivers How To Easily Remove Old Drivers from Windows How To Easily Remove Old Drivers from Windows Read More can cause all sorts of trouble, so its good to have access to a list of what’s on your PC. That’s exactly what the “driverquery” command does. You can extend it to “driverquery -v” to obtain more information including the directory in which the driver is installed.

File Compare

This command can be used to identify differences in text between two files, and is particularly useful for writers and programmers trying to find small changes between two versions of a file. Simply type “fc” and then the directory path and file name of the two files you want to compare Delete Duplicate Files Quickly With These Tools Delete Duplicate Files Quickly With These Tools One of the fastest ways to clog up your hard drive is to store duplicate files. Most of the time, you probably aren’t even aware that you have duplicate files. They come from a variety... Read More .

fccmd

You can also extend the command in several ways. Typing “/b” compares only binary output, “/c” disregards the case of text in the comparison, and “/l” only compares ASCII text.

So, for example, you could use the following:

fc /l "C:\Program Files (x86)\example1.doc" "C:\Program Files (x86)\example2.doc"

to compare ASCII text in two word documents.

Ipconfig

This command relays the IP address that your computer is currently using. However, if you’re behind a router (like most computers today), you’ll instead receive the local network address of the router.

Still, ipconfig is useful because of its extensions. “ipconfig /release” followed by “ipconfig /renew” can force your Windows PC into asking for a new IP address, which is useful if your computer claims one isn’t available. You can also use “ipconfig /flushdns” to refresh your DNS address. These commands are great if the Windows network troubleshooter chokes, which does happen on occasion.

Netstat

Entering the command “netstat -an” will provide you with a list of currently open ports and related IP addresses Find Out Who's Eating Your Bandwidth With These Tips Find Out Who's Eating Your Bandwidth With These Tips Click....wait. Click....wait. Click....ARG! Does that seem familiar? It's you when you run out of Internet bandwidth! Let's find out what occupies your Internet connection and how to get it back. Read More . You’ll also be told what state the port is in – listening, established or closed. This is a great command if you’re trying to troubleshoot the devices your PC is connected to or you’re afraid you’re infected with a Trojan and are trying to locate a malicious connection.

Ping

pingcmd

Sometimes, you need to know whether or not packets are making it to a specific networked device. That’s where ping comes in handy. Typing “ping” followed by an IP address or web domain will send a series of test packets to the specified address. If they arrive and are returned, you know the device is capable of communicating with your PC; if it fails, you know that there’s something blocking communication between the device and your computer. This can help you decide if an issue is caused by improper configuration or a failure of network hardware.

Pathping

This is a more advanced version of ping that’s useful if there are multiple routers between your PC and the device you’re testing. Like ping, you use this command by typing “pathping” followed by the IP address, but unlike ping, pathping also relays some information about the route the test packets take.

Tracert

tracertcmd

The “tracert” command is similar to pathping. Once again, type “tracert” followed by the IP address or domain you’d like to trace. You’ll receive information about each step in the route between your PC and the target. Unlike pathping, however, tracert also tracks how much time (in milliseconds) each hop between servers or devices takes.

Powercfg

Powercfg is a very powerful command for managing and tracking how your computer uses energy. You can use the command “powercfg /hibernate on” and “powercfg /hibernate off” to manage hibernation, and you can also use the command “powercfg /a” to view the power-saving states currently available on your PC.

Another useful command is “powercfg /devicequery s1_supported” which displays a list of devices on your computer that support connected standby. When enabled, these devices can be used to bring your computer out of standby – even remotely. You can enable this by selecting the device in Device Manager, opening its properties, going to the Power Management tab and then checking the “Allow this device to wake the computer” box.

“Powercfg /lastwake” will show you what device last woke your PC from a sleep state. You can use this command to troubleshoot your PC if it seems to wake from sleep at random How To Stop Your Windows Computer From Randomly Waking Up How To Stop Your Windows Computer From Randomly Waking Up Computers can have restless nights, too. Sometimes, they turn on for no apparent reason and eventually go back to sleep. Making your computer sleep through the night isn't hard and we show you how. Read More .

powercfgcmd

The “powercfg /energy” command can be used to build a detailed power consumption report for your PC, which is output to a directory indicated after the command finishes. This report will let you know of any system faults that might increase power consumption, like devices that are blocking certain sleep modes, or which aren’t properly configured to respond to your power management settings.

Windows 8 added “powercfg /batteryreport”, which provides a detailed analysis of battery use, if applicable. Normally output to your Windows user directory, the report provides details about the time and length of charge and discharge cycles, lifetime average battery life, and estimated battery capacity.

Shutdown

As of Windows 8/8.1 there is now a shutdown command 10 Clever Ways To Optimize The Windows Shutdown Process 10 Clever Ways To Optimize The Windows Shutdown Process Are Windows shutdowns an ordeal? Time to crack down on this process and save time. Most solutions are super simple and only take a few seconds, promised! Read More that – you guessed it! – shuts down your computer. This is of course redundant with the already easily accessed shutdown button, but what’s not redundant is the “shutdown /r /o” command, which restarts your PC and launches the Advanced Start Options menu, which is where you can access Safe Mode and Windows recovery utilities. This is useful if you want to restart your computer for troubleshooting purposes.

System File Checker

System File Checker is an automatic scan and repair tool that focuses on Windows system files. You will need to run the command prompt with administrator privileges and enter the command “sfc /scannow”. If any corrupt or missing files are found, they’ll be automatically replaced using cached copies kept by Windows for just that purpose. The command can require a half-hour to run on older notebooks.

Recovery Image

recimgcmd

Virtually all Windows 8/8.1 computers ship from the factory with a recovery image How To Create A Windows 8 Recovery Disk How To Create A Windows 8 Recovery Disk The days of reinstalling Windows when it acts up are long since gone. All you need to fix Windows 8 is a recovery disk, either on CD/DVD, a USB or an external hard disk drive. Read More , but the image may include bloatware you’d rather not have re-installed. Once you’ve un-installed the software you can create a new image using the “recimg” command. Entering this command presents a very detailed explanation of how to use it. You must have administrator privileges to use the recimg command, and you can only access the custom recovery image you create via the Windows 8 “refresh” feature How To Restore, Refresh, or Reset Your Windows 8 Installation How To Restore, Refresh, or Reset Your Windows 8 Installation In addition to the standard System Restore feature, Windows 8 has features for "refreshing" and "resetting" your PC. Think of these as ways of quickly re-installing Windows -- either keeping your personal files or deleting... Read More .

Tasklist

The “tasklist” command can be used to provide a current list of all tasks running on your PC. Though somewhat redundant with Task Manager Mysteries Of The Windows 7 Task Manager: Why You Don't Need an Alternative Mysteries Of The Windows 7 Task Manager: Why You Don't Need an Alternative This might seem contrary to what you read about throughout the Internet, but the Windows Task Manager is fine as it is – it doesn’t need a replacement. You could interpret that as a simple... Read More , the command may sometimes find tasks hidden from view in that utility.

tasklist

There’s also a wide range of modifiers. “Tasklist -svc” shows services related to each task, “tasklist -v” can be used to obtain more detail on each task, and “tasklist -m” can be used to locate .dll files associated with active tasks. These commands are useful for advanced troubleshooting.

Taskkill

Tasks that appear in the “tasklist” command will have an executable and process ID (a four-digit number) associated with them. You can force stop a program using “taskkill -im” followed by the executable’s name, or “taskkill -pid” followed by the process ID. Again, this is a bit redundant with Task Manager, but may be used to kill otherwise unresponsive or hidden programs.

Conclusion

This article doesn’t cover every Windows command available. There are literally hundreds of them when all variables are included. Most, however, are no longer useful because they’ve been replaced by more convenient menus in the Windows GUI or simply aren’t commonly used (telnet, for example).

You can check out our Windows command cheat sheet for an expanded list or download Microsoft’s command line reference guide for advanced support and troubleshooting.

Which commands do you find yourself using frequently?

  1. chris jackson
    September 25, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    How would i go about checking my hard drive for errors so i can remove them so i dont have to buy a new 1?

  2. Simon Pengelly
    September 5, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Simple but useful
    dir *.tmp /s > dellist.txt
    will list all deleted tmp files in the folder and sub-folders to file dellist.txt and then
    del *.tmp /s will delete them

  3. babalesh saini
    August 17, 2016 at 10:40 am

    yup for more please googling

  4. Shery
    July 15, 2016 at 2:43 am

    Windows 10 will not load. It will not restore to previous buile, it will not repair itself. I went into the command prompt and ran sfc /scannow. It states that the operation cannot complete. Also, I cannot boot in safe mode. Suggestions are welcome! Thanks. Sherry

  5. Armaggedon
    June 28, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    what is the difference of cmd and telnet, and the most efficient?

    • Mesach
      July 11, 2016 at 6:03 pm

      CMD gets you a command prompt to run commands, telnet is an application that you can run via command line.

  6. Vasanth Kumar
    June 17, 2016 at 12:12 am

    Thumbs UP !!..

  7. Vinayak
    May 13, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    is there any command which is easy to shut down any others pc or insert a virus on others pc or delete all data of others pc or to hack an email id of anyone else.. its ok if not in cmd but is it possible to do by anything else.. pls in urgency, contact me if yes pls a humble req.. 8588950050 vinayak, pls pls pls

    • Your nan
      June 29, 2016 at 6:37 pm

      Yes, just type "Your nan"

    • Jim
      July 18, 2016 at 4:45 am

      none

    • Jim
      July 18, 2016 at 4:46 am

      apart from shutdown-i

    • Lucas Rind
      August 1, 2016 at 12:04 am

      mad hacking skills

    • james
      August 24, 2016 at 1:20 pm

      you bloody indian how you can think that u could be a hacker without paying any fee to a hacking institute

  8. Ron
    April 22, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    thanks.

  9. Grey
    March 26, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    taskkill /f /im explorer.exe

  10. Manuel
    March 14, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    wow, nice, thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. the flash
    February 27, 2016 at 10:17 am

    is there a command where can identify history on your computer i mean like if somebody stole some of your files or transfer into another devices. if there is please inform me. thanks in advance.

  12. Sed
    February 23, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    I'm a junior IT and stumbled on some commands , it is really a must have knowledge base that all tech should know already :) great job thanks

  13. swamik bagwe
    February 22, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    thanks dude it is very helpfully to get my running task.....

  14. Lana
    February 22, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Is there a CMD line of commands to turn on Android´s use as a hard drive feature?

  15. Diego Sabillon ( ?° ?? ?°)
    February 10, 2016 at 1:18 am

    cool

  16. Mohammed
    February 3, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    Verry helpful thank u verry much !

  17. WARGAZE
    January 19, 2016 at 9:17 am

    GREAT PIECE

  18. yoti
    December 8, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    this is all good and helpful for things on a cpu

  19. GuccizBud
    April 6, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    Very useful list?;??I took the ones I like the most and documented them in a file of my own for later reference.
    ?One thing, though?:? I'm not sure why you're under the impression the Shutdown command exists "as of Windows 8/8.1". It's that very same Shutdown routine that the OS itself has been invoking every time a user logged off, powered down, or restarted his system since *at least* Windows XP.? I can't recall before that, but for all I know it was around before then too.? But I can absolutely confirm its existence since XP since I've been using it since then to log off, power down, or restart my system through keyboard shortcuts assigned to ".cmd" scripts that use the Shutdown command.? So for example one can create a text file called "reboot.cmd" containing the one line "shutdown /r /t 10", create a shortcut to "reboot.cmd" and store it in his personal ?%?appdata?%? Start Menu folder, and associate the keyboard shortcut ?Ctrl+Shift+R? (for example) to that shortcut.? Now whenever he does ?Ctrl+Shift+R? his computer will power down and restart after a 10 second delay.? I've been doing that kind of thing since XP.
    ?Other than that though, highly useful piece, like I said.

    • Phill Heath
      August 6, 2015 at 1:00 pm

      yeah the shutdown command is quite a useful one, i didn't make use of it when i was using XP, although in win 7 there is the task scheduler, if i was say downloading something that was going to take a few hours like a game update or a whole client and I wanted to go to sleep, you can set a '/shutdown /s' task to fire at a specific time and have your pc turn off instead of staying on until you wake up.

  20. jimtech
    March 19, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    it good to make this

  21. Derek
    March 6, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    Is there a command to check how long a program has been running? sorry if I missed it in the original post, new to running things from the cmd.

  22. Gr3nD
    March 3, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    I Just Know Hacking Another Pc ON My Network.. By Type 'shutdown -i' but.. i cant to shut to diferent network... And I Want Talk Something Too. How To Control Another PC... I Mean Like Open Files... Like 100% Controling

    • Krutik Shah
      August 27, 2015 at 11:30 pm

      that's extremely illegal and you will most likely be sent to jail.. and thats coming from a guy who pirates..

      • dudu@gmail.co0m
        December 14, 2015 at 12:10 pm

        OMG! A BISHOLAS JUSTICE MEMBER!!!

  23. N. Cognito
    September 1, 2014 at 2:39 am

    I use it to stop unnecessary programs from loading at startup.

  24. N. Cognito
    September 1, 2014 at 2:34 am

    msconfig

  25. Tom
    August 9, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    copy *.cvs all.cvs saved my 400 plus contacts and allowed me to import into google. No other way to do such a join of files in 1.

  26. Shirley
    August 3, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    Great article. Learn something new everyday. Always good to know of an alternative to do the same thing (just in case). Thanks.

  27. Yunga
    August 3, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Command line reference for Oracle, SQL Server, Windows cmd and bash. Includes data dictionary, scripting commands and CSS: http://ss64.com/

    • Ramon Venegas
      September 8, 2014 at 3:04 am

      Thanks - very useful

  28. John B L
    August 1, 2014 at 12:53 am

    Thanks for writing this article: I love the control these commands provide, although I rarely need them at work or at home. For a CNC technician, the file compare "FC" command is very useful. That is, if I don't have the program "Beyond Compare" installed on the particular PC I am working on..

  29. Pierre.L
    July 30, 2014 at 10:28 am
  30. Bruce E
    July 29, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    You can also use “ipconfig /flushdns” to refresh your DNS address.

    This is actually dumping the entire contents of the local DNS cache that the machine uses to avoid repetitive DNS lookups. With the phrasing you have used, it makes it sound like something else is happening instead.

  31. yochanon
    July 29, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    The gui simply adds bloat and is for use by those who are too lazy to enjoy the speed os using cli. Anyone who honestly believes the cli is "an antiquated and mostly unnecessary tool", doesn't need to be trying to 'advise' in any fashion, IMHO. That "antiquated and mostly unnecessary tool" could possibly be what saves a server that's screwing up at an Fortune 500 company (though most decent servers will be more than likely some form of *nix and the admin shouldn't be depending on a gui *anyway*). I'm not saying the gui isn't very nice to have, but it breaks, and often enough to be a real PITA if one doesn't know anything about the cli to get in and maybe fix things.

  32. Easy Living
    July 29, 2014 at 7:16 am

    What for? In this modern era of Apps for this and Apps for that, who needs to learn cli? No wonder GUI made billions for MS and Apple. Leave out the geeky stuff to the underpaid and over-educated nerds. A computer, tablet or smartphone is supposed to make our lives easier, not to add stress to our stressful lives. Personally, I do not have any use for long-winded configuration scripts...I'm done with that and enjoying my life.

    • yochanon
      July 29, 2014 at 1:04 pm

      And yet you cry if none of those "underpaid and over-educated nerds" aren't around instantly with their cli knowledge to fix your screwed up system because something happened to the GUI and now you're almost in tears because of it. Uh huh. Try again. If 'thinking' is 'stressful' to you and you can't do anything without a GUI, I feel pity for you.

  33. g.m.nelson
    July 28, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    the caret brackets did not post, the commands are
    OFF = fs util usn delete journal /d [drive]
    ON = fs util create journal M=0 a=0 [drive]
    substituting the drive letter (c: d: etc) for [drive]

  34. g.m.nelson
    July 28, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    the POWERCFG command switch /hibernate is abreviated as -h (at least in vista). I have used it in 2 ways :
    1. to turn hibernate back on after a glitch turned it off
    2. to get the hiberfil.sys file out of the middle of the drive data (turn off, defrag/optimize, then turn back on)

    another unmmovable system file that can become very large and fragmented limiting the amount of contiguous space is the $USN JRNL file. you can use the same method to reduce and consolidate this file (turn off/defrag/turn on) with the following set of commands
    OFF = fs util usn delete journal /d
    ON = fs util create journal M=0 a=0
    substituting the drive letter (c: d: etc) for

  35. LovesFLSun
    July 28, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Not really a CMD prompt command, but a tool accessable from the CMD prompt.. ROBOCOPY. For those that know ROBOCOPY, I do not need to say any more. Those that do not know about ROBOCOPY, check it out! You won't be sorry..

  36. wenkeadam
    July 28, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    What about ROBOCOPY in win7 + 8? I love it.
    More powerful than the old XCOPY, for backup copying of large folders.

    Using command line dos programs in Windows is extremely fast, as they don´t have to 'paint' the screen with graphics to show 'progress'. I can't live without them, as I often process large amounts of data.
    I use to set up BATch files with the configuration commands, and run them with a click on a shortcut icon. Remember to end each batch file with a "pause" command, that will leave the command window open until you press a key, so you can see any error messages.

  37. Campbell
    July 28, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    netsh winsock reset is a good call; very good fix. And chkdsk /f is a great option however, if you work in enterprise support, many of these can be arbitrarily controlled by group policy. Works great on a PC disconnected from the network, but sometimes you need a boot disk to fix issues that the admins at the broad level just knee-cap you on. Most of the caommand lines are great. also, if you create a lot of IDs regualarly and do not use Powershell, then that an unnecessary headache; You can find pre-prepared cmdlets that you can edit for easy use. Also, you can do a answer response for general users if you need some regular tasks done. Powershell pays back big time.

  38. Campbell
    July 28, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    netsh winsock reset is a good call; very good fix. And chkdsk /f is a great option however, if you work in enterprise support, many of these can be arbitrarily controlled by group policy. Works great on a PC disconnected from the network, but sometimes you need a boot disk to fix issues that the admins at the broad level just knee-cap you on. Most of the caommand lines are great. also, if you create a lot of IDs regualarly and do not use Powershell, then that an unnecessary headache; You can find pre-prepared cmdlets that you can edit for easy use. Also, you can do a answer response for general users if you need some regular tasks done. Powershell pays back big time.

  39. Pinger
    July 28, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    I tried cipher w.c: as an administrator and I was told This program is blocked by group policy. I can ping 54.221.192.241 without any problem.

  40. Sam K
    July 27, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    thanks, i'm aware of just 4 commands...the rest will come handy.

  41. Kai M.
    July 27, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Matt this is a great list of commands! Thanks for the write up. In my opinion it's always good to get ordinary everyday users to use command line functions more often.

    Probably the two I use most on your list are ipconfig /all and shutdown /f /s /t -0 A few more that I find useful are:

    chkdsk /f C: Checks your (C: partition) hard disk for errors and fixes bad sectors. This command requires you to reboot your computer, but has helped me repair my clients computers many times when they won't boot.

    arp -a - Along the same lines as the nbtstat command mentioned above, the routing protocol command lists all computers in the routing table on your LAN and also gives their physical/MAC address. Can be useful to see which devices are connected to a network.

    systeminfo - This command gives you a thorough list of info about your computer including the model name, number, and manufacturer, processor type, speed, operating system, amount of RAM installed and the max amount your system will handle, pagefile size, language, timezone, the names and numbers of all windows updates you have installed, network card info, ip address, and a bunch more. Very useful for getting info on system specs when you trying to quickly troubleshoot a problem.

    Also the netsh winsock reset catalog and netsh int ip reset reset.log commands reset/rebuild the TCP/IP stack on Windows computers are the first commands I use (after ipconfig) when I run into one that is having internet connection issues or dealing with flaky NIC cards with corrupt drivers (also require a reboot).

    BTW, I just thought I would also point out that the scannow /sfc command sometimes requires an installation disc to replace corrupt or missing files which makes it somewhat less useful on Windows Vista and above computers that don't come with System Restore discs anymore.

    Cheers!

  42. Jimbo
    July 27, 2014 at 7:00 am

    I've been using "net use" to map drives of networked CNC machines for easier access the local storage.

  43. A41202813GMAIL
    July 27, 2014 at 4:51 am

    CACLS.

    Most Handy To Manually Access Hidden Files And Folders.

    Cheers.

  44. dk
    July 26, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Shutdown has been around since at least XP. There are some different switches now, but it remains a darned handy command.

  45. chuma
    July 26, 2014 at 8:57 am

    I really cant do wtout command prompt even in win 8. More powerful commands like diskpart was not mentioned

    • Yourmom
      July 27, 2014 at 6:11 am

      You probably don't want people playing around with diskpart unless they know what they are doing.

    • Yourmom
      July 27, 2014 at 6:17 am

      Or maybe I should say that you shouldn't play around with diskpart if you don't know most of the commands on this list already.

  46. Eric
    July 26, 2014 at 2:57 am

    That would be 'TASKLIST | FIND "###" where "### is process ID # reported by the NETSTAT -ANO command for the open TCP connection you want to investigate.

  47. Eric
    July 26, 2014 at 2:53 am

    I've been using DOS since before Windows but I still learned a few things here! I'll share one tip: I use NETSTAT -ANO | FIND "EST" to get a list of processes with established TCP connections. Then I use TASKLIST | FIND "" to get the name of the executable associated with the particular process id that I'm interested in - i.e. a suspicious program with an open connection to some mysterious external IP address. If it's something like explorer.exe or iexplore.exe (when there is no visible Internet Explorer window open) then I know I've got a problem.

  48. dragonmouth
    July 25, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    You mean Windows has a command line!? To hear the Window fans talk, only Linux is cursed with CLI.

    • Retardedmouth
      July 26, 2014 at 7:47 pm

      This is the most retarded comment I've read on here.

    • WindowsGUIcurse
      July 28, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      As a linux user I say Windows is cursed with a GUI/lack of CLI. You have a pile of functions but if the app in question doesn't have something to click on for what you need you can't do it at all (but I guess that's shielded from you because it's to complicated).
      For example - using the standard windows explorer I copy a pile of files and it's no option to just skip file that already exist, for that I need to run the "cursed" robocopy command.

    • Mahmoud Hesham
      March 5, 2015 at 10:04 am

      hey guys .. it is a good tutorial

  49. Pieter
    July 25, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Switch to Powershell if you want to get even more use out of the Windows Command prompt (if you're using Windows 8 it should already be available). It does everything the normal command prompt does, but it comes with a complete scripting environment. This makes it easier to create tasks, but also means that everything a commmand returns is an Object in stead of just a string. This may sound like a nice gimmick, but it has made my job as a web developer so much easier (parsing giant log files, check every x minutes if a website is running, stuff like that).

    • likefunbutnot
      July 25, 2014 at 10:04 pm

      I use powershell every day, but it's not something I'd recommend to non-technical users.
      Working at the command prompt is probably asking a lot from people these days. Truthfully, there are gobs and gobs of great ways to handle scripting on Windows if that's something someone needs to do, but if it's an itch you need to scratch, you're probably a developer, IT guy or some sort of engineer and at that point there's no reason to advocate for it.

  50. Crazie Flawed N
    July 25, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    thanks. I know basic commands but I can never remember any of them

    • Muhammad Saadan
      May 2, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      don't remember that doesn't man ......
      One advice:
      Always keep ur feeling to ur-self

  51. Stewart Schatz
    July 25, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Great article! There were several commands that I hadn't heard of before. Because of a recent issue I ran into the ASSOC command really caught my eye. However, when looking at the command I found that it will only return the "filetype" and not "a full list of file extensions and the programs they’re connected with" which was stated. In order to get that information you must plugin the assigned "filetype" of the extension in question into the "ftype" command:

    C:>assoc .txt
    .txt=txtfile

    C:>ftype txtfile
    txtfile=%SystemRoot%system32NOTEPAD.EXE %1

    • Matt S
      July 25, 2014 at 8:09 pm

      Hmm...when I use ASSOC, I end up with a list of things like .txt=txtfile, .zip=WinRAR.zip, etc. Is that not what you see? Or are we just thinking of different things?

  52. michel
    July 25, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    "it’s an antiquated and mostly unnecessary tool from an era of text-based input that has long passed". Unless you use Linux, then it's far superior and cutting edge. According to linux geeks.

    • Matthew
      July 26, 2014 at 3:15 am

      Yeah, I'm pretty sure he's referring just to Windows here, otherwise this is some hardcore bait. As a compsci student I've seen a lot of guys come into my program with that same sentiment towards the commandline -- I didn't see them around for long.

    • CLItothemasses
      July 28, 2014 at 3:24 pm

      command line or non gui things does have it's place in Windows also. Powershell doesn't exist without a reason.
      If we go by the masses that only use the desktop for email, some documents and internet browsing then cli isn't needed (and they can replace their desktop with a tablet) but as soon as you need a little more than basic usage you need CLI, like on servers where powershell is used for a lot of repetitive task, configurations, setups, cleanup, management.

    • pmshah
      July 29, 2014 at 2:54 am

      You are mistaken. There is a whole plethora of commands and switches just under one particular command - netsh - which I use very frequently and everyday to automatically configure my dual NIC system.

      One might be better off adding Take Command LE, Sysinternals's command line utilities, Nir Sophers's freeware just to name a few. But then that is the problem with most of the current crop of users who have probably never heard of DOS. Well I have been using it since version 3.0, NDOS, 4DOS and 4NT.

  53. vferg
    July 25, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    I use the nbtstat command for looking up names of computers on your network. Comes in handy and goes hand and hand for me when using ping more than half the time. Another big one that gives tons of great uses is the wmic command that will allow A TON of functionality as long as you get the proper command down to do what you need to.

    The first one you mentioned, ASSOC, you can really just use within windows already which I find way easier than command line. I know its in a different location within XP but support is dead so here is the location within windows 7 Control PanelAll Control Panel ItemsDefault ProgramsSet Associations.

    I love tasklist and taskkill for use with remote PC's. Especially when you take control of a users computer and see they may be watching a youtube video or on facebook. Instead of informing them that they shouldn't be there I kill the process remotely and they have no idea what just happened.

    Thanks for a few others I have yet to use though, I will have to try them out!

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