Sick Of The Old Command Prompt in Windows 7? Upgrade To Console

Chris Hoffman 29-02-2012

windows 7 consoleMicrosoft overhauled and updated much of Windows with Windows 7, but the Command Prompt hasn’t been updated since the last century. It’s not just ancient-looking; it lacks many of the features command-line users have come to expect on Macs, Linux and any operating system that isn’t Windows.


If you’re looking for an improved Command Prompt for Windows 7, look no further. Console, which we’ve covered in the past, is an open-source Command Prompt replacement that also works with PowerShell and other command-line environments. It’s packed with functional features, graphical eye candy and everything in between.

Tabs & Other Shells

Open a few command-line windows 10 Windows Command Line Tips You Should Check Out While the Windows command line is not considered as powerful as a Linux's, here are some Windows command line tips and tricks not everyone might know about. Read More and you can quickly become overwhelmed. Only four different windows are open here, but it’s already a mess.

windows 7 console

Our Linux-using friends have been using tabs for a while, but Microsoft hasn’t implemented them in Windows — not even in its new PowerShell environment. Console brings tabs to Windows users. It doesn’t just support Command Prompt tabs, either – you can also use PowerShell, Cygwin and any other command-line environment you have.

windows 7 console commands


Use the Tabs section in Console’s window to configure new tabs for each environment. If you’re creating a PowerShell tab, you’ll find PowerShell at C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe. If you’re creating a Cygwin tab, you’ll find Cygwin’s Bash shell Top Websites and Books to Transform You into a Linux Command Line Hero The Linux command line is an extremely powerful tool -- but it can also be intimidating. Use these websites and books to get a handle on it. Read More at C:\cygwin\bin\bash.exe, unless you installed it to a different location.

windows 7 console commands

From here, you can also set different startup directories for each tab, run the command-line environment with different user permissions or change each tab’s graphical settings. Open new tabs from the menu, toolbar button or with a keyboard shortcut.

windows 7 console commands


Settings Dialog

You may not know this because Microsoft hides it so well, but the default Command Prompt window has some settings. Right-click its title bar, click Properties and you’ll see them.

windows 7 console session

Console offers much more configurability. Unlike the Command Prompt, it saves its settings to a file named console.xml in the same directory as the program by default. This makes Console entirely portable 100 Portable Apps for Your USB Stick for Windows and macOS Portable apps let you take your favorite software anywhere via a flash drive or cloud storage. Here are 100 of them to cover your every need, from games to image editors. Read More — put its files on your USB stick and you can use your custom settings on any machine.

windows 7 console session


Keyboard Shortcuts

Console has customizable keyboard shortcuts – just the thing for you keyboard junkies. Use keyboard shortcuts to switch between and manage tabs – much faster than alt-tabbing between windows.  You can also set an Activate Console key, which you can press to pull up Console from anywhere in Windows.

windows 7 console session

Backgrounds & Eye Candy

Console supports full transparency, but it also supports a sort of pseudo-transparency that you may be familiar with from Linux. It lets your background bleed through the terminal. It probably works better than pure transparency in many cases, since the terminal’s background isn’t cluttered with other windows and text.

Sick Of The Old Command Prompt in Windows 7? Upgrade To Console screenshot 11


You can enable this on a per-tab basis. If you have a bright background, you’ll want to set the tint color pretty high to darken the background and make text readable. You’re not limited to your desktop background; you can set any custom wallpaper image, or even use different wallpaper images for each tab.

Sick Of The Old Command Prompt in Windows 7? Upgrade To Console screenshot 124

Copying Text

Copying text in Microsoft’s Command Prompt involves right-clicking and clicking Mark before selecting the text with your mouse.

Sick Of The Old Command Prompt in Windows 7? Upgrade To Console screenshot 084

Console’s copying behavior is fully customizable. By default, it uses Shift and the left mouse button to start copying – no right-clicking required. You can even enable the Copy on Select option and Console will copy the text to your clipboard as soon as you select it. That’s a trick straight out of Linux’s book.

Sick Of The Old Command Prompt in Windows 7? Upgrade To Console screenshot 092

Always On Top

If you’re using the command line, you may want it to appear on top of other windows. You can’t do this with the default Command Prompt without a third-party utility 5 Simple Ways To Keep Selected Windows On Top [Windows] Computers are made to multitask. As a result, we all have to juggle with multiple open windows to jump back and forth between various tasks. Sometimes, however, you just want to keep one window in... Read More . It’s simple in Console – just change the Z Order option on the Appearance settings pane.

Sick Of The Old Command Prompt in Windows 7? Upgrade To Console screenshot 103

Windows Explorer Integration

One of the Command Prompt’s nicest features is its Windows Explorer integration. It’s hidden by default, but you can hold Shift while you right-click and you’ll see an Open Command Window Here option.

Sick Of The Old Command Prompt in Windows 7? Upgrade To Console screenshot 132

With a simple registry tweak Three Quick Registry Tweaks to Customize Windows Like a Pro Read More , you can get the same option for Windows 7 Console.

First, open Notepad or another text editor and paste this code into a new text file:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

@=”Open Console”

@=”C:\\Program Files\\Console2\\Console.exe”

Replace “C:\\Program Files\\Console2\\Console.exe” with the path to the Console.exe program on your system — use the \\ in place of each \ in the program’s path.. You can also replace “Open Console” with any text you want for the menu item.

Next, save the file. After it’s saved, go into Windows Explorer and rename the file from “[name].txt” to “[name].reg”. Double-click the .reg file to add the information to your registry. You’ll see the Open Console option when you right-click.

windows 7 console

What do you think of Console? Leave a comment and let us know.

Related topics: Command Prompt, Windows 7.

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  1. egigoka
    June 27, 2016 at 11:26 am

    Thanks! Founded Cmder. It's eyecandy and have rich functionality.

  2. Maximus ConEmu
    June 20, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    There is a new console emulator. ConEmu (open source too) can hold in tabs not only consoles, but simple GUI applications (PuTTY for example). Also, there is many features, which makes your work in Windows console comfortable: ANSI x3.64, Windows 7 progress and Jump lists, integration with DosBox, optional settings (e.g. pallette) for selected applications, configurable and clickable status bar, and much more...

    Never hear about it? Read Scott Hanselman's article:
    or user reviews:

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 20, 2012 at 10:32 pm

      ConEmu does look pretty compelling. I plan on taking a look at it!

  3. Pradosh
    March 1, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    And I am very happy to get new look on my screen. Still I need some time to get hands on this new  console. But it looks cook. Thanks

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 3, 2012 at 2:20 pm

      You're welcome! It is nice having something more modern, isn't it?

  4. Krishnapriya
    March 1, 2012 at 12:33 am

    Personally, I like the ancient look of the command prompt as it increases my score on the geekiness meter when my friends see me working on it

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 1, 2012 at 6:26 am

      True enough! But text in a terminal will always be geeky, no matter how modern-looking the terminal.