How to Open the Command Prompt in Windows

Four Methods:Windows XPWindows Vista, and 7Windows 8 and 8.1All Windows Versions

The quickest way to open the Command Prompt in any version of Windows is to press Win+R and type cmd. Running this command will launch the Command Prompt. Read on for instructions on opening the Command Prompt, creating a shortcut for it, starting it from a batch file, and launching the Command Prompt from specific folders.

Method 1
Windows XP

Start Menu

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    1
    Open the Start menu. Click the Start button.
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    2
    Click All Programs to show your programs.
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    3
    Click Accessories to show your Windows Accessories.
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    4
    Open Command Prompt. Click Command Prompt.

Method 2
Windows Vista, and 7

Start Menu

  1. 1
    Open the Start menu. Click the Start button.
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    2
    Search for Command Prompt. Type cmd.
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    3
    Open Command Prompt.
    • Click the first result to open Command Prompt with low-level privileges.
    • Right click the first result and click Run as administrator to open Command Prompt with administrative privileges.

Method 3
Windows 8 and 8.1

Charms Bar Search Feature

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    1
    Open the Charms bar's search feature. Press Win+S on your keyboard.
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    2
    Search for Command Prompt. Type cmd.
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    3
    Open Command Prompt.
    • Click the first result to open Command Prompt with low-level privileges.
    • Right click the first result and click Run as administrator to open Command Prompt with administrative privileges.

Start Button Context Menu

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    1
    Right click the Start button to open its context menu.
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    2
    Open Command Prompt.
    • Click Command Prompt to open Command Prompt with low-level privileges.
    • Click Command Prompt (Admin) to open Command Prompt with administrative privileges.

Method 4
All Windows Versions

Run Dialog

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    1
    Open the Run dialog. Press Win+R on your keyboard .
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    2
    Open Command Prompt. Type cmd into the Run dialog and click OK.
    • This will open Command Prompt with low-level privileges, unless a message saying This task will be created with administrative privileges was displayed in the dialog.

Shortcut

  1. 1
    Right click an empty space on the desktop to open its context menu.
  2. 2
    Open the Create Shortcut wizard. Click New in the context menu to open another menu and then click Shortcut.
  3. 3
    Associate the shortcut with Command Prompt's executable. Type C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe underneath Type the location of the item.
  4. 4
    Continue to the next step. Click Next .
  5. 5
    Choose a name for your shortcut. Underneath Type a name for this shortcut, type what you would like to name the shortcut.
  6. 6
    Create the shortcut. Click Finish .
  7. 7
    Open Command Prompt.
    • Double-click the shortcut to open Command Prompt with low-level privileges.
    • Right click the shortcut and click Run as administrator to open Command Prompt with administrative privileges.

Task Manager

  1. 1
    Open Task Manager. Press Ctrl+ Shift+Esc on your keyboard.
    Image titled Ctrl Shift ESC.png
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    2
    Make sure that Task Manager is expanded to its full size. If Task Manager looks like either of these depictions...
    • Windows XP, Vista, and 7: Double click the place indicated in the picture of the window on the left.
    • Windows 8 and 8.1: Click More details.
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    3
    Click File in the menu bar to open its context menu.
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    4
    Open the Create New Task dialog. Click Run new task in Windows 8 and 8.1 or New Task (Run) in Windows XP, Vista, and 7.
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    5
    Open Command Prompt. Type cmd into the Create New Task dialog and click OK.
    • This will open Command Prompt with low-level privileges, unless a message saying This task will be created with administrative privileges was displayed in the dialog.
    • To open Command Prompt with administrative privileges in Windows 8 and 8.1 if you do not have the message, check the Create this task with administrative privileges box in the Create New Task dialog before clicking OK.

Batch File

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    1
    Open the Run dialog. Press Win+R on your keyboard.
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    2
    Open Notepad. Type notepad into the Run dialog and click OK.
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    3
    Type start into Notepad.
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    4
    Open the Save File dialog. Press Ctrl+S on your keyboard.
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    5
    Expand the combo box next to Save as type and select All Files.
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    In the text entry box next to File name, type a name for the file followed by a period and bat.
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    Choose a location to save the file to.
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    Save the file. Click Save.
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    9
    Close Notepad. Click the Close button.
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    10
    Start Command Prompt using the batch file.
    • Double-click the file to open Command Prompt with low-level privileges.
    • Right click the file and click Run as administrator to open Command Prompt with administrative privileges.

Folder

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    1
    Open the folder you want to start the Command Prompt from. Newer versions of Windows allow you to start the command prompt from any open folder in Windows Explorer. This will allow you to quickly start the Command Prompt from any location.
    • Windows XP users can access this function by installing the PowerToy extension from here.
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    2
    Hold . Shift and then right-click on a blank space in the folder. Make sure you don't right-click an icon.
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    Select "Open command window here". This will start the Command Prompt at the location of the folder.

Internet Explorer

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    1
    Open the Run dialog. Press Win+R on your keyboard.
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    2
    Open Internet Explorer. Type iexplore.exe into the Run dialog and click OK.
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    3
    Type C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe into the address bar of Internet Explorer and press Enter.
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    4
    Open Command Prompt. Click Run on the pop-up that appears.
    • This launches Command Prompt with low-level privileges.

Tips

  • If your Command Prompt will not start, try running it from the C:\Windows\System32\ folder. If this still doesn't work, perform a Repair Install for Windows.

Warnings

  • Be careful while using Command Prompt. Performing dangerous actions can damage your computer.

Article Info

Categories: Command Prompt