Talk:Command Prompt

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Syntax error[edit]

There was no "Syntax Error" message in (just checked with my MS-DOS 6.22) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tyomitch (talkcontribs) 12:47, 4 September 2005

Backwards Compatibility[edit]

I believe the statement "cmd.exe remains part of Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, and Windows 7 for backward compatibility." is wrong. It's not for backwards compatibility, it's from running CLI programs like "NET", "telnet", "ping", etc. And in the server core versions of Windows Server cmd.exe is the default UI. I think this statement should be deleted or modified to be a bit more true, but I want to hear what other people think before doing that myself. TheGeekHead (talk) 21:03, 17 June 2010 (UTC)


I think cmd.exe hardly classifies as Emulator, so I propose to remove the category: DOS Emulators from the page (and also remove the link to cmd.exe from List of emulators, where it recently appeared. Opinions? Darkstar 11:28, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

  • Update: in fact I already removed the link to cmd.exe from List of emulators. Darkstar
  • This is most definitly not a DOS emulator... it dosn't emulate dos at all, infact, it's completely different software... (no dos virtual machine at all)... I'm removing it, if you want, someone can put it back in, but it shouldn't be. Leif902 01:32, 14 February 2007 (UTC)


Have x64 processors dropped support for cmd.exe, or just authentic versions of DOS? --File:Cvilletrojan.PNG page | contact 13:36, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Your question is erroneous. cmd.exe is just a Windows program. Are you asking if MS-DOS 6.x runs on a 64-bit AMD64 or IA-64? From the articles it seems it does. --ozzmosis 03:31, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Win64 does not have the virtual machine to run MS-DOS 5.0 and Win16 apps. Programs like,, edlin.exe and are not supplied with these versions. On the other hand, ye can run a third-party VM, like Virtual PC, which will run MS-DOS and Win16. --Wendy.krieger (talk) 10:20, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
I think you are referring to x64 versions of Windows. If you install an x86 version of Windows on an x64 processor cmd.exe will act exactly like it does on x86 processors. In x64 versions of Windows the 16-bit executable compatibility was removed. The 16-bit executables were the most common for DOS. cmd.exe has never been a "version of DOS", but it was able to run the 16-bit executbles associated with DOS. On x64 Windows the 16-bit executables won't run giving the illusion that it's not DOS compatible anymore. I hope I have answered your question. TheGeekHead (talk) 20:53, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
In 64-bit Windows, cmd.exe is a 64-bit Windows application that can run either 64-bit Windows console apps or 32-bit Windows console apps (like FAR 2, which comes in both types). 16-bit DOS apps can't run. This has nothing to do with the user interface, it's a platform compatibility issue. For example, Volkov Commander might look like FAR and perhaps even uses similiar routines, but it's a 16-bit DOS app and unsupported on 64-bit Windows. An emulator like DOSBox is needed to run it. -- (talk) 15:59, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Merge with Win32 console[edit]

I've suggested a merge between Win32 console and cmd.exe, as I don't really see any difference between them (Win32 console appears to be the API for cmd.exe?). If they really are different, please explain how, and remove the merge tags. If they are the same, say "aye!" here (or just go ahead and merge them, I suppose). --H2g2bob 19:00, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

No, they are different. Console I/O is done by way of the Console Subsystem API [1]. cmd.exe is not required. Additionally, Win9x/ME support the Console API (albeit poorly), where cmd.exe is nowhere to be found. --ozzmosis 03:18, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
No merge. cmd.exe is just an example of a program that uses Win32 console APIs. There are many others, e.g. FAR Manager or Cygwin, which have nothing to do with cmd.exe. — Monedula 08:32, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
No merge. OS/2, on which Windows is modeled, also has cmd.exe. The name comes from some failed IBM attempt to associate file.EXT with EXT.exe, eg mybatch.cmd with cmd.exe. In both OS/2 and Windows, it is possible to replace the default comspec with something more useful, eg 4OS2, 32-bit CMD, or in nt, 4NT. --Wendy.krieger (talk) 07:31, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

Command line length limitations.[edit]

There is no reference to the maximum length of the command line, or if the line splitter '\' has any influence upon the length. Also, I think a history or some sort of changelog would be welcomed, since the cmd.exe did changed between NT3.5 and NT4. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Muttley.meen (talkcontribs) 15:49, 16 January 2007 (UTC).


Does anyone know how to use the shutdown command? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


PulsHrd 02:44, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

See this page: or type shutdown /? at the command prompt. — EagleOne\Talk 22:19, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
It's "shutdown -s -t 0". Using the /? argument gives you the full list of options and explains what the "-s -t 0" do. TheGeekHead (talk) 20:55, 17 June 2010 (UTC)


Can someone with Vista fix this:

cmd.exe is scheduled to be replaced with Windows PowerShell during 2007, but is expected to remain as part of Windows Vista for backward compatibility.

Is it part of Vista? --h2g2bob 22:12, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

I use Vista Ultimate at home. Cmd.exe is definitely included with the OS. — EagleOne\Talk 16:20, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
It's 2010 now and as far as I know Windows Powershell is only enabled by default in Windows Server. It's included with Windows Vista and 7, but it needs to be enabled through add/remove Windows components. TheGeekHead (talk) 20:56, 17 June 2010 (UTC)


Suddenly, my computer went to a screech and I opened up my task manager, only to find about 300 tasks for cmd.exe. Is this a virus? Ever since that, our computer's calender has been messed up, internet speed's a craw even if we use DSL, and freezes up regularly. Someone help us. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:16, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Sounds like a virus or bug that makes cmd open many times. Just use a virus scanner. And Wikipedia isn't the place to post questions like this. Please use something like Yahoo! Answers or a forum. TheGeekHead (talk) 20:58, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The decision to rename this from cmd.exe to Command Prompt (Windows) was wrong.

  • The specific command line interpreter that this article is refering to also exists for OS/2 and ReactOS and all implementations should be covered in a single article.
  • The article is called cmd.exe in all other languages on Wikipedia.
  • Command Prompt has already a different meaning.
  • Microsoft also calls it cmd.exe (especially to distinguish it from other command line shells such as Windows PowerShell). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:04, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

No fullscreen support in Windows Vista and Above[edit]

Could someone please explain in the article the reason why Windows Vista and above cannot run any type of command prompt (CMD.EXE, Powershell) full scren (possibly real mode?) --azure talk × contribs 18:21, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't think it's appropriate to be in this article, since it's not specific to cmd.exe, but all console applications. And it's not exactly true, either. It only applies to WDDM video drivers. If you go back to an old WDM driver (losing aero in the process), full screen works. Madlobster (talk) 18:07, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

EXTPROC and REXX[edit]

OS/2's cmd.exe supports extproc and rexx commands (ie .cmd files beginning with /* )

EXTPROC allows a different command (including a different cmd file), to take over processing of the batch. You can then write alternate command processors (in rexx, eg), that will process the batch as input.

Running 'mybatch options' beginning 'EXTPROC MYPROC' will run myproc mybatch options.

This replicates the /# functionality of unix shells.

REXX was the IBMSAA glue language, the idea being that eventually, all IBM operating systems (including OS/2 and PC-DOS 7.0 and higher), would recognise rexx scripts as batches, and process these using the rexx processor.

4NT, being a port of 4OS2, replicates these functions, bringing this utility to Windows NT. --Wendy.krieger (talk) 10:11, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

CMD and COMMAND[edit]

CMD is a 32-bit, which is differentiated from the 16-bit version for various reasons. Much of the command interface is identical, so if cmd.exe is to be merged with something, it is

The cmd.exe in reactos is a recompile of freedos OS/2's cmdref.inf shows the DOS and OS/2 specific bits by using the DOS and OS/2 icons in the manual.

The 4os2.exe cmd-replacement, is a recompile of the 4dos replacement. The first 4os2 manual is an addendum to the 4dos manual. Many of the cmd. fetures were backported to 4DOS, for example. --Wendy.krieger (talk) 10:27, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Actually, the for MS-DOS 7.0 (Windows 95) and MS-DOS 7.1 (Windows 95 Service Pack 2 and Windoows 98) was a binary that could run in both 16-bit and 32-bit modes. In the 16-bit mode, it was a real-DOS application, and when in the 32-bit mode, it was a DOS-emulator running inside Windows. (talk) 20:14, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
This is not true at all. While there were some changes to the file format of COMMAND.COM with MS-DOS 7.0, it is still a genuine 16-bit DOS application. Further, Windows 95/98/SE/ME do not need a DOS emulator, because these versions are DOS-based. The DOS portion, from which the GUI is launched, integrates with the Windows portion to form the hybrid 16-bit/32-bit OS Windows represents in 386 Enhanced mode when the virtual machine manager (VMM) is loaded (which happens as part of the normal process to start up the GUI). DOS thereby becomes part of the system VM. Despite claims to the contrary, this DOS portion is a vital part of the system, actively used while the GUI is up (even when no DOS programs are executed at all), and the system could not function without it, architecture-wise. When you launch DOS applications under the GUI, each of them is executed in their own virtual machine (VM) context, partially instanced from the system VM and preemptively multitasked under the control of the VMM. --Matthiaspaul (talk) 22:30, 7 July 2013 (UTC)


trying inquiry mind of deleter scorching[2]:

SET variable=toValueX, ECHO %variable% ; for math SET /A[1] v=2+2 ; see more [3]
The existing sources give more detailed (and authoritative) information than that. The addition didn't pass WP:EL TEDickey (talk) 10:10, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

low-quality links versus guideline[edit]

Start with WP:EL, which says "The burden of providing this justification is on the person who wants to include an external link". A quick check of the suggested link shows that it's no better than the content on Wikipedia, having no reliable sources, a mishmash of comments for a variety of components of Windows - and some not. So it adds nothing to the topic. The comments about non-commercial are irrelevant, since low-quality information has no lower-limit on its value. TEDickey (talk) 09:15, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

While the external site offers a lot more information than the Wikipedia page (no surprise there, given that Wikipedia is not a manual), it doesn't seem to offer anything that goes beyond the self-documenting feature of commands when invoked with /?. I agree that it's not a value-adding link for this page. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 13:43, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).