Software & Apps Windows What Are Command Prompt Codes? An explanation of command prompt commands by Tim Fisher General Manager, VP, Lifewire.com Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tim Fisher Updated on April 06, 2020 Windows The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide Tweet Share Email A quick internet search for Command Prompt codes produces all kinds of results... most of them completely different. Why all the confusion about Command Prompt codes? Isn't there a firm list of Command Prompt codes somewhere to look at? What Are Command Prompt Codes? The fact is, there is no accurate "Command Prompt Codes" list to be found because there's no such thing as a Command Prompt code. See the Prompt Command Codes section at the bottom of this article for an important clarification! For whatever reason, there's a misunderstanding among some computer users (and some that should know better) that the tools and executables available from the Command Prompt in Windows are called "codes." They are not. The term code, in the computer world, typically refers to source code, which is the text used in a computer programming language. What you're actually looking for is a command of some kind. A command is an instruction given to your computer, certainly not a code to be decoded in any way. Below is some help determining what it is you're really looking for if you came here searching for Command Prompt codes: Command Prompt Commands Command Prompt commands are the command-line based programs that perform different functions like displaying lists of files, troubleshooting network connections, formatting drives, etc. Most people searching for Command Prompt Codes are probably really after Command Prompt commands. Run Commands Run commands are the executables for the programs you use in Windows. In other words, a run command is the name of the file that starts a program. For example, the run command for Internet Explorer is iexplore. Prompt Command Codes One of the many commands available from the Command Prompt is the prompt command. The prompt command is used to change the appearance and behavior of the actual prompt text that precedes the entering of commands in the Command Prompt window. The many customization options available to the prompt command are sometimes referred to as codes and when discussed outside the context of the prompt command, they're sometimes called Command Prompt codes, though they're more accurately called Prompt Command codes. So if you truly are looking for the codes available to the prompt command, open Command Prompt and execute prompt /? to see them displayed.