How to Open Command Prompt in a Folder

Initiate commands directly

What to Know

  • Type cmd into the search bar to open the command prompt.
  • Shift + Right Click in a window then click Open PowerShell window to access the PowerShell interface.
  • Open the folder you wish to access then type cmd into the search bar here to open a command prompt within the folder.

This article teaches you how to open the command prompt window in a folder in Windows 10 as well as how to open a command prompt anywhere within Windows 10. It also explains why you may wish to do so. 

How Do I Open Command Prompt in Windows 10?

If you simply want to open a command prompt anywhere in Windows 10 and browse to the relevant folder yourself, the process is very simple and can be accessed within moments. Here's where to look.

  1. On the Windows 10 search bar, type cmd.

    Windows 10 desktop with Search Bar highlighted
  2. Type cmd.

  3. Click Run as Administrator to open the command prompt with full access rights to do whatever you need to do.

    Windows 10 desktop with cmd in search bar and Run as Administrator highlighted

How to Open Command Prompt in a Folder

If you're looking to directly open a command prompt window within a folder in Windows 10 to initiate some kind of command for that specific part of your install, there are a couple of different ways of doing so. Here's the quickest way to do so using a keyboard shortcut in File Explorer.

  1. On your Windows 10 PC, open the folder you wish to open the command prompt within.

    Windows 10 with a folder open
  2. Press Shift on your keyboard and Right Click on your mouse.

  3. Left-click Open PowerShell window here.

    Windows 10 folder with Open PowerShell window here highlighted
  4. You now have a command prompt window open located at the folder you were previously looking at.

How Do I Open a Terminal Window in a Folder?

A Terminal window is traditionally what the command line prompt is referred to on Macs but it can be used with Windows PCs rather than being called a simple command prompt. Here's a different way to open a command prompt (or terminal window) within a folder in Windows 10.

  1. Open the folder you wish to open the command prompt window from.

  2. Type cmd into the location bar at the top of the window and tap enter.

    Windows 10 folder with the search/location bar highlighted
  3. The command prompt will now be opened in the desired location. 

Why Would I Use the Command Prompt Tool? 

The Windows 10 command prompt tool is ideal if you want to run a program using special parameters. Windows 10 has both the command prompt and the PowerShell interface with both offering a similar-looking experience but with slight variations in terms of the commands you can enter. For the most part, you won't see a difference but there are certain commands that will need you to specifically use one or the other. 

A full list of command prompts can be useful in helping you do more involved things with your PC. It's important to be careful what you do in the command prompt interface as some commands can be potentially catastrophic if used incorrectly. 

Microsoft is encouraging users to use PowerShell rather than Command Prompt so you may see it used more so in some examples. 

  • What is Command Prompt?

    It's a command line interpreter program that's available in all Windows PCs. It's often used to perform more advanced administrative functions or to troubleshoot an issue. The commands you can use depend on which version of Windows you own.

  • How do you clear Command Prompt?

    Type "cls" and press Enter. This clears all of the previous commands you entered.

  • Can I use copy/paste in Command Prompt?

    Yes, but you need to enable it first. Open Command Prompt, right-click on the top bar, and select Properties. Under Edit Options, select the checkbox next to Use Ctrl+Shift+C/V as Copy/Paste.

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