Windows Vista Command Prompt Commands

A Complete List of CMD Commands Available in Windows Vista

The Command Prompt in Windows Vista provides access to well over 200 powerful commands used to automate tasks, perform troubleshooting and diagnostic tasks, and create script files.

Note: Most Windows Vista Command Prompt commands might seem a lot like MS-DOS commands. However, the Command Prompt is not MS-DOS and the commands available are not called MS-DOS commands. If you are using MS-DOS, I do have a list of DOS commands.

Not a Windows Vista User? Here are lists detailing all the Windows 8 commands, Windows 7 commands, and Windows XP commands available in those operating systems.

You can also see every command from MS-DOS through Windows 8 together in my Command Prompt commands list. That list is helpful if you're interested in why a command was removed or when it was first available. I also have a one-page table here, minus the details.

Below is a complete list of commands available in the Command Prompt in Windows Vista. These are often referred to as CMD commands:

append - lpr | makecab - tscon | tsdiscon - xcopy

Append

The append command can be used by programs to open files in another directory as if they were located in the current directory.

The append command is not available in any 64-bit version of Windows Vista.

Arp

The arp command is used to display or change entries in the ARP cache.

Assoc

The assoc command is used to display or change the file type associated with a particular file extension.

The at command is used to schedule commands and other programs to run at a specific date and time. More »

The attrib command is used to change the attributes of a single file or a directory. More »

Auditpol

The auditpol command is used to display or change audit policies.

Bcdedit

The bcdedit command is used to view or make changes to Boot Configuration Data.

Bitsadmin

The bitsadmin command is used to create, manage, and monitor download and upload jobs.

Bootcfg

The bootcfg command is used to build, modify, or view the contents of the boot.ini file, a hidden file that is used to identify in what folder, on which partition, and on which hard drive Windows Vista is located.

The bootcfg command was replaced by the bcdedit command beginning in Windows Vista. The bootcfg command is still available but it serves no purpose since boot.ini is not used in Windows Vista.

Bootsect

The bootsect command is used to configure the master boot code to one compatible with Windows Vista (BOOTMGR).

The bootsect command is only available from the Command Prompt in System Recovery Options.

Break

The break command sets or clears extended CTRL+C checking on DOS systems.

Cacls

The cacls command is used to display or change access control lists of files.

The cacls command is being phased out in favor of the icacls command, which you should use instead in Windows Vista.

Call

The call command is used to run a script or batch program from within another script or batch program.

The call command doesn't do anything outside of a script or batch file. Running the call command at the Command Prompt will do nothing.

Cd

The cd command is the shorthand version of the chdir command.

Certreq

The certreq command is used to perform various certification authority (CA) certificate functions.

Certutil

The certutil command is used to dump and display certification authority (CA) configuration information in addition to other CA functions.

Change

The change command changes various terminal server settings like install modes, COM port mappings, and logons.

Chcp

The chcp command displays or configures the active code page number.

Chdir

The chdir command is used to display the drive letter and folder that you are currently in. Chdir can also be used to change the drive and/or directory that you want to work in.

Chglogon

The chglogon command enables, disables, or drains terminal server session logins.

The chglogon command is a shortcut to executing change logon.

Chgport

The chgport command can be used to display or change COM port mappings for DOS compatibility.

The chgport command is a shortcut to executing change port.

Chgusr

The chgusr command is used to change the install mode for the terminal server.

The chgusr command is a shortcut to executing change user.

The chkdsk command, often referred to as check disk, is used to identify and correct certain hard drive errors. More »

Chkntfs

The chkntfs command is used to configure or display the checking of the disk drive during the Windows boot process.

Choice

The choice command is used within a script or batch program to provide a list of choices and return of the value of that choice to the program.

Cipher

The cipher command shows or changes the encryption status of files and folders on NTFS partitions.

Clip

The clip command is used to redirect the output from any command to the clipboard in Windows.

Cls

The cls command clears the screen of all previously entered commands and other text.

Cmd

The cmd command starts a new instance of the command interpreter.

Cmdkey

The cmdkey command is used to show, create, and remove stored user names and passwords.

Cmstp

The cmstp command installs or uninstalls a Connection Manager service profile.

Color

The color command is used to change the colors of the text and background within the Command Prompt window.

Command

The command command starts a new instance of the command.com command interpreter.

The command command is not available in any 64-bit version of Windows Vista.

Comp

The comp command is used to compare the contents of two files or sets of files.

Compact

The compact command is used to show or change the compression state of files and directories on NTFS partitions.

Convert

The convert command is used to convert FAT or FAT32 formatted volumes to the NTFS format.

Copy

The copy command does simply that - it copies one or more files from one location to another.

The xcopy command is considered to be a more powerful version of the copy command and the robocopy command even more powerful than xcopy.

Cscript

The cscript command is used to execute scripts via Microsoft Script Host.

The cscript command is most popularly used to manage printers from the command line using scripts like prncnfg.vbs, prndrvr.vbs, prnmngr.vbs, and others.

Another popular script for use with the cscript command, especially in Windows Vista, is manage-bde.wsf which can be used to configure BitLocker Drive Encryption.

Date

The date command is used to show or change the current date.

Debug

The debug command starts Debug, a command line application used to test and edit programs.

The debug command is not available in any 64-bit version of Windows Vista.

Defrag

The defrag command is used to defragment a drive you specify. The defrag command is the command line version of Microsoft's Disk Defragmenter.

Del

The del command is used to delete one or more files. The del command is the same as the erase command.

Diantz

The diantz command is used to losslessly compress one or more files. The diantz command is sometimes called Cabinet Maker.

The diantz command is the same as the makecab command.

The dir command is used to display a list of files and folders contained inside the folder that you are currently working in. The dir command also displays other important information like the hard drive's serial number, the total number of files listed, their combined size, the total amount of free space left on the drive, and more. More »

Diskcomp

The diskcomp command is used to compare the contents of two floppy disks.

Diskcopy

The diskcopy command is used to copy the entire contents of one floppy disk to another.

Diskpart

The diskpart command is used to create, manage, and delete hard drive partitions.

Diskperf

The diskperf command is used to manage disk performance counters remotely.

Diskraid

The diskraid command starts the DiskRAID tool which is used to manage and configure RAID arrays.

Dispdiag

The dispdiag command is used to output a log of information about the display system.

Djoin

The djoin command is used to create a new computer account in a domain.

Doskey

The doskey command is used to edit command lines, create macros, and recall previously entered commands.

Dosx

The dosx command is used to start DOS Protected Mode Interface (DPMI), a special mode designed to give MS-DOS applications access to more than the normally allowed 640 KB.

The dosx command is not available in 64-bit versions of Windows Vista.

The dosx command and DPMI are only available in Windows Vista to support older MS-DOS programs.

Driverquery

The driverquery command is used to show a list of all installed drivers.

Echo

The echo command is used to show messages, most commonly from within script or batch files. The echo command can also be used to turn the echoing feature on or off.

Edit

The edit command starts the MS-DOS Editor tool which is used to create and modify text files.

The edit command is not available in any 64-bit version of Windows Vista.

Edlin

The edlin command starts the Edlin tool which is used to create and modify text files from the command line.

The edlin command is not available in any 64-bit version of Windows Vista.

Endlocal

The endlocal command is used to end the localization of environment changes inside a batch or script file.

Erase

The erase command is used to delete one or more files. The erase command is the same as the del command.

Esentutl

The esentutl command is used to manage Extensible Storage Engine databases.

Eventcreate

The eventcreate command is used to create a custom event in an event log.

Exe2bin

The exe2bin command is used to convert a file of the EXE file type (executable file) to a binary file.

The exe2bin command is not available in any 64-bit version of Windows Vista.

Exit

The exit command is used to end the Command Prompt session that you're currently working in.

Expand

The expand command is used to extract a single file or a group of files from a compressed file.

Extrac32

The extrac32 command is used to extract the files and folders contained in Microsoft Cabinet (CAB) files.

The extrac32 command is actually a CAB extraction program for use by Internet Explorer but can be used to extract any Microsoft Cabinet file. Use the expand command instead of the extrac32 command if possible.

Fastopen

The fastopen command is used to add a program's hard drive location to a special list stored in memory, potentially improving the program's launch time by removing the need for MS-DOS to locate the application on the drive.

The fastopen command is not available in any 64-bit version of Windows Vista.

Fc

The fc command is used to compare two individual or sets of files and then show the differences between them.

Find

The find command is used to search for a specified text string in one or more files.

Findstr

The findstr command is used to find text string patterns in one or more files.

Finger

The finger command is used to return information about one or more users on a remote computer that's running the Finger service.

Fltmc

The fltmc command is used to load, unload, list, and otherwise manage Filter drivers.

For

The for command is used to run a specified command for each file in a set of files. The for command is most often used within a batch or script file.

Forfiles

The forfiles command selects one or more files to execute a specified command on. The forfiles command is most often used within a batch or script file.

The format command is used to format a drive in the file system that you specify. More »

Fsutil

The fsutil command is used to perform various FAT and NTFS file system tasks like managing to reparse points and sparse files, dismounting a volume and extending a volume.

Ftp

The ftp command can be used to transfer files to and from another computer. The remote computer must be operating as an FTP server.

Ftype

Getmac

The getmac command is used to display the media access control (MAC) address of all the network controllers on a system.

Goto

The goto command is used in a batch or script file to direct the command process to a labeled line in the script.

Gpresult

The gpresult command is used to display Group Policy settings.

Gpupdate

The gpupdate command is used to update Group Policy settings.

Graftabl

The graftabl command is used to enable the ability of Windows to display an extended character set in graphics mode.

The graftabl command is not available in any 64-bit version of Windows Vista.

Graphics

The graphics command is used to load a program that can print graphics.

The graphics command is not available in any 64-bit version of Windows Vista.

The help command provides more detailed information on other Command Prompt commands. More »

Hostname

The hostname command displays the name of the current host.

Icacls

The icacls command is used to display or change access control lists of files. The icacls command is an updated version of the cacls command.

If

The if command is used to perform conditional functions in a batch file.

Ipconfig

The ipconfig command is used to display detailed IP information for each network adapter utilizing TCP/IP. The ipconfig command can also be used to release and renew IP addresses on systems configured to receive them via a DHCP server.

Irftp

The irftp command is used to transmit files over an infrared link.

Iscsicli

The iscsicli command starts the Microsoft iSCSI Initiator, used to manage iSCSI.

Kb16

The kb16 command is used to support MS-DOS files that need to configure a keyboard for a specific language.

The kb16 command is not available in 64-bit versions of Windows Vista.

Ktmutil

The ktmutil command starts the Kernel Transaction Manager utility.

Label

The label command is used to manage the volume label of a disk.

Loadfix

The loadfix command is used to load the specified program in the first 64K of memory and then runs the program.

The loadfix command is not available in any 64-bit version of Windows Vista.

Lodctr

The lodctr command is used to update registry values related to performance counters.

Logman

The logman command is used to create and manage Event Trace Session and Performance logs. The logman command also supports many functions of Performance Monitor.

Logoff

The logoff command is used to terminate a session.

Lpq

The lpq command displays the status of a print queue on a computer running Line Printer Daemon (LPD).

The lpq command is not available by default in Windows Vista but can be enabled by turning on the LPD Print Service Windows feature from Programs and Features in Control Panel.

Lpr

The lpr command is used to send a file to a computer running Line Printer Daemon (LPD).

The lpr command is not available by default in Windows Vista. However, it can be enabled by turning on the LPD Print Service Windows feature from Programs and Features in Control Panel.

There are so many Vista Command Prompt commands that I can't put them all in this one list!

Click the link above to see list 2 of 3 detailing all of the Command Prompt commands available in Windows Vista. More »