All Windows systems include a series of commands that allow you to transmit commands directly to the operating system. They are known as CMD commands, DOS commands, or MS-DOS commands .

These are simple instructions that can be used in different ways, the best known of which is by entering them in the CMD command console (in fact, “CDM” corresponds to the name of the command or executable that opens the window or command prompt), although they can also be used in scripts or batch files.

What are CMD commands or MS-DOS commands?

The CMD command console, command interpreter or Command Prompt as some know it, is a tool included in all versions of Windows. It is a black window where the commands with the necessary commands and options are written and the Enter key is pressed to execute said command. So far easy enough, right?

comandos cmd comandos dos comandos ms-dos
CMD command console or command prompt, with a simple command “cd xxx”

Access to the CMD command console

You can start the CMD command console by searching for its access in: All Programs -> Accessories or by typing in the Start box, in Run or in Cortana: CMD and pressing the Enter key.

It is also possible to open an instance of the console within any directory or folder, for that with the Shift key pressed right click with the mouse and in the menu that appears choose « Open command window here «.

MS-DOS Commands Included in Windows

Windows CMD commands are an inheritance from the first operating systems to run under MS-DOS. In them, all the instructions had to be executed manually using commands similar to those in the list that we attach below. The use of these DOS commands remains fully valid today.

Many have been recently added as they were only used as self-contained packaged tools or kits for use by professionals.

We can extract additional information from the DOS command console such as the characteristics, how to use and the options of any command by typing the following:

CommandName /?

Internal commands and external commands

Internal or resident DOS commands are those commands that are transferred to memory when the operating system loads. These commands are stored in a file named COMMAND.COM, and can be executed without the need to have DOS in the default drive -the drive where we are located-.

Some internal commands: CHCP, CHDIR, CLS, COPY, CITY, DATE, DEL, MKDIR, PATH, PROMPT, RENAME (REN), SET and TIME, among others.

External DOS commands , in contrast, are stored in separate or external files. It is necessary that we have this file in the default unit to be able to execute the order in question.

For example, the CHKDSK command is an external command. On Windows, it is located in the C: Windows System32 folder in the CHKDSK.EXE file.


List of all CMD commands included in Windows

ARP MS-DOS command that caches the correspondence between the IP addresses and the physical addresses of the network adapter or card. It is used in networking tasks to optimize the performance of connections and to solve conflicts.
ASSOC It shows or modifies the associations of the file extensions, that is, the action that Windows must perform according to the extension that the file has.
AT The AT command schedules the execution of commands and programs on a computer at a specified time and date. The schedule service must be running to use the AT command.
ATTRIB Show or change the attributes of a file. In Windows, an attribute is assigned to each file, according to the function or objective that they are going to play on the computer, be it a hidden file, system, read-only, etc. With the ATTRIB command it is possible to know the ones established in a certain file and remove it or assign it another one.
AUDITPOL It is used to show or change permission settings
BITSADMIN It is used to create, manage and monitor file upload and download tasks.
BREAK Sets or removes extended check for Ctrl + C in the console.
BCDBOOT BCD boot file creation and repair tool. The command line tool bcdboot.exe is used to copy essential boot files to the system partition and to create a new BCD store on the system.
BCDEDIT Boot Configuration Data Store Editor (BCD)
You can use Bcdedit.exe to add, remove, edit, and append entries in the boot configuration data store.
BOOTCFG This command line tool can be used to configure, query, change, or delete the boot entry settings in the BOOT.INI file on pre-Windows Vista operating systems.
CACLS MS-DOS command that displays or modifies file access control lists (ACLs).
CALL Call a second batch from a running one.
CD Show name or change to current directory
CHCP Displays or sets the active code page number.
CHDIR Show name or change to current directory, same as CD
CHKDSK Check, verify and repair disk errors.
CHOICE This tool allows users to select an item from a list of options and returns the index of the selected option.
CIPHER Displays or alters the encryption of directories [files] on NTFS partitions.
CLEANMGR MS-DOS command that frees disk space, allows you to save your options in memory.
CLIP Redirects output from command line tools to Windows Clipboard. This text output can be pasted into other programs.
CLS Erases and clarifies symbols or text on the screen.
CMD Start a new instance of the console
CMDKEY Create, submit, and delete stored usernames and passwords.
COLOUR Sets the foreground and background colors of the console
COMP DOS command that compares the contents of two files or a set of files.
COMPACT This CMD command displays or changes the compression status of files on NTFS partitions.
CONVERT MS-DOS command that converts FAT volumes to NTFS volumes. You can not convert the current unity.
COPY Copy one or more files to another location
CSCRIPT It allows executing VBS files on the console containing scripts written in VBScript language. It can also be used in batch files with the // B option, avoiding scripting warnings and error messages
DATE Show or set the date.
OF THE Delete one or more files.
DEFRAG Locate and consolidate fragmented files on local volumes to improve system performance.
DIR Displays a list of files and subdirectories in a directory.
DISM Provides information, installs, uninstalls, configures and updates additional features and Windows imaging packages.
For example, to show installed Windows features that can be uninstalled use:
DISM.exe / Online / English / Get-Features / Format: Table
DISKCOMP Compare the contents of two floppy disks.
DISKCOPY Copy the contents of one floppy disk to another.
DISKPART View or configure disk partition properties.
DOSKEY This CMD command edits command lines, memorizes Windows commands, and creates macros.
DRIVERQUERY Displays the current status and properties of the device driver.
THREW OUT Show messages, or turn echo on and off
ENDLOCAL Finish the search for environment variables of the batch file
ERASE Delete one or more files, same as DEL
EXPAND MS-DOS command that expands one or more compressed files
EXIT Exits the CMD.EXE program (command interface)
FC Compare two files or set of files and show the differences between them
FIND Search for a text string in one or more files.
FINDSTR Search for text strings in files.
FOR Execute a command simultaneously on multiple files, reducing the amount of code required for multiple tasks. It is one of the commands that offers the most practical benefits.
FORFILES Use command something similar to FOR, select one or more files and execute a command in each of them. It allows a multitude of useful options little exploited.
FORMAT Allows you to give different formats to hard drives or other devices for use with Windows
FSUTIL DOS command that displays or configures file system properties. It has several subcommands for effective administration of the file system and volumes.
FTYPE Displays or modifies the file types used in a file extension association
GOTO Directs the Windows command interpreter to a line in a batch file.
GPRESULT MS-DOS command that displays group policy information by computer or user
GPUPDATE Updates the changes made in the Local Group Policy Editor.
Allows any of the established policies to be activated either immediately, upon restart or upon login.
To get them to activate immediately use: GPUPDATE / force
GRAFTABL Allows Windows to display an extended character set in graphics mode
HELP Provides help information for Windows commands
ICACLS MS-DOS command that displays, modifies, backs up, or restores access control lists (ACLs) for files and directories
IF Executes commands conditionally, is used to define error values, compare strings, prove file existence, and make mathematical comparisons.
IPCONFIG Displays the parameters of a network connection. By default, only the IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway are displayed for each adapter bound with TCP / IP.
LABEL This CMD command Create, change or delete the volume label of a disk
MEM Displays the amount of free and used memory on the system
MD Create a directory or folder
MKDIR DOS command to create a directory, same as above
MKLINK Create symbolic links and hard links
MODE Configure a system device
MORE MS-DOS command displaying information screen by screen
MOVE Move one or more files from one directory to another on the same drive
MSTSC Initiate a remote connection to the desktop
NBTSTAT Shows current TCP / IP connections and protocol statistics using NBT (NetBIOS over TCP / IP)
NET Configure a wide variety of parameters in networks.
NETCFG It is used to install Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE), a minimal and lightweight version of Windows used by developers
NETSH The NETSH (Network Shell) command enables you to configure, conflict, and manage different network components using the command line locally or remotely.
Shows and configures the status of the components of the installed network protocols. Netsh commands are organized in the form of a tree, each technology and protocol has its own context.
NETSTAT Shows current TCP / IP connections and protocol statistics. Allows monitoring of all active connections
NLSFUNC Load the specific information of a country or region
NLTEST The NLTEST command is used to test through secure channels between Windows computers in different domains and between trusted domain controllers.
NSLOOKUP This CMD command displays information about the DNS servers assigned to your network connection. It allows making requests to these servers.
OCSETUP Starts Windows Optional Component Setup tool that installs additional Windows options
OPENFILES DOS command showing shared files opened by remote users
PATH Show or set a search path for executable files
PAUSE MS-DOS command that pauses the console and displays a message
PING It allows testing a network connection, sending and receiving a data packet.
POPD Restores the previous value of the current directory saved by PUSHD
POWERSHELL Runs an instance of Windows PowerShell, the new command console included in Windows on systems after Windows Vista.
When PS is shown in the console symbol it means that you are in the PowerShell environment, so that you enter from that moment it will be related to this interpreter, to return to the console just type CMD and press Enter.
PRINT Print a text file
PROMPT Change Windows command prompt
PUSHD MS-DOS command that saves the current directory and then changes it
QAPPSRV Displays the RD session host servers available on the network
QPROCESS Displays information about processes
I WANT Shows the current status and parameters of a specific service
QUSER Show information about users who have logged in to the system
QWINSTA Displays information about Remote Desktop sessions
RASDIAL It is used to start or stop a dial-up or dial-up connection.
RD Remove or delete a directory or folder
RECOVER DOS command to recover readable information from a damaged or faulty disk
REG It is used to manage all the Registry Editor parameters from the command line and batch files. It is possible to add, modify keys, values, export branches, etc.
The REG command is made up of several subcommands, each one for a completely different use, they are:
REGEDIT The REGEDIT command allows you to import, export or delete settings in the registry from a plain text file with a .reg extension.
REGSVR32 Register DLL libraries to incorporate them into the registry
RELOG Relog creates new performance records from existing performance record data by changing the sampling interval or converting the file format.
Supports all performance log formats, including Windows NT 4.0 compressed logs
REM Mark comments in batch files or CONFIG.SYS. The line in a batch that begins with REM is considered a comment
REN DOS command that renames one or more files
RENAME Rename one or more files, same as above
REPLACE Replace files
RMDIR Remove a directory
ROBOCOPY Advanced utility to copy folders and directories in Windows.
RESET SESSION (Rwinsta) Reset session subsystem hardware and software to known initial values
ROUTE DOS command to manipulate network routing tables
RPCPING Pings the server using RPC
RUNES It is used to run a program using credentials or rights of another user
SECEDIT Analyze the security of the system and make the comparison with a specific template
SET Show, set, or remove Windows environment variables
SETLOCAL Start the local environment changes section in the console
SETVER The SETVER command is used to set the MS-DOS version number that is reported to a program
SETX Create or modify environment variables in the user or system environment. You can set variables based on arguments, registry keys, or file input
SC Show or configure services (background processes).
SCHTASKS Run the Task Scheduler. Schedule commands and programs to run on a computer.
SFC Microsoft Resource Checker Examines the integrity of all protected system files and replaces incorrect versions with correct Microsoft ones
SHADOW Monitor another Remote Desktop Services session
COMPARTIR The SHARE command is used to lock files and functions in MS-DOS
SXSTRACE WinSxs Tracking Utility
SHIFT Change position of replaceable modifiers in batch files
SHUTDOWN Allows local or remote shutdown, reboot, suspension and hibernation of a computer
SORT Sort the results of a selected command, for example the results of a search with FIND
START Starts another window to run a program or command
SUBST Associate a path with a drive letter
SYSTEMINFO Displays specific equipment properties and settings
TAKEOWN This tool allows the administrator to regain access to a denied file by reassigning ownership of the file.
TASKLIST Shows all running tasks, including services
TASKKILL MS-DOS command that terminates or interrupts a running process or application
TCMSETUP This DOS command is used to configure or disable the Telephony Application Programming Interface (TAPI) telephony client.
TIME Show or set the system time
TIMEOUT This utility accepts a timeout parameter to wait for a specified period of time (in seconds) or until a key is pressed. Also accepts a parameter to skip the keypress
TITLE Sets the window title of a CMD.EXE session
TRACERPT The TRACERPT command is used to process real-time data or event trace logs
TRACERT It allows you to track the route between one computer and another on the network, it is widely used to know where a data packet has stopped on the network.
TREE DOS command that graphically displays the directory structure of a drive or path
TSDISCON Disconnect a Remote Desktop session
TSKILL Terminate a process
TYPE Displays the content of a text file
TYPEPERF Typeperf writes performance information to the command window or to a log file. To stop Typeperf press CTRL + C
TZUTIL Windows time zone utility
UNLODCTR Removes the counter name and long text for the specified repeating counter
SEE Show Windows version
VERIFY Tells Windows if it should check that the files are written correctly to a disk
VOL Displays the volume label and serial number of the disk
VSSADMIN Volume Shadow Copy Service administrative tool, images created by Windows for System Restore function.
For example, to list all existing images use: VSSADMIN list shadows
W32TM Tool used to diagnose conflicts of the local computer or one on the network with the Windows Time service (Windows time) when trying to synchronize or update the system clock
WAITFOR This tool sends or waits for a signal to arrive in a system. If / S is not specified, the signal will be broadcast to all systems in a domain. If / S is specified the signal will only be sent to the specified domain
WBADMIN Backup command line tool
WEVTUTIL Windows event command line utility. Retrieve information about publishers and event logs, install and uninstall event manifests, run queries, and export, archive, and delete logs
WHERE DOS commands showing the location of files that match the search pattern. By default, the search is done in the current directory and in the paths specified by the PATH environment variable
WHOAMI This utility can be used to obtain the destination of user name and group information along with the respective security identifiers (SID), privileges, login identifier (login ID) of the current user (access token ) on the local system. That is, who is the currently logged in user. If no modifier is specified, the tool displays username in NTLM format (domain username)
WINHLP32 MS-DOS command that runs Windows help files that use the HLP extension
WINRM Windows Remote Management command-line tool Windows Remote Management (WinRM) is Microsoft’s implementation of the WS-Management protocol, which provides a secure way to communicate with local and remote computers using Web services
WINRS DOS command that opens a command window in safe mode with a computer on the network
WINSAT Windows System Assessment Tool (WinSAT)
WMIC Displays WMI information in the interactive command shell. It allows access to all kinds of information, both from the local computer or another on the network, lists all the available hardware and software data
XCOPY Copy files and directory trees

Practical usage examples for MS-DOS

Below I show you a couple of examples so that you can see how the CMD commands work in practice :

  • copy source_file destination_file : Creates a duplicate file of any file.
ejemplos de comandos MS-DOS y como utilizarlos
We have created a copy of the text file “fastboot.exe” called “fastboot2.txt”. Made with PowerShell.
  • del fastboot.txt : Deletes the selected file, in this case, the file named fastboot.txt .
  • shutdown –r –f –t 5 : Restart the computer after a 5 second wait.
  • net user username / domain : Shows the properties of a domain user (last password change, active account or not, groups to which it belongs …).
  • systeminfo : Shows all the properties of the computer such as the operating system, processor, computer name, physical and virtual memory, etc.
  • nbtstat –a device_ip : By entering the IP of a device you can get the name of the machine and the MAC

Use of special characters: asterisk and question mark

The special characters or wildcards, allow to use the same command with several files:

The asterisk * helps us to work with files with a similar name and is used to represent several characters. For example, the DIR * .TXT command will show us all the files with the TXT extension located in the current folder.

Como usar el simbolo asterisco en ms-dos

The question mark is very similar to the asterisk. The only difference is that the? it only serves to replace a single character . For example, the command DIR FASTBOO? .TXT will show us all the files that start with FASTBOO and have a TXT extension.

Establish connection with your Android device using ADB and Fastboot commands

We can also take advantage of an MS-DOS or Powershell terminal to communicate with an Android mobile or tablet from the PC, using a USB cable and a few commands. These are called ADB ( Android Debug Bridge ) commands and they are used to carry out different tasks on Android systems, such as restarting the terminal, installing an application or entering the device’s recovery mode.

Here we go over 10 of the most prominent ADB commands.

adb devices It is used to know if the device is communicating correctly with the PC. If everything has gone well, we will be shown a list of the connected devices with their respective serial number and status.
adb install With this command line we can install applications in apk format on the device.
adb push Command to transfer files from PC to the indicated path of the Android device.
adb pull Copy files from device to PC.
adb reboot Restart the Android device.
adb reboot-bootloader Reboot the device and load the bootloader.
adb reboot-recovery Reboot the device and load the recovery menu.
fastboot devices Confirm if our Android has fastboot mode enabled and is connected.
adb shell Command to view the content and permissions of the terminal files and folders. Allows you to change permissions.
adb logcat Shows logs of recorded events.

You can see how these commands work in more detail in the Basic Guide to ADB commands for Android .

With regard to Fastboot, these are the commands that we can use:

update <filename> flash device from
flashall flash boot + recovery + system
flash <partition> [<filename>] write a file to a flash partition
erase <partition> delete a flash partition
format <partition> format a flash partition
getvar <variable> show a variable from the bootloader
boot <kernel> [<ramdisk>] download and boot the kernel
flash: raw boot <kernel> [<ramdisk>] create a boot image and flash it
devices list of connected devices
continue continue with autostart
reboot reboot the device normally
reboot-bootloader reboot device in bootloader
help show help message

You can get more details on how these commands work in the Fastboot for Android How-To Guide .

Another way to run CMD commands in Windows

All the above mentioned CMD commands can also be run from the Start box without having to open the MS-DOS console.
To do this, do the following:
➔ Type CMD / K command + option
This will run the command with the option and leave the CMD window open.
➔ Type CMD / C command + option
This will execute the command with the option and close the CMD window when finished.
Two examples:

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