The Windows Command Prompt is a Windows shell that allows you to execute command by typing them in and pressing enter on the keyboard.
Stemming from the Microsoft DOS operating system, this command prompt has continued to be available in Windows and allows administrators and users to quickly execute commands that manipulate Windows and the file system.
To learn more about how to use the Command Prompt once it is opened, you can read our Introduction to the Windows Command Prompt article. If you want to open an Elevated Command Prompt, which is one that runs with Administrator privileges, you can see the How to open a Windows 10 Elevated Command Prompt article instead.
Below we have provided two methods that can be used to open the command prompt in Windows.
Method 1: Open from Start Menu
You can launch the Windows Command Prompt directly from the Start Menu by typing cmd into the search field as shown below. This will display a search result called either cmd.exe in Windows 7 or Command Prompt in Windows 8 and Windows 10.
To launch the command prompt, simply click on the Command Prompt search result as shown above and the Windows Command Prompt window will open. When the command prompt is started, you will be in your home direct at C:Users[login_name].
You can now enter commands that you wish to execute and see their output in the command prompt. When you are ready to close the command prompt, you can type exit and press enter and the window will close.
Method 2: Open Command Prompt from Run: Dialog
The executable associated with the Windows Command prompt is C:WindowsSystem32cmd.exe and can be launched directly from the Run dialog box.
To open the Run dialog, press the Windows key ()and the R at the same time and a box similar to the one below will open. In the Open: field type cmd and then press the OK button.
After pressing the OK button, the Windows Command Prompt will open and you will be in your home directory, which is located C:Users[login_name], as shown below.
You can now type commands that you wish to execute and see their output in the command prompt. When you are ready to close the command prompt, you can type exit and press enter and the window will close.
If you are confused on how to use the command prompt, you should read our Introduction to the Windows Command Prompt article.