Basic Command Prompt Tips for Windows 10/8/7

Here are some basic Command Prompt Tricks and Tips to help a Windows user, while using the CMD in Windows 10, Windows 8 or Windows 7. To begin, first, launch Command Prompt.

Command Prompt Tips

1] Customize CMD window

You can customize your black CMD window any way you want. Click on the black CMD icon which appears on the top left side of the title bar and select Properties. Here you can change options, fonts, layout and colors too.

command prompt tips

You can also change the colors using the syntax: color [attr]

2] Copy or Paste in CMD

You cannot use  Ctrl+C to copy. To copy, you have to right-click inside the CMD, select Mark and then drag the highlighted box to the text you want to copy. Right-click on the text. It will automatically get copied.

To paste your Clipboard contents, you can right-click in the CMD and select Paste to paste the copied text. Or you may use Ctrl+V.

Alternatively, open the Properties box and from the Options tab, select Quick Edit option. Now you will be able to copy as usual.

3] Adjust size of the Prompt window

You can adjust the size of the Prompt window by using the following syntax:

Syntax: mode [width], [height]

4] Use Drag and Drop in Command Prompt

Rather than typing the full path of a file, you can simply drag and drop the file. The full path will get entered.

5] Auto-complete file paths in CMD

To auto-complete file paths, type the first part of the path, say E:\ . Now click on Tab. All available file names & folders will be cycled.

6] CMD Help

Need help with CMD? If you know a command but aren’t sure how it works, suffix the command with ‘/’ or ‘?’ and execute it. If the command is valid, the command prompt will give you all the information related to it.

7] CMD Keyboard Shortcuts

These Command Prompt keyboard shortcuts will help you work faster with it.

8] See Command Prompt History

Pressing arrow up selects a previous command from your command history; similarly, arrow down selects the next command. To see your complete command prompt history, press the F7 key.

command prompt history

You can see the Command history in a session, by pressing the F7 key. You can also type doskey /history in the CMD window, to see the command history in the command prompt itself.

Incidentally, running CMD in full-screen mode, by pressing Alt+Enter, is no longer supported, from Windows Vista onwards. But you can check this post for a workaround of sorts.

If you are looking for a Command prompt on steroids, try freeware TCC/LE.  It is a tool for power users who appreciate the power of cmd.

Looking for more? Check out these Advanced CMD Tricks for Windows 10/8/7.

Have a look at these posts too:

  1. How to change background and foreground color text in Command Prompt
  2. Video: How to customize the Command Prompt window.
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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.