In Windows, the Command Prompt allows you to issue instructions to a portion of the operating system that is not available through the graphical interface. Running a program from the command prompt can be faster because you don't have to look for the program's icon to open it. This article will show you how to use Command Prompt in Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.
Part 1 of 3: Starting the Command Prompt
Step 1. Click the Start menu, then Run
In Windows 8, right-click the Start menu, then click Run. You can also access this menu by pressing WIN + X keys
Step 2. In the Run dialog box, type cmd
Step 3. The Command Prompt window will open
The Command Prompt is a program that allows you to control your computer through commands
Part 2 of 3: Opening a program from the command prompt
Step 1. In the command prompt window, type start notepad
The Notepad will now open.
- Notepad is a word processor that is available in every version of Windows.
- The command start instructs the computer to open a program.
- For this to work you will need to know exactly what the filename is of the software you want to open.
Step 2. In the command prompt window, type start explorer
This will open the Windows File Explorer.
Step 3. Go to the Program Files folder, and then open the Internet Explorer folder
You can also open a folder of other software
Step 4. Locate the iexplore.exe file
This is the file name of Internet Explorer.
Step 5. In the command window, type start explore
Step 6. Find other programs you use frequently and write down the file names
Try opening the files with the start command.
These steps only work when programs are located in the Windows Program Files folder. If you want a program outside of this folder to start like this, read on for instructions on how to do that
Part 3 of 3: Making program files visible to the command prompt
Step 1. In the command window, type path
A series of file paths is printed on the screen, each separated by a semicolon. This is the PATH. When you use the start command, the command prompt looks in all these directories, looking for the filename you typed.
Step 2. If possible, move a program's folder to the Program Files folder
This will allow the command prompt to find the program executable file.
If you prefer not to move the program files, you can update PATH and add new file paths
Step 3. Open the properties of the program
Locate the program with an.exe extension that you want to open with the command prompt. Right-click the program file, then click Properties.
Step 4. In the Properties window, next to Location, write down the full path
Copy and paste does not work in the command window
Step 5. Use the setx command
The setx command causes a path to be added to PATH. Type setx path "%path%;, type the file path you wrote down a moment ago and then type ". Press Return.
Step 6. Type path
The file path is added to PATH.