Starting a Program from Command Prompt (with Pictures)

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Starting a Program from Command Prompt (with Pictures)
Starting a Program from Command Prompt (with Pictures)
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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.

Steps

Part 1 of 3: Starting the Command Prompt

Run a Program on Command Prompt Step 1

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

Run a Program on Command Prompt Step 2

Step 2. In the Run dialog box, type cmd

Run a Program on Command Prompt Step 3

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

Run a Program on Command Prompt Step 4

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.
Run a Program on Command Prompt Step 5

Step 2. In the command prompt window, type start explorer

This will open the Windows File Explorer.

Run a Program on Command Prompt Step 6

Step 3. Go to the Program Files folder, and then open the Internet Explorer folder

You can also open a folder of other software

Run a Program on Command Prompt Step 7

Step 4. Locate the iexplore.exe file

This is the file name of Internet Explorer.

Run a Program on Command Prompt Step 8

Step 5. In the command window, type start explore

Run a Program on Command Prompt Step 9

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

Run a Program on Command Prompt Step 10

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.

Run a Program on Command Prompt Step 11

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

Run a Program on Command Prompt Step 12

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.

Run a Program on Command Prompt Step 13

Step 4. In the Properties window, next to Location, write down the full path

Copy and paste does not work in the command window

Run a Program on Command Prompt Step 14

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.

Run a Program on Command Prompt Step 15

Step 6. Type path

The file path is added to PATH.

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