Command Prompt Basics
A. Miyoshi

Command Prompt Basics

  Here, basic knowledge on the Windows Command Prompt is briefly summarized.  This is not intended to be used for learning Windows Command Prompt.  For this purpose, consult appropriate information on web pages.
  The Command Prompt is an extention of the text-based operating system, MS-DOS, which is a predecessor of Windows.  It is used to execute old promgrams, or the numerical calculation programs with text-based input/output.  Thus, many of the instructions here are common with the MS-DOS.

Starting a Command Prompt

Starting a Command Prompt with Current Directory Set to the Folder Open

Basic Concepts


Coresponding to "Folder" on Windows.  The directory currently in operation is called "Current Directory", and a file name specified without its location is assumed to be present in the current directory.


To execute an executable file, it must be reside in the current directory or in the directories specified by the "path".  To run numerical calculations in different directories, one may copy the executable files as many times as required, but it is wise to set the path.  A computer-wide path can be set from the [Environment Variables] in the [Details] tab of the [My Computer]'s [Property].

Handling Files and Directories

Major file and directory handling commands are summarized below.  Before issuing a command, check and understand the details by using the help command etc.


dir Display files and/or directories
copy Copy files or directories
move Move files or directories
ren Rename files
del Remove files or directories
mkdir Create a directory
rmdir Remove a directory
cd Change the current directory


The letters * and ? are used to specify multiple files in commands above.  Use with sufficient understanding.