Windows Command Line Cheat Sheet (Online Table and PDF)

Aaron Paul updated on Aug 24, 2022 to Knowledge Center

The Windows command line is a powerful tool that can be used for a variety of tasks. From basic tasks like managing files and directories to more advanced tasks like scripting and automation, the command line can help you do just about anything. This article will guide you on opening the Windows command prompt and provide you with the Windows command line cheat sheet.

Windows command prompt

What is Windows command line?

The windows command line is a text-based interface that allows you to execute commands on your computer. Often referred to as the "command prompt" or simply "prompt," the command line provides a text-based interface for issuing commands and controlling your computer. You can perform all sorts of tasks using the command line, from launching programs to accessing system settings. While the command line may seem daunting at first, it's actually quite easy to use. With a bit of practice, you can quickly learn how to use the windows command prompt to manage your computer more efficiently.

How do I open a command line in Windows?

Opening the command line in Windows is a simple process. First, open the Start menu by clicking the Start button or pressing the Windows key. Then, type "cmd" into the search box and press Enter. This will open the Windows Command Prompt. From here, you can type any commands you wish to execute.

Open Windows 11 command prompt

Alternatively, you can also press the "Windows key + R" on your keyboard. This will open the "Run" dialog box. Type "cmd" into the box and press Enter.

Run cmd via Windows plus R key

Now that you know how to open command prompt in Windows, you can use it to run various commands to perform tasks on your computer.

Windows Command Line Cheat Sheet

If you're new to the Windows command line, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. There are so many different commands and options, and it can be difficult to know where to start. But don't worry- we've got you covered. Our windows command line cheat sheet pdf provides a handy reference guide to all the most commonly used commands. Simply print it out or keep it open on your desktop, and you'll always have the information you need right at your fingertips. Or you can view the online sheet below, and start making the most of the command line!

Command What does it do?

Files & Folders Comands

assoc Fix file associations.
attrib Change file attributes.
cd (or chdir) Change current working directory.
comp Perform a comparison of multiple files.
compact Copy files from one location to another.
del (or erase) Delete files.
dir List files and subfolders.
expand Expand compressed files.
fc File compare.
find Filter a string in files.
findstr Search for patterns of text in files.
md (or mkdir) Create  a directory or subdirectory.
move Move files from one directory to another.
openfiles Display the current open files list or disconnect opened files/folders.
print Send a text file to a printer.
rd (or rmdir) Delete a directory.
ren (or rename) Rename a file or directory.
replace Replace existing or add new files to a directory.
robocopy Copy file data from one location to another.
tree Display tree structure of a directory.
type Display the contents of a text file.
xcopy Copy files and directories.

Disk & Partition Commands

active Mark the partition with focus as active.
chkdsk Check disk.
chkntfs Display or modify automatic disk checking when the computer is started.
clean Remove all partitions or volume formatting from the disk with focus.
convert Convert a disk from one disk type to another.
create Create partition or volume.
defrag Locates and consolidates fragmented files on local volumes.
delete Delete a partition or a volume.
detail Display information about the selected disk.
diskcomp Compare the contents of two floppy disks.
diskcopy Copy content of the disk.
diskpart Manage computer disks and drives.
diskperf Start or stop disk performance counters for Performance Monitor.
extend Extend a partition or a volume.
format Format a disk to accept Windows files.
freedisk Check to see if the specified amount of disk space is available before continuing with an installation process.
fsutil Perform tasks that related to FAT and NTFS file systems.
gpt Assign gpt attribute(s) to a partition.
label Create, change, or delete the volume label of a disk.
list Display a list of disks.
recover Recover readable information from a bad or defective disk.
vol Display the disk volume label and serial number.

Network Commands

arp Display and modify entries in the ARP cache.
bitsadmin Create, download or upload jobs and monitor their progress.
dnscmd Manage DNS servers.
ftp Connect to and use FTP.
getmac Return the MAC address.
ipconfig IP configuration.
ipxroute Display and modify information about the routing tables used by the IPX protocol.
irftp Sends files over an infrared link.
jetpack Compact a WINS or DHCP database.
netsh Network Shell utility.
netstat Display network statistics.
net use Connect/disconnect a computer to/from a shared resource
ping View the computer name and the IP address of an endpoint computer.
tracert Determine the route to a destination by sending ICMP packets to the destination.

System Information & Configuration Commands

date Display or set the system date.
driverquery Display device driver status and properties.
hostname Display the computer hostname.
powercfg Power configuration.
shutdown Turn off computer.
systeminfo Display computer system information.
time Display or set the system time.
ver Display Windows system version number.

Command Line Setup Commands

cls Clear the command prompt window.
cmd Start a new instance of the command interpreter.
color Change the foreground and background colors in the Command Prompt window for the current session.
exit Quit and close the command prompt.
help Display a list of the available commands.
prompt Change the Cmd.exe command prompt.
title Set the Cmd.exe window title.

 

Conclusion

Windows command line can be extremely useful for any Windows user. If you want to learn more about using the commands, the windows command line cheat sheet would be a great resource. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced user, the sheet can help you get the most out of your windows experience.

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