How to Open Command Prompt in Windows

The command prompt is the command line interface in Windows. It’s a feature that will remind you of running MS-DOS systems, if you’re that old, and requires precise text-based command lines to interact with the computer. You may see different terms for Command Prompt on Windows, such as PowerShell (a more advanced version on Windows 10 and 11) or Windows Terminal, but these are all command line interfaces. Almost everything is more accessible using the Windows user interface. But you can perform tasks using the command prompt, such as quickly creating or deleting files and folders, listing or changing directories, commands to find network information and system level troubleshooting. Here’s how to open the command prompt in Windows.

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To open the command prompt in Windows, use the Windows search bar, type Command Prompt or ordered, and open the app. You can also run the Run command (Windows key + R) and type orderedor open the Power User menu (right click on the Start button or Windows key + X shortcut) and click Terminal.


How to Open Command Prompt in Windows

Find a command prompt

search command prompt windows

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There are several ways to open the command prompt in Windows. The easiest way is to search for it. Type Command Prompt or ordered in the Windows search bar and click on the application that appears. From the menu on the right, select Execute as administrator if you need to run commands that require administrator access.

Use the Run command window

run command to open cmd

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The Run command window is a quick way to launch a Windows program by name, using a short code, or typing the full file directory. You can launch the Run window by searching for it, using the Windows key + R shortcut, or by right-clicking the start button to open the Power User menu and clicking Course. Type ordered to open the command prompt.

Open Command Prompt with Power User menu

open command prompt with power user menu

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The Power User menu provides quick access to various system-level settings and features at a glance. Right-click on the Windows start button or use the Windows key + X shortcut to open menu and click Terminal or Terminal (administrator). It could also be called Windows Terminal or WindowsPowerShell.

switch to command prompt from powershell

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On Windows 10 and 11, Terminal will open PowerShell, a more advanced version of the command prompt. To upgrade to the older version, click the down arrow (next to the plus icon) and select Command Prompt (hold down the Ctrl key while clicking to open the command prompt with administrator access). You can also use the Ctrl+Shift+2 shortcut in powershell to launch command prompt in new tab.

How to switch between Command Prompt and PowerShell

switch to powershell from command prompt

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PowerShell is a task-based command-line interface that comes with system administration features. All Command Prompt commands are backwards compatible with PowerShell, and the new app is the best to use. You can directly open PowerShell by searching for it in the Windows search bar or by right-clicking the Start button and choosing Terminal.

close command prompt tab

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If you have already opened the command prompt, you can easily switch to PowerShell. Click the down arrow (next to the plus icon) and click the Windows PowerShell. You can also use the Ctrl+Shift+1 shortcut to open it in a new tab. Close the Command Prompt tab and continue using PowerShell.

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