How to Use the Command Prompt in Windows 11

The Command Prompt in Windows 11 is a powerful tool that allows you to execute commands and perform various tasks directly from the command line interface. Whether you're managing files, troubleshooting issues, or running scripts, the Command Prompt offers a wide range of functionalities. This guide will walk you through the basics of using the Command Prompt in Windows 11.


The Command Prompt, often referred to as CMD, is a command-line interpreter application available in Windows operating systems. It allows users to execute commands to perform tasks such as managing files and directories, running programs, and troubleshooting system issues. With its text-based interface, the Command Prompt provides a more direct way to interact with your computer compared to graphical user interfaces. This guide will help you get started with using the Command Prompt in Windows 11.

Step 1: Open the Command Prompt

  1. Click on the Start menu (Windows icon) at the bottom-left corner of your screen.
  2. Type "cmd" in the search bar.
  3. Click on the Command Prompt app to open it. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open it with administrative privileges.

Step 2: Basic Command Prompt Navigation

  1. View Current Directory: When you open the Command Prompt, it displays the current directory path. By default, it opens in your user profile directory.
  2. Change Directory: Use the cd command to navigate to a different directory. For example, to navigate to the Documents folder:
    cd Documents
  3. Go Back a Directory: Use cd .. to go back one directory level:
    cd ..
  4. List Directory Contents: Use the dir command to list the files and folders in the current directory:

Step 3: Managing Files and Folders

  1. Create a New Folder: Use the mkdir command to create a new folder. For example, to create a folder named "NewFolder":
    mkdir NewFolder
  2. Delete a Folder: Use the rmdir command to delete a folder. For example, to delete "NewFolder":
    rmdir NewFolder
  3. Create a New File: Use the echo command to create a new text file. For example, to create a file named "example.txt":
    echo This is a sample text file. > example.txt
  4. Delete a File: Use the del command to delete a file. For example, to delete "example.txt":
    del example.txt

Step 4: Running Programs

  1. Run an Executable: Type the name of the executable file to run a program. For example, to open Notepad:
  2. Run a Script: Use the full path to run a script file. For example, to run a batch script named "script.bat" located in the Scripts folder:

Step 5: Using Command Prompt with Administrative Privileges

  1. Open Elevated Command Prompt: Right-click on the Start menu and select Windows Terminal (Admin) or type "cmd" in the search bar, right-click on the Command Prompt app, and select Run as administrator.
  2. Confirm UAC Prompt: If prompted by User Account Control (UAC), click Yes to grant administrative privileges.

Step 6: Common Commands and Their Uses

  1. ipconfig: Display network configuration details.
  2. ping: Check the network connection to a specific address.
  3. tasklist: List all running processes.
  4. sfc /scannow: Run the System File Checker to repair system files.
    sfc /scannow
  5. chkdsk: Check the disk for errors.
    chkdsk C: /f

Step 7: Customizing the Command Prompt

  1. Change Command Prompt Colors: Use the color command followed by a code to change text and background colors. For example, to set white text on a black background:
    color 0F
  2. Customize the Prompt: Use the prompt command to change the appearance of the command prompt. For example, to display the current directory and a greater-than symbol:
    prompt $p$g

Additional Tips

  • Help Command: Use the help command to list available commands and their descriptions.
  • Command Syntax: Add /? to a command to display its syntax and options. For example:
    dir /?


You have successfully learned the basics of using the Command Prompt in Windows 11. With its wide range of commands and capabilities, the Command Prompt is a powerful tool for managing your system, running programs, and troubleshooting issues. By familiarizing yourself with these commands and techniques, you can leverage the full potential of the Command Prompt to enhance your computing experience.