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30 Must Known Windows Command Prompts for IT Professionals

In this article, we’ll cover the 30 Windows command prompt commands to troubleshoot and manage Windows devices.

1. Launching Command Prompt

  1. To start, press the Windows Key + R on your keyboard
  2. Enter ‘cmd‘ and click ‘OK’
  3. Commands are typed into this screen, followed by the ‘Enter’ key on your keyboard.

2. IP Configuration

  • ipconfig: View your computer’s IP address and basic network information.
  • ipconfig /all: Get more detailed information, including MAC addresses and DNS servers.
  • ipconfig /displaydns: See all the websites your computer knows about and their IP addresses.
  • ipconfig /flushdns: Delete your DNS resolver cache, removing old, stale DNS entries.

3. Filtering Output with Find String

  • findstr: Use this command to filter output from other commands, such as ipconfig /all | findstr DNS.

4. IP Address Management

  • ipconfig /release: Release your current IP address.
  • ipconfig /renew: Renew your IP address from the DHCP server.

5. Troubleshooting DNS

  • nslookup: Look up the IP address of a domain, and get information about the DNS server being used.
  • nslookup example.com [DNS server]: Get a second opinion on a domain’s IP address using another DNS server.

6. Copy Output to Clipboard

  • command | clip: Copy the output of a command to your clipboard.

7. Check MAC Address

  • getmac /v: Display all MAC addresses for your computer.

8. Power Configuration

  • powercfg /energy: Check for energy or power issues.
  • powercfg /batteryreport: Generate a battery report.

9. File Associations

  • assoc: Show file types and their associated programs.

10. Clean Screen

  • cls: Clear your command prompt screen.

11. Checking Disk Health

  • chkdsk /f: Check and repair disk errors.
  • chkdsk /r: Check and repair physical sector issues.

12. System File Checker

  • sfc /scannow: Check and repair system files, including DLL files.

13. Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM)

  • dism /online /cleanup-image /checkhealth: Check the health of your system image.
  • dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth: Repair your system image.

14. Task Management

  • tasklist: List all running tasks.
  • taskkill /f /pid [PID]: Forcefully terminate a task using its process ID.

15. Network Shell (Netsh)

  • netsh wlan show wlanreport: Generate a wireless report.
  • netsh interface show interface: Show your network interfaces.
  • netsh advfirewall set allprofiles state off: Turn off the Windows Defender Firewall (use cautiously).

16. Ping and Traceroute

  • ping: Check if a website or server is up and responding.
  • ping -t: Continuously ping a website or server.
  • tracert: Trace the route to a website or server.

17. Netstat

  • netstat -a: Display all open ports and connections.
  • netstat -o: Show process IDs for all connections.

18. System Information

  • systeminfo: Get detailed information about your computer’s hardware and software.

19. Services Management

  • sc query: List all services on your computer.
  • sc start [service_name]: Start a service.
  • sc stop [service_name]: Stop a service.
  • sc config [service_name] start= auto: Set a service to start automatically.

20. User Accounts

  • net user: List all user accounts on your computer.
  • net user [username]: Display information about a specific user account.
  • net user [username] /active:yes: Activate a user account.
  • net user [username] /active:no: Deactivate a user account.
  • net localgroup administrators [username] /add: Add a user to the administrators group.

21. Windows Management Instrumentation (WMIC)

  • wmic qfe list: List all installed Windows updates.
  • wmic process list brief: List running processes with basic information.

22. System Uptime

  • systeminfo | findstr /c:"System Boot Time": Check your computer’s uptime since the last reboot.

23. Time and Date

  • time: Display the current time.
  • date: Display the current date.

24. Remote Desktop Connection

  • mstsc: Launch the Remote Desktop Connection client.

25. File and Folder Operations

  • dir: List files and folders in the current directory.
  • cd: Change the current directory.
  • md: Create a new folder.
  • rd: Remove a folder.
  • del: Delete a file.
  • xcopy: Copy files and folders, including subfolders.
  • robocopy: A more advanced file copy command, allowing for various options and settings.

26. Boot Configuration Data Editor

  • bcdedit: View and edit your computer’s boot configuration data.

27. Event Viewer

  • wevtutil qe System /c:5 /rd:true /f:text: Query the Event Viewer for the last five System events.

28. Resource Monitor

  • perfmon: Launch the Resource Monitor to view system performance.

29. Disk Cleanup

  • cleanmgr: Launch the Disk Cleanup utility.

30. File Compression

  • compact: Display or alter file compression settings.