Not to be confused with COMMAND.COM.
"Command Prompt" redirects here. For the concept, see command prompt.

Command Prompt (cmd.exe)
A component of Microsoft Windows

Command Prompt in Windows 10
Other names Windows Command Processor
Type Command-line interpreter
Included with
Related components

Command Prompt, also known as cmd.exe or cmd (after its executable file name), is the command-line interpreter on Windows NT, Windows CE, OS/2 and eComStation operating systems. It is the counterpart of COMMAND.COM in DOS and Windows 9x systems (where it is also called "MS-DOS Prompt"), and analogous to the Unix shells used on Unix-like systems. The initial version of Command Prompt for Windows NT was developed by Therese Stowell.[1]


Command Prompt interacts with the user through a command-line interface. In Windows, this interface is implemented through Win32 console. Command Prompt may take advantage of features available to native programs of its own platform. For example, in OS/2, it can use real pipes in command pipelines, allowing both sides of the pipeline to run concurrently. As a result, it is possible to redirect the standard error stream. (COMMAND.COM uses temporary files, and runs the two sides serially, one after the other.)

Comparison with MS-DOS Prompt

In Windows, Command Prompt is compatible with COMMAND.COM but provides the following extensions over it:

Internal commands have also been improved:

See also


  1. Zachary, G. Pascal (1994). Showstopper! The Breakneck Race to Create Windows NT and the Next Generation at Microsoft. Warner Books. ISBN 0-02-935671-7.
  2. "Windows 2000 delayed environment variable expansion.". Windows IT Pro. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  3. "Setlocal". Microsoft. Retrieved 13 January 2015.

Further reading

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