The command prompt (CMD) has been a core feature of the Windows operating system for a long time. It is also one of the most powerful and flexible features of Windows OS. However, with the rise of GUI, the use of CMD is slowly fading out. However, it still provides several powerful yet easy-to-use commands to control and perform a variety of operations. CMD can be used to perform a variety of operations including disk utility operations, networking, managing OS, and more. While there are several rumors about Microsoft phasing out command prompt, it is highly unlikely to happen anytime soon.
Here are the top CMD commands every Windows user should know
ASSOC: Fix File Associations
It is an internal Windows command used to display or change the file name extension associations. When used without parameters, this command will display all the current file name extensions in the PC associated with the programs. There can be multiple applications on your PC that support a particular file type. It can get quite confusing to remember the default OS choice and using this command can help users remind the respective allocations of file type with the program.
You can also use this command to assign, modify, and delete the file associations. However, to make changes in associations, you will need to have administrator privileges. More information about the command can be found here.
This command is used to display all the current TCP/IP network configurations of your device. When used without parameters, the IPConfig command displays IPV4 and IPV6 addresses, subnet mask, and default gateway of all the adaptors. This command can also be used to refresh the DNS address and can also be used to renew the DHCP configuration for all the connected adapters.
IPConfig command can also be used to troubleshoot various networking and communications problems in your Windows PC. It can be used in troubleshooting DNS and IP address lease issues on top of providing the essential networking details. More information on ways to use IPConfig can be found here.
Ping and tracert
Ping and tracert commands are some of the most widely used networking commands to know whether or not the data packets are making it to a specified networked device or a server. While Ping followed by an IP address or web domain enables if the web packets are being delivered and received back, Tracert on the other hand provides information about each step in the route between your PC and the target.
Cipher is a built-in command-line tool in the Windows operating system that can be used to perform encryption or decryption of data on all the associated NTFS drives. This tool can also be used to securely delete the data by overwriting it with new data. In Windows, when you delete some data or files, it is not truly deleted and can be recovered. This is because Windows makes the deleted data inaccessible but does not wipe down the data. Cipher command can be used to wipe this data down by replacing it with random data, making the deleted data unrecoverable.
SFC: System File Checker
The Windows System File Checker (SFC) is a built-in powerful tool in Windows OS. The tool allows you to repair corrupted system files in Windows. However, you need to have administrator privileges to perform this operation. The command can be used to perform a verification of the file system and can scan all the protected system files and replace the corrupted files with a cached copy.
Task scheduler in windows can help users schedule and launch computer programs, applications, or scripts at pre-defined times or in timed intervals. schtasks is a command prompt equivalent of the Windows task scheduler that can be used to perform the exact same operations with the added advantage of simplifying complex operations with commands. Users need to have administrator privileges to be able to use and operate schtasks command to schedule, view, or change the tasks on your local or remote computer.
One of the easiest ways to find all the system information, configuration, and other details and overview in a Windows PC is to use the SystemInfo command. This command provides the hostname, OS name and version, registered owner, system manufacturer, system boot time, BIOS version, system model and type, processor information, and more. This command can also be used to check the system configuration of a remotely connected host in your local network. However, this may require additional parameters such as domain name, user name, and password.
There are several other CMD commands on top of these aforementioned tools that can be used to better control and manage a Windows-powered device. There are hundreds of commands that are supported in Windows that can be used to perform a variety of operations. Moreover, each of these commands also comes up with various parameters and options, further extending the use and applications. For more information on these commands and to explore every other command that the Windows OS supports, click here.