Windows Commands: Think You Know It All !?


Think you know it all, huh!? Talking about Windows commands… Look at the list below and think twice! :)

Here is the list of Windows "keyboard" commands that come very handy when working with (mostly fixing or configuring) something in Windows. Quick example on how to run these commands: go to "Start -> Run" type the command name, and … magic! a corresponding GUI window appears in front of your eyes! :)

windows run command prompt

For example to see "network connections" window all you need to do is to go to "Start -> Run", type "ncpa.cpl" and click Enter as shown above – that’s all!

Here is the magic list of commands compiled by and updated by me. Enjoy:

Accessibility Controls access.cpl
Add Hardware Wizard hdwwiz.cpl
Add/Remove Programs appwiz.cpl
Administrative Tools control admintools
Automatic Updates wuaucpl.cpl
Bluetooth Transfer Wizard fsquirt
Calculator calc
Certificate Manager certmgr.msc
Character Map charmap
Check Disk Utility chkdsk
Clipboard Viewer clipbrd
Command Prompt cmd
Component Services dcomcnfg
Computer Management compmgmt.msc
Control Panel control panel
Date and Time Properties timedate.cpl
DDE Share ddeshare
Device Manager devmgmt.msc
Direct X Control Panel (If Installed)* directx.cpl
Direct X Troubleshooter dxdiag
Disk Cleanup Utility cleanmgr
Disk Defragment dfrg.msc
Disk Management diskmgmt.msc
Disk Partition Manager diskpart
Display Properties control desktop
Display Properties desk.cpl
Display Properties (w/Appearance Tab Preselected) control color
Dr. Watson System Troubleshooting Utility drwtsn32
Driver Verifier Utility verifier
Event Viewer eventvwr.msc
File Signature Verification Tool sigverif
Findfast findfast.cpl
Folders Properties control folders
Fonts control fonts
Fonts Folder fonts
Free Cell Card Game freecell
Game Controllers joy.cpl
Group Policy Editor (XP Prof) gpedit.msc
Hearts Card Game mshearts
Iexpress Wizard iexpress
Indexing Service ciadv.msc
Internet Properties inetcpl.cpl
IP Configuration (Display Connection Configuration) ipconfig /all
IP Configuration (Display DNS Cache Contents) ipconfig /displaydns
IP Configuration (Delete DNS Cache Contents) ipconfig /flushdns
IP Configuration (Release All Connections) ipconfig /release
IP Configuration (Renew All Connections) ipconfig /renew
IP Configuration (Refreshes DHCP & Re-Registers DNS) ipconfig /registerdns
IP Configuration (Display DHCP Class ID) ipconfig /showclassid
IP Configuration (Modifies DHCP Class ID) ipconfig /setclassid
Java Control Panel (If Installed) jpicpl32.cpl
Java Control Panel (If Installed) javaws
Keyboard Properties control keyboard
Local Security Settings secpol.msc
Local Users and Groups lusrmgr.msc
Logs You Out Of Windows logoff
Microsoft Chat winchat
Minesweeper Game winmine
Mouse Properties control mouse
Mouse Properties main.cpl
Network Connections control netconnections
Network Connections ncpa.cpl
Network Setup Wizard netsetup.cpl
Notepad notepad
Nview Desktop Manager (If Installed) nvtuicpl.cpl
Object Packager packager
ODBC Data Source Administrator odbccp32.cpl
On Screen Keyboard osk
Opens AC3 Filter (If Installed) ac3filter.cpl
Password Properties password.cpl
Performance Monitor perfmon.msc
Performance Monitor perfmon
Phone and Modem Options telephon.cpl
Power Configuration powercfg.cpl
Printers and Faxes control printers
Printers Folder printers
Private Character Editor eudcedit
Quicktime (If Installed) QuickTime.cpl
Regional Settings intl.cpl
Registry Editor regedit
Registry Editor regedit32
Remote Desktop mstsc
Removable Storage ntmsmgr.msc
Removable Storage Operator Requests ntmsoprq.msc
Resultant Set of Policy (XP Prof) rsop.msc
Scanners and Cameras sticpl.cpl
Scheduled Tasks control schedtasks
Security Center wscui.cpl
Services services.msc
Shared Folders fsmgmt.msc
Shuts Down Windows shutdown
Sounds and Audio mmsys.cpl
Spider Solitare Card Game spider
SQL Client Configuration cliconfg
System Configuration Editor sysedit
System Configuration Utility msconfig
System File Checker Utility (Scan Immediately) sfc /scannow
System File Checker Utility (Scan Once At Next Boot) sfc /scanonce
System File Checker Utility (Scan On Every Boot) sfc /scanboot
System File Checker Utility (Return to Default Setting) sfc /revert
System File Checker Utility (Purge File Cache) sfc /purgecache
System File Checker Utility (Set Cache Size to size x) sfc /cachesize=x
System Properties sysdm.cpl
Task Manager taskmgr
Telnet Client telnet
User Account Management nusrmgr.cpl
Utility Manager utilman
Windows Explorer explorer
Windows Firewall firewall.cpl
Windows Magnifier magnify
Windows Management Infrastructure wmimgmt.msc
Windows System Security Tool syskey
Windows Update Launches wupdmgr
Windows Version winver
Windows XP Tour Wizard tourstart
Wordpad write


Think you don’t need that cause you use Linux or Mac? Well, I use Ubuntu myself, but guess what – still deal with Windows machines on a daily bases, and trust me – Windows is not going anywhere… well at least untilt tomorrow it is not ;)


  1. quite a list, man – thx!

    I like “winver” a lot, cause on the old and faulty Windows box it takes time to retrieve this info with mouse.

  2. Like it! “tourstart” is cool – I’ll use it next time I am in a computer store (BestBuy…) or malls- should be fun to load all the PCs with it

  3. Who needs this crap!?
    Windows is obsolete the way I look at it. I love my Mac, and do not interact with MS PCs anymore, which makes me very happy!

  4. This is a very nice list, however it misses som stuff like “iexplorer” for Internet Explorer, etc..

  5. Well, yea – make sure you can type “firefox” alright, and forget “iexplorer” :)

  6. MAC’S SUCK ASS. I’m sorry, but they do. I use Unbuntu. iexplorer doesn’t open a browser, dumbass. BTW, If you don’t use firefox, you are in fact computer retarded.

  7. wtf-you're-a-punk

    The irony kills me. Get a life twat.

    wtf wrote:
    “MAC’S SUCK ASS. I’m sorry, but they do. I use Unbuntu. iexplorer doesn’t open a browser, dumbass. BTW, If you don’t use firefox, you are in fact computer retarded.”

  8. @Jenk Yoki & Edward Ten:
    Actually, it’s not ‘iexplorer;’ it’s ‘iexplore.’

    Great list. Thanks-

  9. Sucks to be you Mac and Linux users. I’m going to play the latest cutting edge games while you stare at your desktop! Suck it!
    J/K =)
    Instead of making idiot remarks about other peoples OS why don’t you give reasons why you think it’s better than any other OS. I’ve used linux a lot BUT I can’t get any of the games I play to work no matter what. (Yes i’ve used wine). I’ve never used a mac before simply because.. Why? My windows box can do anything a mac can do for what I need it for. But that doesn’t mean I won’t love it if I ever get the opportunity to get one! Anyway good article.

  10. @tsk tsk- u tried Cedega? yea u have to pay for it but i hear its good for making game work on linux.

    my personal choice for gaming tho is my 360 leaving my linux pc for game programming ^^

  11. @drezta
    Thanks for the tip. I checked it out (cedega) and it seems to be 55 dollars a year, or 5 dollars a month depending on your options.
    As for consoles I have no money haha. I’m currently going to school for computer networking and have a 3 year old and another on the way! I’m still trying to scrape money to take my certifications! So maybe in a year or so I can get a console. Everybody else I know has a PS3 or 360 and I’m jealous.

    @ Andrew
    Thanks I’ll have to check it out

  12. I think it’s great that the on screen keyboard has a shortcut except for the fact that if you need the on screen keyboard you can’t type in the shortcut lol

  13. I’ve never published my personal list except for on a private forum of mine but you guys may like, I apologize for duplicates from above but I’m not going to go through to delete all the duplicates:

    Firefox Shortcuts
    Spacebar (page down)
    Shift-Spacebar (page up)
    Ctrl+K (go to search box)
    Ctrl+L (go to address bar)
    Ctrl+F (find)
    Alt-N (find next)
    Ctrl+D (bookmark page)
    Ctrl+T (new tab)
    Ctrl+= (increase text size)
    Ctrl+- (decrease text size)
    Ctrl-W (close tab)
    F5 (reload)
    Alt-Home (go to home page)

    Go to the address bar (Control-L) and type the name of the site without the “www” or the “.com”. Let’s say “google”. Then press Control-Enter, and it will automatically fill in the “www” and the “.com” and take you there – like magic! For .net addresses, press Shift-Enter, and for .org addresses, press Control-Shift-Enter.

    Open a command window executing a command leaving window up
    cmd /k commandhere
    ex: cmd /k ipconfig
    tip: combine multiple commands with & ipconfig & ping

    View Last Reboot Time
    net statistics server | more

    Open a command window executing a command closing window
    cmd /c commandhere
    ex: cmd /c ipconfig>C:\ipconfig.txt (saves ipconfig to ipconfig.txt then closes cmd window)

    Run a program as another user
    runas /user:domain\username appname
    ex: runas /user:jeffk cmd.exe
    Tip: it’s useful to open a cmd.exe and run all your commands from this cmd.exe as all children will be ran with it’s credentials. Then just goto task manager and right click the cmd.exe and kill the tree so you don’t leave any privledged programs up

    Tip2: Since you can’t do a runas on explorer.exe you can run internet explorer with runas credentials and then type the path in like C: in the location bar you then are effectively in a runas of explorer

    Note: You must have the Secondary Logon Service on for this to work

    Reset a local users Password:
    net user USERNAME *
    ex: net user jeffk *

    Remote Desktop into Console of specific computer
    Mstsc /v:computername /console
    Ex: mstsc /v:deserver /console

    Map a network Drive
    Net use drivename: \\server\share
    Net use z: \\daserver\music

    Force network credentials
    Net use \\server\sharename /user:domain\user
    Ex: net user \\daserver\music /user:jeffk
    Tip: Before using this you may want to issue net use * /d to delete previously stored credentials, or you can view your credentials by just typing net use

    Find Current Hostname
    In cmd.exe type hostname
    Tip:use cmd /k hostname from run

    Windows Key Shortcuts
    Windows+D (Show Desktop)
    Windows+R (Same as clicking start>Run)
    Windows+L (Lock Computer)
    Windows+Pause/Break (System Properties)
    Windows+E (Explorer)

    Misc Shortcuts
    \ – When typed at the Run dialog brings you to your root drive.
    Home/End – Begining/End of line, not really a shortcut but overlooked
    Ctrl+Home/End – Position the cursor to the very first/last position in the file.
    F2 – Rename A file (while file is selected)
    F3 Open Search/Find
    Shift+F5 (Refresh Page and Cache in IE)
    F4 Pull down drop down list in explorer
    F6 Select Location Bar in IE and firefox
    Shift+Del – Delete with sending to recycling bin
    Ctrl+H Is Search & Replace in most editors
    Alt+Space (Bring Up Minimize Maximize context window)
    Ctrl+Esc (Windows Key Equivalent)
    Ctrl+Alt+End (Send Ctrl+Alt+Del to remote desktop)
    Ctrl+Shift+Esc (Task Manager)
    Ctrl+Ins (Copy Text from Message Box)
    Alt+Printscreen (Printscreen only the focused window)
    Ctrl+Arrow Key (Left or Right) (Move the cursor over one word at a time, hold shift also to select the words)
    ALT+Double Click on an Icon (Open Properties)
    Ctrl+Drag (Copy Whatever is selected to dropped location, works on text, files, icons…)
    Ctrl+Scroll Wheel (Increase/Decrease font size in IE/Firefox)
    Ctrl+Enter in the location bar in IE (adds www. and .com to whatever you typed)
    Ctrl+G Takes you to a specific line in notepad

    Regjump from sysinternals (jumps you to a specific key in the registry)
    Put regjump.exe in your %windir%\system32 folder…
    Start>run regjump keyname
    Ex: regjump hklm\software

    Environmental Variables (use these at start>run to quickly goto or anywhere in explorer) (Also see This)
    Tip: Type set to see your variables

    Start>Run>system or Start>Run>system32 {enter} to bring up the corresponding folder

    Tip: Sadly some people don’t know that when asked to save you can type in a drive letter or an environmental variable and press enter it’ll take you to that folder/drive then you can specify a filename to save.

    Tip2: When Saving a file if you type the filename in quotes it doesn’t matter what you select in the drop down list to save as so put like “blah.cmd” in notepad when saving it and it’ll save it as .cmd not .txt without having to select *.* from the drop down

    Tip3: In explorer when saving or opening you can filter them by typing *.extension. For example to view only mp3 files type *.mp3 and press enter

    In explorer make sure one icon is selected then just start typing the filename and it’ll take you to it.

    Tip5: The icons in the top left of the title bar in explorer are fully functional, so if you right click it you’ll have the same options as if you’d right click the folder up a level.

    Create a new folder
    Do this in sequence: Right Click>press w>press f

    Create a new text file
    Do this in sequence: Right Click>press w>press t

    For all the commands below click Start>Run or press Windows+R then type the following:
    Control Panel Applets
    appwiz.cpl (Add/Remove Programs)
    ncpa.cpl (Network Connections)
    sysdm.cpl (System)
    nusrmgr.cpl (User Account Management)
    desk.cpl (Display Properties)
    inetcpl.cpl (Internet Settings)
    powercfg.cpl (Power Configuration Settings)
    firewall.cpl (Firewall Settings)

    Domain Administration (Install support tools)
    dsa.msc (Active Directory Users and computers)
    dssite.msc (Active Directory Sites & Services)
    adsiedit.msc (ADSI edit)
    wuauclt /detectnow (automatically detect if new WSUS updates are available)
    GPResult (Resultant Set of Policy)
    Gpupdate /force /boot /logoff /target:computername
    dsquery computer -name %hostname% (Find the OU the computer resides in)
    dsquery user -name %username% (Finds the OU the user resides in)
    dsquery computer -desc “text here*” (Finds a computer name based on info in the desc)
    Other MMC stuff
    fsmgmt.msc (Shared Folders)
    compmgmt.msc (Computer Management)
    gpedit.msc (Policy Editor)
    devmgmt.msc (Device Manager)
    diskmgmt.msc (Disk Management)
    lusrmgr.msc (Local User Management)

    Misc Run Commands
    shutdown –a (Abort a shutdown)
    control (Open the Control Panel)
    control folders (Folder Options)
    control printers (Printer Folder)
    logoff (Log Off Windows)
    eventvwr (Event Viewer)
    winver (Show Your Version Of Windows)
    pbrush – Microsoft Paint
    taskmgr – Task Manager
    tasklist – Task Manager
    wmplayer (Windows Media Player)
    odbcad32 (ODBC Administrator)
    sndvol32 – Launch Volume control
    osk – On Screen Keyboard
    control schedtasks – Scheduled Tasks
    wupdmgr – Launch windows update

  14. Thank you “kacklinator”, great list! Feels like there is a lot of your own time behind it..

    It really is a very cool addition to my post – thank you!


  15. Scott Mitchell

    In Windows XP Pro you can type

    wmic csproduct > csproduct.txt

    This creates a text file with info about your PC System info like Motherboard type and serial number, etc.

    wmic cpu > cpu.txt (gives alot of info about your processor(s))

    Type WMIC /? for all the nifty things you can query on your PC. Some of the information is displayed in a very wide format so it’s good to pipe it into a txt file so you can scroll to the right.

  16. Good one. Thank you for all these commands!

  17. Very cool I like it so much Good work :)

  18. Very nice. I have needed some of these in the past. thanks

  19. kacklinator
    great list! you just give me a lot a very useful tips, thank you very much

    The original post is good but it´s a little easier to find, thanks anyway

  20. There is one more command to direct bootup without typing password: just type “Control Userpasswords2″ without “.

  21. nice list, probably handy when i need to fix something, but surely I wont remember where i founf it when that happens..

    omg, can we not talk about which is the best OS? whatever, let each one use the one they like! man…

  22. I own 8 Windows computers (3 laptops, a couple servers, 3 desktops) with O/S incl Vista, XP, Win2k, WinME. I also own 2 MACs … OSX (MacBookPro) and OS 8.5

    Before I get flamed with wise-ass questions like “why?”, it’s because I’m a network engineer and use this home network to recreate real world problems.

    Bottom line is that MACs are essentially for simplistic people that don’t “Get it”. If you crawled out from under a rock yesterday and do not have the mind/will to invest in a learning curve, the MAC is for you. There’s a reason Windows dominates the rest of the world … it’s relatively open and far more robust. Linux / Unix are far leaner and you get more bang for your buck, but there’s far less apps avail for this platform.

    MACs have some cool features … some of which are cool enough to even show up in Vista. Widgets, for instance, are a very handy tool. But overall, MACs are anemic. And if you use Safari for your browser, you’re really hating life.

    People that invest in MACs feel the need to justify their position, so they make stupid remarks like the one you see elsewhere on this page. Just blow them off and smile … they deserve the waste of money and narrow perspective they support.

  23. On windows or guidos whatever you may prefer, the best thing ever is to get freedom from mouse and click – that’s what these commands (CLI) are all about.

    Wnnna get real freedom while on gui – get “launchy”. and what not you can do.

    Believe me not but you yourself, try launchy once and you will love the keyboard. Tell me if not.
    btw, launchy ver 2.0 is not cool, its chilly man.

    oh yes you will need all those command (the fuel) to drive this super car – launchy.

  24. You could also make a folder and then make these shortcuts. ;)

  25. Great Post! I really like ipconfig /displaydns and ipconfig /registerdns. Thanks Again!

  26. Great info. Thanks for sharing

  27. You should Add:

    Power Options Properties — PowerCfg.cpl

    i never see this one on any of these “list’s”.

  28. Always like running my most common apps from the start run. Nice list thanks

  29. welll all of this reminds me of the days of Dos vs windows 95….commands or cool…icons are cool….nothing ever changes…
    and i have be working on computers evercents 1985… it is not the OS it is Religion the gods of linix mac or windows…
    give me a hammer……….

  30. It’s pretty obvious you’ve never tested some of these. For example “ipconfig /displaydns” isn’t helpful, the console closes before you have time to read the results. Better would be “cmd /k ipconfig /displaydns”, which will keep the console window up. Same goes for some of the other commands you list that display info.

    Also Win+R is the keyboard shortcut for Start -> Run.

  31. @anon,

    It is pretty obvious that you can type “Win + R” + “cmd” + “Enter”, and then type “ipconfig /displaydns”, which is in fact very helpful.


  32. Nice list. Thank you for scharing.

  33. Great article. Knowing shortcut keys is an excellent method to either: force GUI to work and solve problems or save time with directly opening control Windows or admin controls without clicking 10 times.

  34. 1. why all the first comment dates say 2007?
    2. for all of you who want to argue about which OS is the best.., if the OS you are usin` to read this is the only OS installed on your system at the moment, you should go back to your shiny windows game or whatever it is you were doin` (i have no idea what ppl do on macs) and keep your opinions to yourselves.
    i figure you won`t have a problem followin` my orders since you like bein` bossed around by the text on your screens.

  35. Some of the above commands must be typed in from the console and will not execute properly from the Run command line. For example, the IPCONFIG commands will execute and display the information in a console window, and then remove the window when it finishes execution, which is probably a great deal faster than you could read the information it presented. Solution? Start/Run “cmd” to get a console window, then type in the command you wish.

  36. Nice list, thanks for sharing

  37. Yawn. You figured out how to run Control Panel applets from the Start/Run menu. Big deal.

  38. I wish we were all as cool as you, Lame List.

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