Introduction: How to Start Command Prompt (complete)

Picture of How to Start Command Prompt (complete)

I know Instructables on how to do this are already out there. Don't tell me that, please. I have my reasons for making this. All of the Instructables I have seen out there on how to open command prompt basically only show you one way to do it. I will show you basically all of the ways. If I leave one out, please tell me.

If you are using Mac-OS go right to step 5.

Linux, step 6.

Collaboration is now enabled. If you know of a way to start command prompt or an operating system that is not covered in this, please PM me and I will add you as a collaborator.

Remember, Instructables have licenses. This Instructable is using the Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license. To see what freedoms this license gives you, click here.

By proceeding to the following steps you agree that I will not be held liable for damages to any computer you use information from this Instructable on, and that this information is for educational purposes only.

Step 1: Not Even Blocked

Picture of Not Even Blocked

If you are doing this from home, command prompt probably won't be blocked. You can go to start, run, and type in cmd. Then press enter or click OK. For those of you who like hotkeys or shortcuts, pressing Ctrl+Esc+R will bring up run also.

P.S. I am assuming you are using a version of Windows if you are even here. I don't think Macs even have command prompt...

Step 2: No Run? No Difference!

Picture of No Run?  No Difference!

Sometimes, command prompt may be more difficult to get to. For example, you may be at school or some other public place, and Run may be blocked! Gasp! There is no button on the start menu and the hotkey from step 1 doesn't work! Luckily, with windows there are usually multiple ways to do one thing. The first way we will try is to make a shortcut. Make a shortcut on your desktop that goes to C:\WINDOWS\System32\cmd.exe. If you can not right click, go to my computer and click the up button until you get to your desktop. You can then click File (on the menu bar) and then click New Shortcut. This is where you can enter the path above. If for some reason or other, you can't make shortcuts, you'd better go to the next step. If you can make a shortcut, but you get a error message like in the third picture down there, you had better keep going also, and you may even have to use the complex method.

Step 3: Using Notepad to Make a Shortcut.

Picture of Using Notepad to Make a Shortcut.

Now we will try using notepad to make a shortcut to command prompt. Open notepad. If notepad is blocked, you can open up your web browser (for example Internet Explorer) and right click on a page and View Source. Or you can right click and click New, Text File. Or use the File Button on the Menu Bar instead of right clicking. However you do it, you need to end up with an instance of Notepad open.

Type this:

That is all you have to type. Now save it as a file with the extension .bat. Now go run it by double clicking.

STILL doesn't work? Try the next step.

Step 4: Use a Batch File

Picture of Use a Batch File

If none of these steps work, it means your IT department is actual good. Mostly, school IT departments are made up of one or two morons who can type. I know mine is. It is basically one guy in need of a shave who hates kids. What kind of moron works at a school if he hates kids? But now I am getting sidetracked. Bad me! Well, I had to include some kind of batch file in this; I love batch files. Now, lets see, I need some kind of test. I will include my batch file, but it will be compiled as an executable. Now before you protest because you want open source, give me a second to explain. I am including a decompiler with my batch file. To run it all you have to do is use the parameter "decompile" when you start my file.

Look at the two images below. Can you tell which one is real?

Step 5: Mac OS X

Mac OS X is built on a version of Unix called Darwin. To access the Unix command prompt in Mac OS X, open the Terminal application. It is located by default inside the Utilities folder, which in turn is inside the Applications folder.

For information about Unix commands, see Introduction to Unix commands.

This infromation was quoted from here.

Step 6: Xubuntu

There is really only one way to open a terminal window in Linux: run the file. There are several ways to do this though.

1: Use a file manager to go to the binary and run it. For me, it's under "usr > bin > xfce4-terminal".

2: Use some command-line to run it. Type either "x-terminal-emulator" or "exec x-terminal emulator".

3: A shortcut. My system (xubuntu, modded beyond recognition with openbox) isn't normal and I just have the shortcut in the right-click menu. If you're making a shortcut, just tell it to execute "x-terminal-emulator".

Anywhere you see "x-terminal-emulator" here you can also use "xfce4-terminal". The first thing is actually just a shell script pointing to the second thing.

If the file has restricted access and you don't know the password, then you're sunk.

This applies to most Linux systems (if not all of them), but you may have to change the file names (anything that I've put in quotes).

- yourcat


james1111111111 (author)2017-02-06

jesus is real

lemonie (author)2009-03-07

Macs do have a command prompt (you could have researched that) L

james1111111111 (author)lemonie2017-02-06


gonturan (author)lemonie2009-03-07

I don't think Macs even have command prompt... Notice that I didn't use an absolute, I knew there was a possibility I was wrong. Would it make you feel better if I took that out?

macs do have cmd but its called terminal

lemonie (author)gonturan2009-03-07

Personally I would have checked, as there are a number of Mac users around here. OS-X has a UNIX-type base so Linux is very similar. If you add Mac OS and Linux your Instructable will be better for it. L

gonturan (author)lemonie2009-03-07

I don't know anything about Mac-OS or Linux. If you would like, I could allow collaboration and add you so you could fill in that part.

lemonie (author)gonturan2009-03-07

I just Googled "Mac OS-X command prompt" to get here rather quickly and easily. You could ask yourcat about Linux., but I guess that it's not too different.


yourcat (author)lemonie2009-03-08

Probably not. I use Linux and I like it, but I'm not that good with it.

lemonie (author)yourcat2009-03-09

You know how to open the command prompt, surely? L

yourcat (author)lemonie2009-03-10

Yeah, but I sure don't know all the ways...

lemonie (author)yourcat2009-03-10

I don't think there are many ways. Unless you reboot into console mode, I think your only option is to open a terminal window and there's only the one process for that. L

yourcat (author)lemonie2009-03-10

So some way to execute "x-terminal-emulator" (for my system, anyway): from a command line: what's the point? opening the binary from the file manager: good some shortcut: good but NONE of these will help you if you don't have access to the binary.

lemonie (author)yourcat2009-03-10

The guy is writing an Instructable on how to open a command-prompt. Can you tell him how to do it in Linux or not? L

yourcat (author)lemonie2009-03-11

Yes, but not complete like the title says.

gonturan (author)yourcat2009-03-11

Good enough for me. Consider yourself a collaborator!

yourcat (author)gonturan2009-03-16

OK, I got something up now.

sorry that took so long...

yourcat (author)gonturan2009-03-12

OK... I'm kinda busy right now, but I'll see what I can do.

lemonie (author)yourcat2009-03-11

"Complete" is something for gonturan to worry about, the Linux bit may be of some help...


fwjs28 (author)lemonie2009-03-09

yess, but not all of the ways....i will admit though, the ible name isn't quite...hrmm...leading? its not misleading just kinda doesn't fit right with what it is....

gonturan (author)fwjs282009-03-09

What do you mean by ible name?

fwjs28 (author)gonturan2009-03-09

How to start command prompt comlete....maybe it should be like myltiple ways to open CMD ?

gonturan (author)fwjs282009-03-10

Ummm, it is multiple ways to open CMD. Okay, now you've asked for it... I'm making you a collaborator.

fwjs28 (author)gonturan2009-03-10

OOOOO NOOO! ok :) just saing, the title should explain ti first sounded like a simple way to open cmd for a noob by a noob(which your not )

gonturan (author)fwjs282009-03-10

Everyone was a noob at some time. I mean, it is impossible not to be. It is just a (rather deragotory) way of saying 'new guy'. Okay, well.. what would be a better title? I mean, I wanted it to be descriptive... And what is an ible name?

fwjs28 (author)gonturan2009-03-10 ible name is the name of an instructables..(ible is like a nicknamemaybe multiple ways to open cmd?

lemonie (author)fwjs282009-03-09

Help the guy out, or better it? L

lemonie (author)gonturan2009-03-07

(Win-XP user)

gonturan (author)lemonie2009-03-09

Yes? So?

lemonie (author)gonturan2009-03-09

So I don't have recent experience of much else. Last time I used Mac OS-X there was an icon on the "dock" for a terminal window / command prompt, but I can't get you a screen shot. HP-UX was similar, but that system has probably been replaced even if I could go back to where it was... I would add to this, but I lack the necessaries. If I can think of anything I'll let you know (command-line ftp is nagging at me... or maybe that's a separate Instructable?)


gonturan (author)lemonie2009-03-10

It would be seperate unless it involves the starting of command prompt. I didn't even know there was command line FTP, so if you make an instructable for it, be sure to tell me so I can learn about it; it sounds cool.

lemonie (author)gonturan2009-03-10

I might do that. I was trying to remember what it was I was thinking of doing (that) on the bus an hour ago... L

gonturan (author)gonturan2009-03-07

You are a collaborator now lemonie.

MatthewM121 (author)2015-12-01

Nice to know my school's IT department is good... Haha


Thomas6172002 (author)2011-11-02

like this
@echo Off
goto alarm

ac1D (author)2009-03-07

know Instructables on how to do this are already out there. Don't tell me that, please'
Ahah, you seen the spam squad coming!

gonturan (author)ac1D2009-03-07

Spam sucks. And if people start having a "lets see how thin the comments can get" contest, I will do all I can to block things, even if I have to remove this Instructable.

fwjs28 (author)gonturan2009-03-09

hrmmm....i wonder if instructables comment system is working....lets see if it can get realllllly thin....

gonturan (author)fwjs282009-03-10

You're so funny I forgot to laugh. I am serious though. If anyone does try to get really thin, I could unpublish this. The really thin comment things are funny once, then just kind of stupid. Have a good day!

NachoMahma (author)gonturan2009-03-10

. Get a grip. It's a nice iBle, but not so nice that you can use it's presence as blackmail. Delete it for all I care.

fwjs28 (author)NachoMahma2009-03-10

he was being a funny its it would be fun to see if the comments are working....

gonturan (author)fwjs282009-03-10

Sorry if I came across as 'not nice', I wasn't trying to sound nasty. I have a policy of being polite to everyone I don't know. It is just I reeeealy don't want every single comment in my little 'you have comments!' box thing to say things like oooo, loook howe theen da comunt is, it be sqooshed!!XD

fwjs28 (author)gonturan2009-03-11

no,no,no...its all cool, im just joking around :P

gonturan (author)fwjs282009-03-10

fwjs28 says:
"he was being a funny jackass..."
And that is why I now unveil, assicons!

fwjs28 (author)gonturan2009-03-11


gonturan (author)NachoMahma2009-03-10


fwjs28 (author)gonturan2009-03-10

shortened name of instructable....

fwjs28 (author)gonturan2009-03-10

true,....after a while its like why am i doing this? lol

About This Instructable




Bio: My screen name is an allusion to something. Does anyone besides me know what the allusion is to? If you think you know, feel free ... More »
More by gonturan:Encrypt a message using matrixesHow to start command prompt (complete)
Add instructable to: