The list of commands available in the command line shell for Windows Vista is similar to that for Windows XP but with some additions. The commands and a brief explanation of their functions are given. Some tips for their use are given on another page.
Commands in Windows Vista
Originally, Microsoft intended to incorporate a new command shell in Vista but then decided to make the new shell a stand-alone application. The new application is called Powershell and is described on another page. Thus, the old command interpreter cmd.exe has been continued although in a slightly newer version. (The Vista version is 6.0 whereas the XP version is 5.1.) Several commands are now in the standard list that were formerly available only in Support Tools or the Server 2003 Tools. For example, Robocopy from Server 2003 is now included. There are also some new commands and they are indicated with an asterisk in the list below. Note that some commands may require administrator privileges. Running a command prompt as administrator is described on this page. Some commands involving specialized system or network administration have been omitted. Commands in Windows 7 are very similar and are listed on a related page.
ASSOC Displays or modifies file extension associations.
ATTRIB Displays or changes file attributes.
BREAK Sets or clears extended CTRL+C checking.
*BCDEDIT Sets properties in boot database to control boot loading.
CACLS Displays or modifies access control lists (ACLs) of files.
CALL Calls one batch program from another.
CD Displays the name of or changes the current directory.
CHCP Displays or sets the active code page number.
CHDIR Displays the name of or changes the current directory.
CHKDSK Checks a disk and displays a status report.
CHKNTFS Displays or modifies the checking of disk at boot time.
*CHOICE Batch file command that allows users to select from a set of options.
CIPHER Displays or alters the encryption of directories [files] on NTFS partitions.
*CLIP Redirects output of another command to the Windows clipboard.
CLS Clears the screen.
CMD Starts a new instance of the Windows command interpreter.
*CMDKEY Creates, lists and deletes stored user names and passwords or credentials.
COLOR Sets the default console foreground and background colors.
COMP Compares the contents of two files or sets of files.
COMPACT Displays or alters the compression of files on NTFS partitions.
CONVERT Converts FAT volumes to NTFS. You cannot convert the
COPY Copies one or more files to another location.
DATE Displays or sets the date.
DEFRAG Disk defragmenter accessory.
DEL Deletes one or more files.
DIR Displays a list of files and subdirectories in a directory.
DISKCOMP Compares the contents of two floppy disks.
DISKCOPY Copies the contents of one floppy disk to another.
DISKPART Displays or configures Disk Partition properties. DOSKEY Edits command lines, recalls Windows commands, and
DRIVERQUERY Displays current device driver status and properties.
ECHO Displays messages, or turns command echoing on or off.
ENDLOCAL Ends localization of environment changes in a batch file.
ERASE Deletes one or more files.
EXIT Quits and closes the command shell.
EXPAND Expands one or more compressed files.
FC Compares two files or sets of files, and displays the
differences between them.
FIND Searches for a text string in a file or files.
FINDSTR Searches for strings in files.
FOR Runs a specified command for each item in a set.
*FORFILES Selects files in a folder for batch processing.
FORMAT Formats a disk for use with Windows. FSUTIL Displays or configures the file system properties.
FTYPE Displays or modifies file types used in file extension
GOTO Directs the Windows command interpreter to a labeled line in
a batch program.
GPRESULT Displays Group Policy information for machine or user.
GRAFTABL Enables Windows to display an extended character set in
HELP Provides Help information for Windows commands.
*ICACLS Display, modify, backup, or restore ACLs for files and
directories (more here). IF Performs conditional processing in batch programs.
LABEL Creates, changes, or deletes the volume label of a disk.
MD Creates a directory.
MKDIR Creates a directory.
*MKLINK Creates Symbolic Links and Hard Links
MODE Configures a system device.
MORE Displays output one screen at a time.
MOVE Moves one or more files from one directory to another
OPENFILES Queries, displays, or disconnects open files or files opened by network users.
PATH Displays or sets a search path for executable files.
PAUSE Suspends processing of a batch file and displays a message.
POPD Restores the previous value of the current directory saved by PUSHD.
PRINT Prints a text file. PROMPT Changes the Windows command prompt.
PUSHD Saves the current directory then changes it.
RD Removes a directory.
RECOVER Recovers readable information from a bad or defective disk.
REM Designates comments (remarks) in batch files
REN Renames a file or files.
RENAME Renames a file or files.
REPLACE Replaces files.
RMDIR Removes a directory.
ROBOCOPY Advanced utility to copy files and directory trees
SET Displays, sets, or removes environment variables for current session.
SETLOCAL Begins localization of environment changes in a batch file.
SETX Sets environment variables.
SC Displays or configures services (background processes).
SCHTASKS Schedules commands and programs to run on a computer.
SHIFT Shifts the position of replaceable parameters in batch files.
SHUTDOWN Allows proper local or remote shutdown of machine.
SORT Sorts input.
START Starts a separate window to run a specified program or command.
SUBST Associates a path with a drive letter.
SYSTEMINFO Displays machine specific properties and configuration.
Allows an administrator to take ownership of a file (more here).
TASKLIST Displays all currently running tasks including services.
TASKKILL Kill or stop a running process or application.
TIME Displays or sets the system time.
*TIMEOUT Pauses the command processor for the specified number of seconds.More here.
TITLE Sets the window title for a CMD.EXE session.
TREE Graphically displays the directory structure of a drive or path.
TYPE Displays the contents of a text file.
VER Displays the Windows version.
VERIFY Tells Windows whether to verify that your files are written correctly to a disk.
VOL Displays a disk volume label and serial number.
*VSSADMIN Volume Shadow Copy Service administration tool
*WHERE Displays the location of files that match a search pattern. XCOPY Copies files and directory trees.
WMIC Displays WMI information inside interactive command shell.