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What is Command Prompt – Do I Need It

Command prompt is a program on most Windows computers used to give your computer commands from a Command Line Interface (CLI).

Although is greatly resembles DOS (which a lot of people would know using Microsoft before it started using a Graphical User Interface) it is not an actual operating system.

Rather it is a program used to execute commands, troubleshoot problems on the computer and perform administrative tasks much faster than clicking on things and using less resources.

Its looks almost identical to MS DOS and even uses a lot of the same commands.

Windows laptop townsville computer man


How to open Command Prompt

There are many different ways to open a command prompt, depending on your situation, what you have available to you and the version of Windows you are using.

For instance, you might be locked out of your computer or not have access to the Graphical User Interface, which means you would have to go in over safe mode.

For the most part, for most people, the easiest and quickest way to open a command prompt is:

  1. Go to Windows Start in the bottom left hand corner – Select All Programs and click on Windows System and “Command Prompt”.
  2. Go to Windows Start in the bottom left hand corner -click on “Run” and type, cmd.exe
  3. Open Cortana/Search, and type in Command Prompt.


What can I do with Command Prompt

This is such a big question and it would probably take me for ever to list the amount of things you can and can not do with Command Prompt.

I personally use Command Prompt for all the things I cant click on or would take to much time – and there are a lot of them.

Some common uses of Command Prompt are as follows. Be careful when using Command Prompt, it can be very easy to make changes to your operating system, files and configuration if you are not sure what you are doing, don’t use it!

    • ipconfig – is one of the mostly useful command most network administrators and anyone concerned with their home or business network or internet will use. It will let you know the state of your network and the IP address and Network Settings your computer us using.
    • msconfig –  will open the System Configuration utility used by most Windows Operating systems which handles the way your computer operates, and how it starts up. If you are having problems starting your computer properly and cant access must of the system, opening this function through command prompt may help.
    • sfc /scannow – checks your Windows operating system for corrupt files if it is not behaving properly and attempts to repair them. This is helpful if files have been altered, infected or deleted.
    • driverquery – to see a list of all drivers installed on your computer. Drivers are programs which help your devices talk to the operating system. The wrong drivers can cause or sorts of stability problems, from your computer crashing to not being able to start up at all.


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