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Basic Windows Prompt Commands for Every Day

Command prompt, or CMD is an application that is used to interpret command lines. It is available in all Windows Operating Systems. You can perform simple tasks, automated tasks using scripts and batch files, or perform advanced functions that are exclusive to the administrator. It is also a good tool for troubleshooting so that you can check what is wrong with your PC. So, here are some basic Windows Prompt commands that you can use daily.

  1. File Compare is a command that you can use to compare two files to identify any differences between the content or binary code. It is an easy-to-use code that can compare both ASCII and Unicode text contents and binary codes.

Some switches are used to instruct the file compare command to perform specific actions. These switches are:

  1. /b: used to perform a binary comparison
  2. /c: helpful in performing case insensitive comparisons
  3. /a: used to view only the first and last lines for every comparison.
  4. /l: compare files as ASCII text
  5. /n: This switch is used to show all line numbers. However, its use is restricted to ASCII only.

The general syntax of the File Compare command is

fc [switch] [pathname1] [pathname2]

  1. Have you ever wondered why your computer always opens Microsoft Word when you open a .doc or .docx file or Adobe Reader when you open a .PDF file?

This happens because your computer can associate a specific file extension with a specific program. And in Command Prompt, you can use the Association command to view them and make any changes.

If you want to view all the file associations your computer is aware of, type ASSOC in the command line. You will be able to view all the file extensions and which programs are associated with them.

  1. Trying to figure out what is wrong with your network is tricky. And that is where the IPCONFIG command comes to use. This command is used to view detailed information about your network adapters and will show whether any of the adapters are connected or not. It also shows the IP addresses for a network connection, i.e.
  2. Current IP address
  3. Subnet Mask
  4. Current Domain
  5. Default Gateway

To view all the details, type ipconfig on the command line and press Enter.

  1. System File Checker is used to scan your operating system and find out if any file is missing or corrupted. It detects those errors and tries to replace those corrupted files with the proper files.

There are multiple commands that you can use for the System File Checker. However, the scannow command is the most useful in daily life.

Open the Command Prompt with administrator privileges. The syntax of the command is

sfc /scannow

It will take some time to detect and fix any errors.

  1. The POWERCFG command is really helpful for laptop users. It shows whether your power settings are configured for efficiency or not.

Open Command Prompt as an administrator. On the command line, enter

powercfg -energy

It will run for 60 seconds and observe the system to generate a report. The report is generated in an .HTML format (use any browser to open). After the computer generates the report, Command Prompt will show the location where the file is located.

These are some of the most important Windows prompt command lines that you can use.

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