The 30 most useful Command Prompt commands for editing files and managing your PC

typing on computer with spreadsheets
If you’re going to use the Command Prompt, you need to know its commands.

  • Command Prompt commands let you manage your computer just by typing.
  • Some Command Prompt commands let you move files, while others let you change your internet settings.
  • Here are some of the most useful Command Prompt commands, and what they do.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

The Command Prompt isn’t pretty, but it’s one of the most powerful apps on your PC. With it, you can move or delete files, change your Wi-Fi settings, lock your hard drive, and even shut down the computer.

But to use Command Prompt, you’ll need to know the commands for it. Here are some of the most useful commands, along with explanations of what they’ll do.

The essential Command Prompt commands

We’ll sort these commands into a few different groups, based on what they’re used for.

hands typing on laptop keyboard PC
Basic commands include closing apps and moving files.

Managing your apps

Command What it does
At Lets you schedule apps or other commands to run at a specific date and time
Msiexec Starts Windows Installer, an app that helps you properly install software
Taskkill Ends a program or process that you specify
Tasklist Shows you every app, service, and process currently running on your computer

Editing files

Command What it does
Assoc Lets you change which programs are used to open different types of files
Comp Compares two or more files, or sets of files
Del Deletes a specified file
Makecab Creates a CAB file, which can compress and store data just like a ZIP file
Move Lets you move files from one folder to another
Print Sends a specified text file to a specified printer
Recover Scans a specified disk and retrieves all the readable data on it – great for recovering files from corrupted hard drives
Robocopy Lets you copy files, folders, and more from one location to another
Tree Shows you the folder structure for a specified drive or location

businesswoman using desktop PC computer at office
Some Command Prompt commands let you troubleshoot computer or internet issues.

Managing Windows

Command What it does
Chdir Tells you the name of the directory you’re currently working from, and lets you change it
Chkdsk Scans your hard drive for errors and tries to fix them
Cmdkey Lets you view, create, or delete stored usernames and passwords
Defrag Defragments the hard drive, reorganizing the files to make data retrieval faster and more efficient
Driverquery Gives you a list of all the drivers installed on your computer
Format Formats a specified drive, erasing all the data on it
Ipconfig Shows details about your internet connections, and lets you refresh your IP addresses
Net Lets you view and edit network settings
Reg Lets you manage the Windows Registry by adding keys, exporting data, and more
Sfc Scans, verifies, and replaces important Windows system files
Shutdown Lets you shut down or restart your computer
Ver Shows the current Windows version number
Vol Tells you the volume label and serial number of a specified hard drive

Miscellaneous

Command What it does
Clip Automatically copies the output of any command to the clipboard
Cls Resets the Command Prompt and clears all the text
Color Lets you change the Command Prompt’s text and background colors
Help Generates a list of example commands, just like this one

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A quick guide to WordPress, the free-to-use website builder that powers some of the web’s most popular sites

wordpress
WordPress’ easy-to-use format makes it a popular choice for many non-coders.

  • WordPress is a free-to-use content management system (CMS) that can help you build a website with minimal technical knowledge.
  • WordPress has a wealth of features that allow users to make a wide variety of websites for different purposes.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

WordPress is a popular open-source content management system (CMS) that’s free to use. It lets you build your own website without needing to learn programming languages like JavaScript, Python, or C++. 

What to know about WordPress

WordPress logo
WordPress was initially created as a blogging platform.

WordPress can be used to create a wide range of websites, including personal blogs, online portfolios, business pages, and e-commerce websites thanks to a wealth of features.

As an open-source software licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), WordPress isn’t owned by one company or entity. Rather, hundreds of developers and users work together to constantly improve the software.

WordPress was created as a blogging platform in 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. As a college student, Mullenweg used the b2 (also known as cafelog) blogging system, but the original creator stopped updating it. As a result, Mullenweg created his own version of the system with help from Little. While Mullenweg is the face of WordPress, the software continues to develop thanks to its community of contributors.

Who can use WordPress

While WordPress started out as a blogging tool, these days it can be used to make all sorts of websites for all sorts of purposes, thanks to a plethora of plug-ins and themes. In other words, you can pretty much create any type of website you want with WordPress.

WordPress can be used to create business websites, blogs, online resumes, portfolios, e-commerce stores, membership sites, and more.

Some notable examples of WordPress sites include The New Yorker, Microsoft News Center, and The Walt Disney Company.

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The New Yorker is one of many popular sites powered WordPress.

The software includes lots of features to help you build a unique site.

What you need to start using WordPress

For self-hosted WordPress sites (through WordPress.org), you need two key things to get started: web hosting and a domain name. 

For web hosting, there are three common approaches: shared WordPress hosting, do-it-yourself VPS WordPress Hosting, and managed WordPress hosting.

A domain name is your website address. Choosing a unique domain name can be tricky, as there are almost 2 billion websites currently in circulation, but there are some general tips that can help you find and purchase the perfect available one.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

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