10 Best and Useful Command Prompt Tricks

We all now are familiar with the graphical user interface (GUI) of our operating systems. But a long time ago there are no such graphics included in our operating system. At that time there is only a DOS operating system. In that operating system, we use commands to execute any operation on the computer. Users have to learn all the commands all by themselves. At that time Command prompt is the software on which commands are written to be executed. As time passes and we learn to make the graphical operating system, the use of command prompt becomes extensive as there are simple user interfaces built for the same purpose.

What is the Command Prompt

Command Prompt(also know as “CMD”)is the software in text-based user interface screen on an operating system. Prompt in this context is used to complete an action. It consists of a string followed by a cursor, which is designated so that the users can write their command from that cursor.

Command Prompt Tricks and Hacks

(1) Encrypts your files using the Command Prompt

The most important thing in this cyber world is the security of your data. And encrypting your data is the way to do so. It is the best option to stop others from taking a look into your sensitive data. It will ensure that your important files will remain yours and no one can see other than you. You can do this by using this simple command prompt trick.

  • Launch Command Prompt on your computer and change your file directory to the folder where your files are.
  • Type “cd<space>folder name)” to change the directory.
  • Type “Cipher /E“, and press enter.

This will encrypt all the files inside that folder. If any other user wants to open that folder it will show nothing to them and if they want to see the files they have to enter the password of the Administrator account.

(2) Create a Wi-Fi hotspot

If you are still not familiar with the Wi-Fi hotspot feature of the Windows 10 and if you are on previous versions of Windows. But you still want to use the hotspot facility of Windows and share your internet connection with multiple devices. This will be done without any help from any third-party application but with the help of Command Prompt. For this, the following steps should be taken.

  • Launch Command Prompt and type “netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=HotspotName key=Password“.
  • You can change the hotspot name by changing the “Hotspot Name” with your desired name. change the password by replacing the “password” with the desired password.
  • To start the hotspot, type “netsh wlan start hostednetwork” and press “enter”. Your hotspot will be broadcasted now and others will be able to connect.
  • To stop the hotspot, type “netsh wlan stop hostednetwork“.

(3) Change the Color of the  CMD Window

If you are familiar with the Command Prompt before, then you may not know that you can change the standard text color of the window. It is very easy to do and does not require any coding knowledge. The standard text color looks kinda boring or basic and changing the color will make it lit. By following the procedure, you can do this.

  • Launch Command Prompt and type “color 03”.
  • Press “enter” and you will see that the standard text color will change into “blue” color.

command prompt tricks

You can find more color codes by typing “help color”  and a list will open containing the color codes.

Command Prompt

(4) The ASCII version of the STAR WARS: A New HOPE

If you are a Star Wars fan like me, this trick will be the one you should try right now. I was also amazed to see this when it comes into my knowledge and this trick has become one of my favorite tricks.  This trick will show the movie in a text version on your window. The movie will be Star Wars: a new hope, this trick will work using telnet, and by performing the following steps.

  •     Launch Command Prompt and enter “telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl”     and press “Enter”.
  • The movie with text-based graphics will play on the cmd window.

Command prompt tricks

(5)  Use of Function keys in the Command Prompt

If you don’t know that you can use function keys in command prompt. Function keys in command prompt execute different functions, But these features are only known to the CMS power users. And after reading this article you will also become a cmd pro. Following are the commands assigned to the different function keys.

  • F1–  To paste the last executed command character by character.
  • F2–  To paste the last executed command up to the entered character.
  • F3– To paste the last executed command.
  • F4– To erase current prompt text up to the entered character.
  • F5– To paste recently executed commands and does not cycle.
  • F6– To paste  ^Z to the prompt.
  • F7– To present a selectable list of previously executed commands.
  • F8– To paste recently executed commands in cycles.
  • F9– To ask for the number of the command from the F7 list to paste.

(6) Matrix Falling Code Effect

Ever have you been wonder the numbers in falling in a pattern on the computer in some of the sci-fi movies or any hacking related scenes? A number of you will ask yourself that how is that happening and how can you that all by yourself. So here is the trick most of the movies make that happen. The code is run in the command prompt then you can see that effect or you can simply download this batch file (a file which is formatted to run in the Command Prompt) and run this as administrator on your computer.  This effect is known as Matrix falling code effect.

command prompt

(7) Run Shut Down and other commands

If you don’t know that you can shut down your computer using cmd commands and can run other commands as well. I will let you know that it is possible by use of some and short commands on cmd. You can make your PC to reboot and log off the current user with the help of the cmd commands. These the commands that will perform the functions as stated.

  • Launch Command prompt on your computer

And then, write these commands and function stated against them will be performed.

  • shutdown –s > (to shut down your PC)
  • shutdown –r >  (to reboot the PC)
  • shutdown –I >  (to log off the current user)

Press enter after each command, the computer will perform the functions stated in the brackets.

(8) Change the Prompt Text in CMD

If you ever wonder the text which shows up on opening cmd can be changed easily with the help of an easy command. The text which shows up is called prompt text and tells you about the working directory of the user. You can replace this text with another one of your choices with the help of this simple command.

  • Launch Command Prompt and type “prompt (text you want to show) “.

command prompt

  • Type $G at the end every time so that there is a (>) sign remains at the end of every line everytime you press enter.
  • Press “Enter” and the text will be changed to the desired text of your choice.

command prompt

(9) Change the title of  CMD window

Every time you launch command prompt there is text in the title of the cmd window which tells you that the command prompt is open with the administrator grant or without it. But if there is any case in which there is a lot of cmd windows are opened and it will get confused to choose which window is opened for which task. The best way to resolve the issue by changing the title of the window. This can be done in the following steps.

  • Launch Command Prompt and type “title (text you want to show) “.

Command prompt

  • Press “Enter” and you will see the changes in the title of the cmd window.

command prompt

(10) Copy Command output to Clipboard

The output to any command in the command prompt can’t be copied easily or we can say that it easy nearly impossible for the average command prompt user.  But with the help of this simple trick, this can be done nearly as easy as the copy in MS-Word application.  Because in this trick what we do is copy the output to the clipboard and from there it is easy to paste it into any text editor. By following the steps given below it can be done.

  •  Launch Command Prompt and Type ( “any command”|clip) and press “Enter”. For this instance, I typed (ipconfig|clip), which will copy the configuration of the computer to the clipboard.

Command prompt

  • Open any text editor and paste the content of the clipboard there.

Command prompt

Conclusion

These are the best tricks according to me which should be known to every command prompt user. These tricks are not so common to be used by any cmd user. I hope you like these tricks and it will change your user experience for the command prompt once again. If you still have any query about any of the feature, do let me know in the comments and if you have any suggestion to improve me also let me know.

About Kunal Sharma

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