Even if you use the Windows Command Prompt frequently, you may be surprised at how many useful keyboard shortcuts are supported. With them you can optimize everything, from the selection and editing of text to the repetition of already entered commands. And we have the complete list for you.
The command prompt is a powerful tool in Windows that gives you access to all sorts of useful commands that you can not get in any other way. The Windows Command Prompt inherently relies on a large number of keyboards ̵
Keyboard Shortcuts for Starting and Closing the Command Prompt
Windows provides several ways to open the command prompt. Here are some ways to open and close the command prompt with your keyboard:
- Type Windows (or Windows + R), and then type "cmd" : Run the command prompt in normal mode.
- Win + X, and then press C : Run the command prompt in normal mode. (New in Windows 10)
- Press Win + X and then A : Run the command prompt with administrator privileges. (New in Windows 10)
- Alt + F4 (or type "exit" at the prompt) : Close the command prompt.
- Alt + Enter : Switch between full screen mode and windowed mode.
And although one of these ways to open the command prompt will work, we recommend that you get used to opening with administrator privileges. Most of the most interesting commands you use require it anyway.
Note : If you see PowerShell instead of the command prompt on the Windows + X menu (Power User), it's a switch that came with the Creators Update. For Windows 10. It's very easy to use the Command Prompt in Power menu, if you want, or you can try PowerShell. In PowerShell, you can do pretty much anything you can at the command prompt, and many other useful things.
Shortcuts for moving
You can always use the mouse to click to position the cursor anywhere in the Command Prompt. However, if you'd prefer to hold the keys in your hands, we've covered these keys for moving around:
- Start / End : Move the insertion point to the beginning or end of the current line (or line).
- Ctrl + left / right arrow : Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous or next word (in the current line).
- Ctrl + up / down arrow : Scroll the page up or down without moving the insertion point.
- Ctrl + M : Enter or exit marker mode In marker mode, you can move the cursor with all four arrow keys in the window. You can always use the arrow keys to move the insertion point to the left and right of the current line, regardless of whether the marker mode is on or off.
Once you get used to the keyboard, you may want to move the cursor to the left and right Do this even faster than switching to the mouse and back again.
Keyboard shortcuts for selecting text
Since text is the currency of the command prompt, it should not surprise you to learn all sorts of keyboard shortcuts for selecting text on the screen. Various key combinations allow you to select text, characters, words, lines or entire screens at the same time.
- Ctrl + A : Selects all text in the current line. Press Ctrl + A again to select all the text in the CMD buffer.
- Shift + Left Arrow / Right : Extend current selection one character to the left or right.
- Shift + Ctrl + Left / Right Arrow : Extend current selection by one word to the left or right.
- Shift + Up Arrow / Down Arrow : Extend current selection by one line up or down. The selection extends to the same position in the previous or next line as the position of the insertion point in the current line.
- Shift + Home : The current selection is extended to the beginning of a command. Press Shift + Home again to include the path (eg C: Windows system32) in the selection.
- Shift + End : Extend current selection to the end of the current line.
- Ctrl + Shift + Start / End : Extend current selection to the beginning or end of the screen buffer.
- Shift + Page Up / Page Down : The current selection is expanded one page up or down.  It seems to be very much to remember when you can only select text with the mouse. Of course the right way is the right way for you. But we suspect that if you take a little time to get used to the keyboard shortcuts, you'll find that it's actually easier to choose the mouse each time.
Keyboard shortcuts for manipulating text
If you have selected a text, it makes sense to edit the selected text. You can use the following commands to quickly copy, paste, and delete selections:
- Ctrl + C (or Ctrl + Paste) : Copy the currently selected text.
- F2 and then a letter : Copy text to the right of the insertion point to the letter you entered.
- Ctrl + V (or Shift + Paste) : Paste text from the clipboard.
- Backspace : Delete the character at the
- Ctrl + Backspace : Delete the word to the left of the insertion point.
- Tab : autocomplete a folder name.
- Escape : Delete the current line of text.
- Insert : Switch insert mode. When insert mode is turned on, everything you enter is pasted into your current location. When it's off, anything you type overwrites what's already there.
- Ctrl + Start / End : Deletes text from the insertion point to the beginning or end of the current line.
- Ctrl + Z : Marks the end of a line. Text you enter after this point in this line is ignored.
Obviously, the most popular additions to Windows 10 are copying and pasting links. Hopefully, you can use the others.
Keyboard shortcuts for working with the command history
Finally, the command prompt contains a history of all the commands you have entered since the beginning of your current session. It's easy to access previous commands and save a little.
- F3 : Repeat the previous command.
- Arrow up / down : Scroll through the previous commands you have entered in the current session. You can also press the F5 key instead of the up arrow to scroll backward through the command history.
- Right Arrow (or F1) : Create the previous command character by character.
- F7 : Show a history of previous commands. You can use the up / down arrow keys to select any command, and then press ENTER to execute the command.
- Alt + F7 : Deletes the command history.
- F8 : Move backward in the History command to commands that match the current command. This is useful if you want to enter a part of a command that you have used several times, and then scroll back through your history to find exactly the command you want to repeat.
- Ctrl + C : Cancels the current line or tap a command that is in progress.
And that's it. If you use the command prompt frequently, many of these keyboard shortcuts will be really helpful to save time and possibly misspelled commands. Even if you occasionally use the command prompt, it's worth learning a few basic keyboard shortcuts to make it easier to get around.