If you’re a Windows user, you might have come across Command Prompt, one of the Windows’ Command Line utilities. While you might not use the app regularly, knowing how to open Command Prompt on Windows comes in handy to perform general troubleshooting, automation, or administrative functions.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

However, Command Prompt is not easy to find even though it has resided in Windows for several years. In this article, we will show you 7 ways to open Command Prompt in Windows 11, 10, and earlier. Let’s begin with the most popular one.

Fun Fact: Command Prompt was launched back in 1987 as a part of Windows NT to run batch scripts. Ever since it had been the default command line interpreter for Windows before PowerShell took over.

1. Quickest Way to Open Command Prompt on Any Windows Version

This is the most widely used way to open Command Prompt in Windows. It doesn’t matter if you’re running on Windows 11, 10, or below, it works on all.

Step 1: Click on Start.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 2: Type Command Prompt in the search bar.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 3: Now, click on ‘Run as administrator’ in the app options.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 4: Select Yes in the appearing prompt.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

That’s it. You will now see Command Prompt on your screen.

2. Use the Quick Access Menu to Open Command Prompt

This is yet another option to access Command Prompt. If you’re a Windows 11 user, you must follow a few extra steps to access the app. Here’s how you can do it on any Windows version.

For Windows 10 and Below

Step 1: Press Win + X to open the Quick Access Menu.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 2: Click on Command Prompt (Admin).

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

You may see Windows PowerShell and Windows PowerShell (Admin) options too.

Step 3: Select Yes on the appearing prompt.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

You’re in without any hassle.

For Windows 11

Step 1: Press Win + X to open the Quick Access Menu.

Step 2: Click on Windows Terminal (Admin).

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 3: Select Yes in the prompt.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 4: This is Windows’ new Terminal app (we have discussed it below in detail). Now, click on the drop-down arrow.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Want a shortcut to open Command Prompt? Press Ctrl + Shift + 2 here. This will directly open Command Prompt without following the further steps.

Step 5: Click on Command Prompt.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

There you go.

3. Open Command Prompt Using the Run Command Dialog Box

If you’re an engineer or a student, this approach of opening Command Prompt will be helpful in your daily life. Again, a widely used method to open Command Prompt. Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Press Win + R to open the Run command dialog box.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 2: Type CMD (you can use lower or upper case).

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Note: Press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open Command Prompt (Admin). If you don’t want to open Command Prompt (Admin), click on OK and skip Step 3 to open Command Prompt.

Step 3: Click on Yes in the prompt.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Tada! You’re in Command Prompt.

4. Use Task Manager to Launch Command Prompt in Windows

If you have been using Windows for some time, you might have used Task Manager. This nifty tool lets you Monitor your system performance, among other things. It also enables you to launch Command Prompt with a button.

Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 2: Go to the File tab (upper left corner) and Click on ‘Run a new task.’

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 3: You will be greeted with the ‘Create new task’ window. Type CMD (you can use lower or upper case).

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 4: Check the ‘Create this task with administrative privileges’ option and press OK.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Now, Command Prompt will open up. So, there you have it. If you can’t open Task Manager for some reason, check our guide on how to fix Task Manager not working on Windows 11 or Windows 10.

5. Open Command Prompt Using File Explorer’s Address Bar: Easiest

You might have located the file path using File Explorer in Windows. Still, not many know that it also helps in opening Command Prompt. In fact, it is one of the easiest and by far the most underrated ways of doing so. Let me show you how.

Step 1: Press Win + E to open File Explorer.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 2: Now, type CMD in the address bar (you can use lower or upper case).

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 3: Press Enter to open Command Prompt.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Easy right? One thing you need to know about this way is that the Command Prompt that opens through this method is user-based, i.e., it is not opening as an administrator.

If you want to open Command Prompt as an administrator, you might need to use other ways mentioned in this article like the below one.

6. Use File Explorer to Open Command Prompt

This way of opening Command Prompt differs from the method mentioned above. We will be using the system’s application folder to open Command Prompt. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Press WIN + E to open File Explorer.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 2: Copy and paste C:WindowsSystem32 to the address bar to go to the System 32 folder.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 3: Scroll down and right-click on the CMD.exe file.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 4: Choose ‘Run as administrator.’

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

That’s it! It may seem too much to handle the inclusion of address path location, but it is pretty simple.

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of searching the CMD file under System 32, create a desktop shortcut and place it anywhere you prefer. Follow the next method to learn how to do it.

7. Use the Desktop Shortcut to Open Command Prompt

This method creates a Command Prompt shortcut on the desktop to make it easier to access. This is the last but highly effective method if you use the app daily.

Step 1:Right-click on the Desktop.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 2: Select New

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 3: Select Shortcut.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 4: Now, type CMD.exe (you can use lower or upper case) and click Next.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 5: Give a shortcut name (ex: CMD Test) and click Finish.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

A shortcut file will be created on your Desktop, which you can drag around to your preference. You need to double-click the shortcut to open Command Prompt.

Note: This shortcut will open Command Prompt as a user, not an Administrator.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

To run this Command Prompt shortcut as an administrator:

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 2: Now, choose Properties.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 3: Click on the Advanced button.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 4: Check the Run as administrator option and hit OK.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 5: Click on Apply and then OK in the Properties window.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Now, you just have to double-click on the shortcut file to open Command Prompt as an Administrator. Cool, right? Now that you know how to open the app, check out these brilliant Command Prompt tricks you can use.

Now, if you’re using Windows 10 or Windows 11, you’d find Command Prompt missing from the Power Users menu. Wondering how to access Command Prompt in such a case? Move on to the next section.

How to Change From Windows PowerShell to Command Prompt

Although there’s no significant difference between them, many still prefer Command Prompt over PowerShell. If you are one of those, don’t worry. We have you covered with the following easy steps.

Note: The steps differ for Windows 11 and Windows 10. I have explained both below.

For Windows 10

Step 1: Press the ‘Win + I’ to open the Windows Settings app.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 2: Select Personalization.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 3: Click on the Taskbar.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 4: Toggle off ‘Replace Command Prompt with Windows PowerShell.’

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

That’s it! It is pretty straightforward. However, in Windows 11, things are slightly different but relatively simple. Let me help you.

For Windows 11

Microsoft added Windows Terminal as the default command line interface in Windows 11 which offers easy access to different Command Shells. However, it opens with PowerShell by default. Follow the below steps to change the default option and open Windows Terminal with Command Prompt.

Step 1: Right-click on the Windows Start button and click ‘Windows Terminal (Admin).’

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 2: Click on the drop-down option and select Settings.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 3: Click on the drop-down next to the Default Profile option.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 4: Now, select Command Prompt.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

Step 5: Lastly, click Save in the lower-right corner.

microsoft, windows, microsoft, 7 ways to open command prompt on windows 11, 10, and earlier

After this setup change, the next time you open Windows Terminal or add a new tab by clicking the plus (+) button, it will open your favorite command-line interface. If you want to switch back to PowerShell or Terminal, replace the Command Prompt search with your desired command-line application.

Access Command Prompt in Windows Easily

I hope this guide helped you in opening Command Prompt on Windows seamlessly. While you’re at it, you might want to check our article on how to use Function key shortcuts on Command Prompt to use it like a pro.

Please let us know which Windows operating system your machine is running and which method you prefer to open Command Prompt above in the comment section below.

Keyword: 7 Ways to Open Command Prompt on Windows 11, 10, and earlier

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