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Top 10 Cool Command Prompt Tricks You Should Know

With the interface as attractive as Windows 10’s, it’s easy to forget that the OS comes with the command line as well. While the command prompt on Windows is not as powerful as the UNIX terminal, it comes with a set of very handy tricks. For instance, you can even create a Wi-Fi hostspot using the command prompt. Today we are going to tell you about the ten commands that you should know. Well without any further ado let’s get going:

1. Encryption

First, let’s talk about privacy. Encryption is one of the most common ways to ensure that no one other than you can take a peek at your data and the command prompt on Windows gives users an easy way to encrypt their files. While we can’t comment on the quality of encryption that Windows supports, there is no doubt that any level of encryption is definitely better than no level of encryption. So get ready to encrypt your sensitive data and keep it away from prying eyes. There is a simple command that can allow you to encrypt your files on Windows. Simply launch the command prompt and change your working directory to the folder where your files are. Once you are in that folder, type Cipher /E and press Enter.

The command prompt will encrypt the files inside that folder. No one from another account will be able to access your encrypted files without decrypting them with your password first. Now you can rest easy knowing that your files are safe and also get ready for next trick.

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2. Change CMD Color

Let’s just admit it the default colors on the command prompt are kind of boring and don’t really inspire a lot of interest in the program. So, on number two we will talk about changing the colors on your command prompt window. This will let you customize the command prompt to your liking and make it look better than the default black and white look that it comes with. Let’s type “help color” in the command prompt, this will give us a list of numbers and alphabets that we can use to change the colors used in the CMD window.

You can decide on the colors you want to use. We are going with green on a black background. Simply type color followed by the codes that correspond to the colors of your choice. So the command for us will become “color 06“. Hit enter and see the colors on your command prompt window change.

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3. Change prompt text

Carrying on with customizing the CMD window, I personally would like it if the prompt read something like “user@hellpc.net” instead of the boring default text. So let’s see how we can do that shall we? Simply type prompt followed by the text that you want the prompt to read, we’ll be typing “user@hellpc.net$G“. Hit enter and there you go, the prompt has changed.

If you were wondering what the $G was about, simply type “help prompt” to see a list of special characters that you can include in the prompt. $G stands for the greater than sign as you can see on number 4.

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4. Change title of the CMD Window

We have another customization trick yeah we’re not done with those yet. By default the title of the command prompt window reads just that “command prompt”. That’s boring! Let’s change it to something cool. On the command prompt window type in a “title” followed by the text you want to display on the title bar. We are going to make it say “HELLPC.NET console“. Just because I can hit enter and see how the title changes on the CMD window, that title definitely makes me feel better about working on this.

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5. Watch Star Wars in ASCII

Speaking of Star Wars did you know that you can watch Star Wars a new home on command prompt in the form of ASCII text? It’s pretty exciting if you personally ask a fanboy to go to the command prompt window and type the following text and hit enter.

telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl

The ASCII text version of star wall starts playing immediately. It’s actually fun to watch especially if you’re a big star Wars fan.

Please note that you have to enable Telnet in Windows 10 to use this trick as it is not enabled by default.

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6. Create WiFi Hotspot using CMD

Coming on to the next trick Wi-Fi hotspot which will obviously let you create a Wi-Fi hotspot on your Windows PC so you can share your internet with other devices. In the command prompt window type the following text and hit enter, this will set up a Wi-Fi hotspot on your computer.

netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=HotspotName key=Password

Replace “HotspotName” with the name that you want for your WiFi hotspot, and replace “Password” with the password you want to set. To turn it on simply type “netsh wlan start hostednetwork” and to turn it off simply type “netsh wlan stop hostednetwork“.

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7. Hide Folders using Command Prompt

Moving on let’s talk about some of those folders that you probably want to keep hidden. Now, you can obviously hide them by checking the “Hidden” property of the folder. But that will show up if someone changes your view options to “Show hidden files and folders” basically making it useless to hide them.

Fortunately, this next trick will show you how you can hide folders in such a way that they are completely hidden. In command prompt navigate to the directory that contains the folder to be hidden. It’s Desktop in our case. Type the following command followed by the folder name and hit enter, your folder will now be completely hidden.

attrib +h +s +r folder_name

Replace the “folder_name” with the name of the folder that you want to hide.

Don’t worry it’s still there. You can use the following command followed by the folder name to unhide it again.

attrib -h -s -r folder_name
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8. Copy Command Output to Clipboard

It has never been easy to copy text on the command prompt and if you need to copy the output of a command that returns quite a lot of data such as a tree command, selecting it with the mouse will be tough. Fortunately, there is a command that can copy the output of any command directly to the clipboard so you can paste it anywhere you want. In the command prompt enter the command you want to copy the output for. We’re using the “ipconfig” command followed by “| clip“. Hit enter and you will see that the command gets executed but there is no output.

That’s because the output has been copied to clipboard. Open a text editor like notepad and you can paste the output there.

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9. List all Installed Programs

The command prompt basically lets you do everything that you can do on your PC by typing commands. One of the things that you can do on the command prompt is list out all of the installed programs. Simply type the following text in the command prompt and hit enter.

wmic product get name

After a little while you will see a list of programs that are installed on your PC.

This can come in handy if you want to uninstall programs using the command line which you can do by using the following command:

wmic product where “name like ‘%NAMEOFAPP%’” call uninstall /nointeractive

Obviously, replace “NAMEOFAPP” with the name of the app that you want to uninstall from your PC.

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10. Open CMD Window Inside a Directory

For a UNIX guy, the process of changing directories in Windows just seems alien, which is why this script comes in especially handy if you don’t want to open a command from Start and then type in a CD command to change into another possibly very weirdly named directory. This trick will prove useful for you. Simply navigate to the directory in windows explorer and in the address bar type CMD and hit enter.

This will open up a command window inside that directory and you can get started with working on it.

There are a couple of other neat tricks that are hidden inside the command prompt on windows. Things like pressing tab for auto completing commands, using the arrow keys to cycle through previous commands and pressing F7 to open a list of command that you have used in that session. All of these can come in handy in certain situations. Those were the Ten Command tricks that you should know about. You can click here to check full list of cmd commands. If you found them useful and fun, share them with your friends and keep visiting for more cool tips tricks and how-tos. Enjoy, have fun!

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