Open the Command Prompt. You can access the Command Prompt by clicking the Start menu and entering cmd into the search field. You can also access it by entering cmd into the Run field, or it can be found in the Accessories/System Tools folder of the Start menu.
- In Windows 8, press the ⌘ Win+X and select Command Prompt from the menu.
Get oriented. When you first start the Command Prompt, you will be located in your personal directory. This is typically C:\Users\username\
Familiarize yourself with the basic navigation commands. There are a few key commands to getting around in Command Prompt. Learning these will help you speedily move through the directories. Press ⌅ Enter after each command to execute it:
- dir – This command will list all of the folders and files in the directory you are currently at.
- cd folder – This command will move you to the folder that you specify. The folder must be in the directory you are currently in. For example: If you are currently at C:\Users\username\ and you enter cd desktop you will be taken to C:\Users\username\Desktop\
- cd path – This command will take you to a specific path on your computer. You do not need to be in the same directory as the path. You must enter the entire path for it to work. For example: cd C:\Windows\System32
- cd .. – This command will move you up one directory from your current location. For example: If you are currently at C:\Users\username\ and you enter cd .. you will be taken to C:\Users\
- cd\ – This command will take you to the root directory, regardless of your location. For example: If you are currently at C:\Users\username\ and you enter cd\ you will be taken to C:\
- driveletter: – This command will take you to the drive letter that you specify. The drive you specify will need to be active, or have a disc in it if it a CD\DVD drive. For example, if you want to switch to your D drive, you would enter the command D:
- exit – This command will exit the Command Prompt, no matter your current location.