Using the Windows Command prompt

kotareEvery time I install a program and the instructions tell me to open a Windows Command prompt, I groan. I can never remember how to move back and forth between folders, change to a different drive, see what’s in a directory. I know all you IT people out there are rolling your eyes, but for those of us who need a quick reminder, here is a cheat sheet for using the Command prompt. Since all this began with me upgrading from Confluence 3.4.8 to 3.5, I’ll use Confluence as an example.

To open the Command prompt window:

Windows 7

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. In the Search box, type cmd.
  3. Select cmd.exe from the results.

Tip: If you need to run the command prompt as an administrator, right-click cmd.exe
and select Run as administrator.

Windows XP

  1. Click Start, and then Run.
  2. Type cmd.
  3. Click OK.

To go back up a directory:

  • To go up one level, type cd ..\
  • To go up two levels, type cd ..\..\

To change to a different drive:

  • Type the drive letter and colon.
    For example, d:

To go forward in a directory:

  • Type cd foldername.
    For example, to change to the confluence-3.5-std folder, type cd confluence-3.5-std

To see what’s in a directory:

  • Type dir

To copy and paste text:

  1. Right-click in the Command prompt window and select Mark.
  2. Select the text you want to copy and press ENTER.
  3. Move the cursor to the place where you want to paste the text, right-click and select Paste.

After removing and reinstalling the Confluence Windows service over and over, and finally figuring out that I needed a new version of the Java JDK, I am now a Windows Command prompt pro! Well not really, but at least my Confluence 3.5 is up and running. Next I’ll be testing the integration with Jira!

Photo via Flickr user Dave Young

6 thoughts on “Using the Windows Command prompt

  1. This is one of the best and easiest windows Command Prompt tutorials I’ve found, and it’s been really helpful.

    Thank you 🙂

  2. This is really really easy to understand ! Everything is explained in a very easy way.

    Thank you so much Jenny ! 🙂

  3. Thank you for making it easy to read and understand. Other forums and websites give so much info, but i just need simplified version.
    Much appreciated!

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