Top 5 Command Prompt Tips

Typing commands instead of mouse-clicking… sound a bit old-fashioned? It’s true, once upon a time all computing was done this way. It may not be pretty, but the command line can still be pretty handy. Here’s a few commands I use:

  1. PING
    If you need to check your connection to something, this is the basic check. You can either ping a name or an IP address.
    are both valid. If you ping a name, you can also see what IP address that name resolves to.
    This will trace the route to another computer. Again, you can use a name or an IP address.
    This one will shut the computer down. (Pretty obvious, hey!) Really handy to put at the end of a batch file that does a backup or something similar. Heaps of switches, so type shutdown /? to display all the options available.
    Displays the IP address of your computer, plus the address of your gateway (eg your ADSL modem or the computer that’s actually connected to the internet).
  5. XCOPY
    Great for quick and easy batch backups. Check xcopy /? for all options available.

That’s 5 that I use a fair bit – got any others?

If you’re really bored, here’s Microsoft’s A-Z Reference.


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