Complete list of MS-DOS commands

Complete list of MS-DOS commands

You will find the complete list of MS-DOS commands below. However, MS-DOS commands are not the same as Windows command line commands or Powershell commands.

The list of all MS-DOS commands:

  • Append: It can be used by programs to open files in another directory as if they were located in the current directory.
  • Assign: It is used to redirect drive requests to a different drive. This command can also show drive assignments and reset drive letters to their original assignments.
  • Attrib: It is used to change the attributes of a single file or a directory.
  • Break: It sets or clears extended CTRL+C checking on DOS systems.
  • Call: It is used to run a script or batch program from within another script or batch program. The call command has no effect outside of a script or batch file. In other words, running the call command at the MS-DOS prompt will do nothing.
  • Cd: It is the shorthand version of the chdir command.
  • Chcp: It displays or configures the active code page number.
  • Chdir: It is used to display the drive letter and folder that you are currently in. Chdir can also be used to change the drive and/or directory that you want to work in.
  • Chkdsk: Often referred to as check disk, it is used to identify and correct certain hard drive errors.
  • Choice: It is used within a script or batch program to provide a list of choices and return the value of that choice to the program.
  • Cls: It clears the screen of all previously entered commands and other text.
  • Command: It starts a new instance of the command.com command interpreter.
  • Copy: It copies one or more files from one location to another.
  • Country: It is used in the CONFIG.SYS file to tell MS-DOS to use country-specific text conventions during processing.
  • Ctty: It is used to change the default input and output devices for the system.
  • Date: It is used to show or change the current date.
  • Dblspace: It is used to create or configure DoubleSpace compressed drives.
  • Debug: It starts Debug, a command-line application used to test and edit programs.
  • Defrag: It is used to defragment a drive you specify. The defrag command is the command-line version of Microsoft's Disk Defragmenter.
  • Del: It is used to delete one or more files. The del command is the same as the erase command.
  • Deltree: It is used to delete a directory and all the files and subdirectories within it.
  • Device: It is used in the CONFIG.SYS file to load device drivers into memory.
  • Devicehigh: It is used in the CONFIG.SYS file to load device drivers into upper memory.
  • Dir: It is used to display a list of files and folders contained inside the folder that you are currently working in. The dir command also displays other important information like the hard drive's serial number, the total number of files listed, their combined size, the total amount of free space left on the drive, and more.
  • Diskcomp: It is used to compare the contents of two floppy disks.
  • Diskcopy: It is used to copy the entire contents of one floppy disk to another.
  • Dos: It is used in the CONFIG.SYS file to specify the memory location for DOS.
  • Doskey: It is used to edit command lines, creates macros, and recall previously entered commands.
  • Dosshell: It starts DOS Shell, a graphical file management tool for MS-DOS. The dosshell command was only available up to MS-DOS 6.0 but most MS-DOS 6.22 installations were upgrades from previous versions so the dosshell command is usually still available.
  • Drvspace: It is used to create or configure DriveSpace compressed drives. DriveSpace, executed using the drvspace command, is an updated version of DoubleSpace. DriveSpace is an updated version of DoubleSpace, executed using the dblspace command.
  • Echo: It is used to show messages, most commonly from within script or batch files. The echo command can also be used to turn the echoing feature on or off.
  • Edit: It starts the MS-DOS Editor tool, which is used to create and modify text files.
  • Edlin: It starts the Edlin tool, which is used to create and modify text files from the command line. Edlin was only available up to MS-DOS 5.0 so unless your version of MS-DOS 6.22 was upgraded from 5.0, you likely won't see the edlin command.
  • Emm386: It is used to give MS-DOS access to more than 640 KB of memory.
  • Exe2bin: It is used to convert .EXE files to binary format.
  • Erase: It is used to delete one or more files. The erase command is the same as the del command.
  • Exit: It is used to end the command.com session that you're currently working in.
  • Expand: It is used to extract the files and folders contained in Microsoft Cabinet (CAB) files.
  • Fasthelp: It provides more detailed information on any of the other MS-DOS commands.
  • Fastopen: It is used to add a program's hard drive location to a special list stored in memory, potentially improving the program's launch time by removing the need for MS-DOS to locate the application on the drive.
  • Fc: It is used to compare two individual or sets of files and then show the differences between them.
  • Fcbs: It is used in the CONFIG.SYS file to specify the number of file-control blocks for file sharing.
  • Fdisk: It is used to create, manage, and delete hard drive partitions.
  • Files: It is used in the CONFIG.SYS file to specify the maximum number of files that can be open at the same time.
  • Find: It is used to search for a specified text string in one or more files.
  • For: It is used to run a specified command for each file in a set of files. The for command is most often used within a batch or script file.
  • Format: It is used to format a drive in the file system that you specify.
  • Goto: It is used in a batch or script file to direct the command process to a labeled line in the script.
  • Graphics: It is used to load a program that can print graphics.
  • Help: It provides more detailed information on any of the other Command Prompt or MS-DOS commands.
  • If: It is used to perform conditional functions in a batch file.
  • Include: It is used in the CONFIG.SYS file to allow you to use the commands from one CONFIG.SYS block within another.
  • Install: It is used in the CONFIG.SYS file to load memory-resident programs into conventional memory.
  • Interlnk: It is used to connect two computers via a serial or parallel connection to share files and printers.
  • Intersvr: It is used to start the Interlnk server and to copy Interlnk files from one computer to another.
  • Join: It is used to attach a drive letter to a directory located on another drive. It's similar to the subst command which associates a drive letter with a local directory.
  • Keyb: It is used to configure a keyboard for a specific language.
  • Label: It is used to manage the volume label of a disk.
  • Lastdrive: It is used in the CONFIG.SYS file to set the maximum number of drives that can be accessed.
  • Lh: It is the shorthand version of the loadhigh command.
  • Loadfix: It is used to load the specified program in the first 64K of memory and then runs the program.
  • Loadhigh: It is used to load a program into high memory and is usually used from within the autoexec.bat file.
  • Md: It is the shorthand version of the mkdir command.
  • Mem: It shows information about used and free memory areas and programs that are currently loaded into memory in the MS-DOS subsystem.
  • Memmaker: It is used to start MemMaker, a memory optimization tool.
  • Menucolor: It is used in the CONFIG.SYS file to set text colors.
  • Menudefault: It is used in the CONFIG.SYS file to set the startup configuration that will be used if no key is pressed within the specified timeout period.
  • Menuitem: It is used in the CONFIG.SYS file to create a startup menu from which you can select a group of CONFIG.SYS commands to be processed upon reboot.
  • Mkdir: It is used to create a new folder.
  • Mode: It is used to configure system devices, most often COM and LPT ports.
  • More: It is used to display the information contained in a text file. The more command can also be used to paginate the results of any other Command Prompt or MS-DOS command.
  • Move: It is used to move one or files from one folder to another. The move command is also used to rename directories.
  • Msav: It starts Microsoft Antivirus.
  • Msbackup: It starts Microsoft Backup, a tool used to back up and restore one or more files.
  • Mscdex: It is used to provide CD-ROM access to MS-DOS.
  • Msd: It starts Microsoft Diagnostics, a tool used to display information about your computer.
  • Nlsfunc: It is used to load information specific to a particular country or region.
  • Numlock: It is used in the CONFIG.SYS file to specify the state of the NumLock key.
  • Path: It is used to display or set a specific path available to executable files.
  • Pause: It is used within a batch or script file to pause the processing of the file. When the pause command is used, a "Press any key to continue…" message displays in the command window.
  • Power: It is used to reduce the power consumed by a computer by monitoring software and hardware devices.
  • Print: It is used to print a specified text file to a specified printing device.
  • Prompt: It is used to customize the appearance of the prompt text in Command Prompt or MS-DOS.
  • Qbasic: It starts QBasic, the MS-DOS based programming environment for the BASIC programming language.
  • Rd: It is the shorthand version of the rmdir command.
  • Rem: It is used to record comments or remarks in a batch or script file.
  • Ren: It is the shorthand version of the rename command.
  • Rename: It is used to change the name of the individual file that you specify.
  • Replace: It is used to replace one or more files with one or more other files.
  • Restore: It is used to restore files that were backed up using the backup command. The backup command was only available up to MS-DOS 5.00 but the restore command was included by default with later versions of MS-DOS to provide a way to restore files that were backed up in previous versions of MS-DOS.
  • Rmdir: It is used to delete an existing or completely empty folder.
  • Scandisk: It is used to start Microsoft ScanDisk, a disk repair program.
  • Set: It is used to display, enable, or disable environment variables in MS-DOS or from the Command Prompt.
  • Setver: It is used to set the MS-DOS version number that MS-DOS reports to a program.
  • Share: It is used to install file locking and file sharing functions in MS-DOS.
  • Shell: It is used in the CONFIG.SYS file to specify the command interpreter that DOS should use.
  • Shift: It is used to change the position of replaceable parameters in a batch or script file.
  • Smartdrv: It installs and configures SMARTDrive, a disk caching utility for MS-DOS.
  • Sort: It is used to read data from a specified input, sort that data, and return the results of that sort to the Command Prompt screen, a file, or another output device.
  • Stacks: It is used in the CONFIG.SYS file to set the number and size of stack frames.
  • Submenu: It is used in the CONFIG.SYS file to create a multi-level menu from which you can select startup options.
  • Subst: It is used to associate a local path with a drive letter. The subst command is a lot like the net use command in Windows except a local path is used instead of a shared network path. The subst command replaced the assign command beginning with MS-DOS 6.0.
  • Switches: It is used in the CONFIG.SYS file to configure DOS in a special way, like to tell DOS to emulate different hardware configurations.
  • Sys: It is used to copy the MS-DOS system files and command interpreter to a disk. The sys command is used most often to create a simple bootable disk or hard drive.
  • Time: It is used to show or change the current time.
  • Tree: It is used to graphically display the folder structure of a specified drive or path.
  • Type: It is used to display the information contained in a text file.
  • Undelete: It is used to undo a deletion performed with the MS-DOS delete command.
  • Unformat: It is used to undo the formatting on a drive performed by the MS-DOS format command.
  • Ver: It is used to display the current MS-DOS version number.
  • Verify: It is used to enable or disable the ability of Command Prompt, or MS-DOS, to verify that files are written correctly to a disk.
  • Vol: It shows the volume label and a serial number of a specified disk, assuming this information exists.
  • Vsafe: It is used to start VSafe, a basic virus protection system for MS-DOS.
  • Xcopy: It can copy one or more files or directory trees from one location to another. The xcopy command is generally considered a more "powerful" version of the copy command through the robocopy command trumps even xcopy.
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