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Basic MS-Dos Commands

In the MS-Dos operating system, standard system commands are used to carry out various tasks like deleting specific files, changing the directory, listing contents of the specified directory, etc. In effect, they create a convenient user interface. In this article, we provide you with some basic MS-Dos commands to get you started.



Note: In MS-Dos, there is also a help page that opens up once 'type /?' is inserted after the command and this gives additional information about the command.

Basic MS-Dos Command Prompts

Here is a list of basic commands that you can use in a DOS prompt (e.g. using a boot disk):
  • cd <directory name>
    • cd is the basic DOS command, it allows you to change directory
  • dir [name of directory]
    • dir allows you to list all contents of the specified directory
  • copy <source> <destination>
    • Allows you to copy a file from a <source> folder to a <destination folder>
  • del<file>
    • Deletes a specific file
  • move <source> <destination>
    • Allows you to move a file from a <source> folder to a <destination folder>
  • ren <source> <destination>
    • Renames the specified file
  • edit <filename>
    • Opens the default DOS editor to allow modification of a specified file
  • cls
    • Clears the DOS screen
  • exit
    • Leaves the DOS terminal


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