1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Ctrl-C (Control-C)


Definition: Ctrl-C, also sometimes written as Control-C, is an abort command used in many command line interfaces including the Command Prompt in Windows. The Ctrl-C command is executed by holding down the Ctrl key and pressing C.

In most command line interfaces, Ctrl-C is used to stop the currently running task and return control back to you.

For example, if you executed the format command but at the initial warning decided against completing it, you could execute Ctrl-C to cancel the format and return to the prompt.

Note: Ctrl-C is also a keyboard shortcut used throughout Windows and Windows applications to copy text to the clipboard.

Alternate Spellings: Ctrl+C, Control+C
"I ran a directory command to show all the files on my hard drive but it was taking a lot longer than I expected so I executed a Ctrl-C to stop it."

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.