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How To Open Command Prompt in Windows 8 & 8.1


Command Prompt screenshot in Windows 8

Command Prompt in Windows 8

The Command Prompt in Windows 8 is the command-line interface program that's used to execute commands. Some popular Windows 8 commands include ping, netstat, tracert, dir, attrib, and many more.

While Command Prompt isn't a tool you may use on a regular basis, you may encounter the need for it from time to time, maybe to troubleshoot a Windows 8 problem or to automate some kind of task.

Since it's the tool by which you execute most commands in Windows 8, you'll need to open Command Prompt before you can run a command.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Opening Command Prompt in Windows 8 will take you several seconds, and much less once you learn where it is.

Applies To: Command Prompt can be opened this way in any edition of Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.

Here's How:

  1. Swipe up to show the Apps screen. You can accomplish the same thing with a mouse by clicking on the down arrow icon at the bottom of the screen.

    Tip: If you're using a keyboard or mouse, see Tip #1 below for a really quick way to open a Command Prompt window in Windows 8.

    Note: Prior to the Windows 8.1 update, the Apps screen can be accessed from the Start screen by swiping up from the bottom of the screen, or right-clicking anywhere, and then choosing All apps.
  2. Now that you're on the Apps screen, swipe or scroll to the right and locate the Windows System section heading.
  3. Under Windows System, press or click on Command Prompt.

    A new Command Prompt window will open on the Desktop.
  4. You can now execute whatever command you needed to run.

    See my List of Windows 8 Command Prompt Commands for a complete list of the commands available via Command Prompt in Windows 8, including short descriptions and links to more in-depth information if I have it.

    Note: See Tip #2 below if, after executing a command, you see any kind of error indicating the need for administrative rights or to run the command from an elevated command prompt.


  1. Another convenient way to open Command Prompt is via its shortcut on the Power User Menu, which you can access by pressing the WIN and X keys together or right-clicking on the Start button. You can bring this menu up without a keyboard or mouse but it's more difficult.
  2. Some commands require administrative privileges before they can be executed. See How To Open an Elevated Command Prompt in Windows 8 for instructions on opening Command Prompt as an administrator so you can use those commands.
  3. Not using Windows 8? See How Do I Open Command Prompt? for steps specific for your version of Windows.

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