Reference‎ > ‎Windows‎ > ‎

Windows Internal vs. External Command Reference

There are two types of commands available in the console, internal and external.  Internal commands are those that are directly built-in to the console itself. External commands are those that are not built-in to the console, but exist in places like the WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 directory (use the PATH command to show the application search path).

Note: All commands are not case-sensitive, meaning they can be typed in any mixture of upper and lower case.
  • BREAK: Controls the handling of program interruption with Ctrl + C or Ctrl + Break.
  • CHCP: Displays or changes the current system code page.
  • CHDIR, CD: Changes the current working directory or displays the current directory.
  • CLS: Clears the screen.
  • COLOR: Sets the default console foreground and background colors.
  • COPY: Copies one file to another (See also XCOPY, an external command that could also copy directory trees).
  • DATE: Display and set the date of the system.
  • DEL, ERASE: Deletes a file. When used on a directory, deletes all files.
  • DIR: Lists the files in the specified directory.
  • ECHO: Toggles whether text is displayed (ECHO ON) or not (ECHO OFF). Also displays text on the screen (ECHO text).
  • EXIT: Exits from CMD.EXE and returns to the program which launched it.
  • MKDIR, MD: Creates a new directory.
  • PATH: Displays or changes the value of the PATH environment variable which controls the places where COMMAND.COM will search for executable files.
  • POPD: Restores the previous value of the current directory saved by PUSHD.
  • PROMPT: Displays or change the value of the PROMPT environment variable which controls the appearance of the prompt.
  • PUSHD: Saves the current directory then changes it.
  • REN, RENAME: Renames a file or directory.
  • RMDIR, RD: Removes an empty directory.
  • SET: Sets the value of an environment variable
    • Note: Without arguments, this command shows all defined environment variables.
  • START: Starts a separate window to run a specified program or command.
  • TIME: Display and set the time of the system.
  • TITLE: Sets the window title for a CMD.EXE session.
  • TYPE: Displays the content of a file on the console.
  • VER: Displays the version of the operating system.
  • VERIFY: Enable or disable verification of writing for files.
  • VOL: Shows information about a volume.
Batch file commands
Control structures are mostly used inside batch files, although they can also be used interactively.
  • :label : Defines a target for GOTO.
  • CALL: Executes another batch file and returns to the old one and continues.
  • ENDLOCAL: Ends localization of environment changes in a batch file.
  • FOR: Iteration: repeats a command for each out of a specified set of files.
  • GOTO: Moves execution to a specified label. Labels are specified at the beginning of a line, with a colon (:likethis).
  • IF: Conditional statement, allows to branch the program execution.
  • PAUSE: Halts execution of the program and displays a message asking the user to press any key to continue.
  • REM: comment: any text following this command is ignored.
  • SETLOCAL: Begins localization of environment changes in a batch file.
  • SHIFT: Replaces each of the command-line variables with the subsequent one (e.g. %0 with %1, %1 with %2 etc.).