Over the past 30 years, the GUI(Graphical User Interface) has been enhanced and improved. We can easily navigate to a location or access different settings with PC’s customized theme. With an interface as attractive as windows, it is easy to forget that the OS comes with the command-line as well. People might wonder why to go for such complex commands and dull interface. Command prompt can be a little complex but manual tweaking of settings and process can be initiated in a single line of code. While the command prompt of windows is not as powerful as the UNIX terminal it does come with a set of very handy tricks. For instance, you can even create a wifi hotspot using the command prompt. let us take a look at 10 command prompt tricks you must know.
Let us talk about privacy. Encryption is one of the most common ways to ensure that no one other than you can take a peek at your data. The command prompt on windows uses an easy way to encrypt their files. While I can’t comment on the quality of encryption windows supports, there is no doubt that any level of encryption is better than no level of encryption. So get ready to encrypt your sensitive data and keep it away from prying eyes. There’s a simple command that can allow you to encrypt your files on windows.
- Simply launch the command prompt can change your working directory to the folder where your files are.
- Once you’ve done that type cipher/E and hit enter. The command prompt will encrypt the files of that folder. No one from another account will be able to access your encrypted files without decrypting them with your password first. With this, you can rest easy knowing that your files will be safe.
One of the fancier command prompt tricks is the color change. Let’s just admit it, the default colors on the command prompt are kinda boring. It doesn’t really inspire a lot of interest in the program. In this step, we will talk about changing the colors on your command prompt window. It will let you customize the command prompt as your liking and make it look better than the default black and white look.
- Type in ‘help color’ in the command prompt. This command will give a list of alphabets and numbers that we can use to change the colors in the CMD window. Decide on the color you want to choose, I am going with green on a black background
- Simply type color followed by the codes that correspond to the color of your choice so the command for me will be color 02. Hit enter and see the colors on your command prompt change
Let us take a look at yet another customization trick. By default, the title of the command prompt reads just “command prompt”. That’s just boring. Let’s change it to something cool.
- On the command prompt window type in ‘title’ followed by the text, you want to display in the title bar. I am going with “White Walker”. Hit enter and see how the title changes in the cmd window. That title makes me definitely feel better about working on this.
Moving on, let’s talk about some of the folders that you probably want to be hidden.You can obviously hide them by checking the hidden property of the folder. But that will show up if someone chooses to view the hidden files and folders. So it is basically useless to hide them that way. Fortunately, we have a trick you can follow with which you can completely hide your files.
- Open the command prompt and navigate to the directory that contains the folder to be hidden. ‘Desktop’ in my case, type the following command ‘Attrib +h +s +r’ followed by the folder name and hit enter. Your folder will now be completely hidden.
- Don’t worry though it is still there, you can use the following command ‘Attrib -h -s -r’ followed by the folder name to unhide it again
Also Read How to Hide Files Inside an Image
5. WIFI HOTSPOT
Let’s take a look at the next trick i.e Wifi Hotspot. This will obviously let you create a wifi hotspot on your windows pc, so you can share your internet with other devices.
- In the command prompt, you can type the following text ‘netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=SulavWifi key=password’ and hit enter.
Here, the ssid represents the name of the hotspot and key refers to the password you want to set. This will set up a wifi hotspot on your computer.
- To turn it on, simply type ‘netsh wlan start hostednetwork’ and hit enter.
To turn it off simply type in ‘netsh wlan stop hostednetwork’.
Note: you must open the command prompt with administrative access. Simply, search for ‘cmd’, right click and choose ‘run as administrator’.
6. PROGRAMS LIST
The command prompt lets you do everything that you can do on your PC by typing command lines. One of the things that you can do at the command prompt is to list out all of the installed programs. Simply type the following text ‘wmic product get name’ in the command prompt and hit enter. After a little while, you will see a list of programs that are stored on your PC. This can come in handy if you want to uninstall programs using the command line which you can do by using the following command ‘wmic product where “name like iTunes” call uninstall/nointeractive’
7. COPY OUTPUT
It has never been easy to copy text from the command prompt. If you ever needed to copy the output of the command that returns a lot of data you might have experienced the unfortunate frustration. But, fortunately, there is a command that can copy the output of any command directly to the clipboard so you can paste it anywhere you want. In the command prompt, enter the command you want to copy the output for.
I am using the ‘dir’ command followed by the “| clip” hit enter then you can see the command gets executed. There is no output because the output has been hidden by the clip command which basically copied the output to your clipboard. Open a text editor like notepad and paste the output there.
8. CHANGE DIRECTORY
Let us look at another one of command prompt tricks. The process of changing directories in windows command prompt is not so smooth and simple. This script comes in handy especially if you don’t want to waste your time and effort navigating the command prompt to your target directory. It becomes tiring if you have weird folder names. Simply, navigate to your directly in windows explorer and in the address bar type CMD and hit enter. This will directly launch you to command prompt with that specified directory.
9. ANALYZE PC
One of the command prompt’s least used and known ability is to analyze the behavior and performance of your PC, including details about the power usage. Though it may be most useful for laptop users trying to conserve battery, it can also be handy for desktop users looking for system inefficiencies.
- Open the command prompt and type powercfg/energy. The operating system then will analyze your system’s power usage for 60 seconds and deliver a detailed report to your System32 folder(it will tell you the file’s location).
- You can also type powercfg/batteryreport for all the details on your system’s battery, including the battery level at certain intervals of time, along with the amount of time it took to drain recently.The powercfg can also enable/disable power options, duplicate and delete power schemes and much more.
Note: you must open the command prompt with administrative access. Simply, search for ‘cmd’ right click and choose ‘run as administrator’.
10. HELP COMMAND
At the end of our lists of command prompt tricks is ‘Help’. ‘Help’ command comes in handy anytime you are confused with any command lines. Though it is very fruitful for beginners, professional users can also learn few new things. We can get information on how a process behaves and syntax associated with each process.
- Simply type in ‘help’ followed by the command line whose information you would like to receive. eg:- ‘help dir’ shows proper syntax associated with this command line. It lists every attribute used with the given command.
There are a couple of neat tricks that are hidden inside the command prompt on windows. Things like pressing tab for auto computing the commands. Using the arrow keys to cycle through previous commands and pressing F7 that shows you the list of command you have used in that session. All of these can come in handy in certain situations.
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