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Ten Useful Command Prompt Instructions in Windows

Ten Useful Command Line Instructions

Don’t run away just because “Command Line” is in the title. These instructions, entered in a special window called the Command Prompt, are easy to execute, easy to understand, and will help greatly when managing your computer. First off, let’s start on letting you know how to get into the Command Prompt, so you can enter a Command Line Instruction.

Reaching the Command Prompt

  • Click Start (Windows Key + X in Windows 8 )
  • Click Search
  • Type CMD and press Enter

Ten Useful Command Prompt Instructions
This is what the command prompt looks like without admin access. Your username will be there, obviously.

Note that many of these commands require opening the Command Prompt as an administrator, meaning you must be logged in as an admin or know the password. To open a Command Prompt as an administrator, hold down Ctrl + Shift + Enter after typing CMD in the third step above. You’ll need to enter the password or verify this using User Account Control.

Ten Useful Command Prompt Instructions
And here’s what it looks like with admin access.

Once you have the Command Prompt open, check out these commands:

sfc /scannow

This command serves the function of scanning, repairing, replacing and restoring any damaged, missing or altered operating system files. Using this command can assist in recovery from a virus or something else that may be causing you performance issues.


This command will allow you to check your connections. Relatively straightforward — do it if you think there’s any problems with any of your connections.


Pinging is an easy way to check whether or not you’re connected to the internet, and also a great way to see the quality of your connection to a particular website or server. Type in “ping” and see what results you get!


This opens up a menu of boot options — including what services start when you turn on your computer — which can be extremely useful if you’re plagued with slow startup times or general lag while using your computer.


This will run a Disk Cleanup program on your computer, which will free up space in your hard drive and may also boost performance.


This will run a Disk Check, which will fix any problems you may be having with your hard drive. Warning: this takes a really, really long time and it will lag your computer. It’s a good thing to do now and again, though.


This will open a screen that lets you change your display, display orientation, and display resolution.


Know the name of a program file but don’t feel like searching for it? Just type in the name of the proper executable after start, and you’ll be good to go. If you use Google Chrome, a good example would be:
start chrome.exe

perfmon /res

This will open up your Resource Monitor and view your current system performance. While similar to the Task Manager, the Resource Monitor is very specific about what the active processes and services are doing and what effect they’re having on your performance — find what’s been slowing you down by using this.


Last but not least, what if you’re having graphics issues while watching a movie or playing a game? DirectX is the software that deals with how your video card displays what’s on your monitor, and typing in dxdiag opens up some helpful diagnostics that can help you get your problem fixed.

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