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List of DOS commands
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

List of DOS commands

A list of DOS commands for Microsoft's DOS operating system. follows. Beginning with version 6.0, the user could also get help by typing HELP in the shell prompt. Square brackets indicate optional, quotation marks mean instead of typing the exact words wanted when used.

Table of contents
1 Commands
2 External link



Changes attributes of a file
Syntax - attrib "attribute string" "filename|wildcards"

cd or chdir

Change current directory
Syntax - cd "directoryname"


Clears the screen, except for the command prompt.


Copies a file from one location to another.
Syntax - copy "source" "destination"


Deletes a file. This commands accepts wildcards
Syntax - del "filename|wildcards"


Deletes a complete directory tree along with the files in the directories and subdirectories.
Syntax - deltree "directory"


Main article:
Dir (DOS Command)
Displays contents of a directory.
Syntax - dir "[filelist]" "[options]"


Delete all the files on the disk and reformat it for MS-DOS
Syntax - format "drive"
In most cases, this should only be used on floppy drives or other removable media. This command can potentially erase everything on a the computer's hard disk.


MS-DOS 6 and above command to network PCs using a null modem cable. See also: null-modem.


labels the C:\\ drive
Syntax - label master drive

md or mkdir

Create a directory
Syntax - md "directory name"


Pages through the output so that you can view more than one screen of text
Syntax - "command" | more


Moves a file
Syntax - move "source" "target"


Parks the hard disk(s) (stops their turning) in order to enable safe shutdown; only used on early versions
Syntax - pcpark

rd or rmdir

Remove a directory
Syntax - rd "directory name"


Renames a file
Syntax - ren "oldname" "newname"


Restarts the computer, on many motherboards
Syntax - restart

time and date

Set/display the date and time
Syntax - date
Syntax - time


Shows the directory tree of the current directory
Syntax - tree
tree [drive:] [/F] [/A] [>] [PRN] [*.txt]
drive: (Choose drive origin of specific folder or whole drive. Example: C: or C:\\ No need to enter drive: if already in folder you want to tree.)
/F (Displays the names of the files in each folder.)
/A (Use ASCII instead of the extended characters.)
> (Send results to)
PRN (Printer)
*.txt (replace * with name of txt file. Can replace txt file with
other document file extensions. Change Font in windows to Terminal
to make text and drawing look like DOS.)


Display an ASCII file
Syntax - type "filename"


Shows the version of MS-DOS you are using
Syntax - ver
Some versions of MS-DOS support an undocumented /r switch, which will show the revision as well as the version.


Copy files and directorys
Syntax - xcopy "source" /s

External link