Windows 11 Open Command Prompt

There are many ways to open Command Prompt in Windows 11. In this article, we attempted to cover all the possible methods. Many of them may be already familiar to you, but Windows 11 changes some of the traditional options.

These days, Microsoft is actively promoting PowerShell and Windows Terminal as the default console apps on Windows. The classic Command Prompt takes a backseat in Windows 11, and is not exposed even in the Start menu. However, it is not really hard to launch it when you need it.

How to open Command Prompt in Windows 11

There are multiple methods to access the classic Command Prompt. You can use the Windows Terminal, which includes a profile for the classic tool. You can launch it directly from the new Windows Tools folder, and even from the File Explorer. Finally, there are some less obvious methods. Let's review them all.

Open Command Prompt from Windows Terminal

  1. Open Windows Terminal using any preferred option. For example, right-click the Start button and select Windows Terminal.
  2. Press Ctrl + Shift + 2 or click the arrow-down button next to the new tab button.
  3. Select Command Prompt.

The Windows Terminal app will host the Command Prompt session which you can use as your regular cmd.exe application.

Using the Run dialog box

Here is one of the quickest ways to open Command Prompt in Windows 11. It works from any running app. It only requires pressing just a couple of buttons. Press Win + R, then enter cmd and press Enter.

Open Command Prompt from the Start menu

  1. Click the Start menu button, the one with four blue squares in the taskbar.
  2. Now click All Apps.
  3. Click on Windows Tools.
  4. In a new window, open Command Prompt.

Open Command Prompt from Windows Search

Windows Search is another quick way to open Command Prompt.

To open Command Prompt in Windows 11 from Search, do the following.

  1. Click the search button on the taskbar or use the Win + S shortcut. You can also open the Start menu and use the search field.
  2. Start typing Command Prompt or a shorter cmd command. Launch Command Prompt from the search results.

Run Command Prompt from File Explorer

In a nutshell, Command Prompt is just a regular Win32 app that stores its files on the system drive. If you want to know where Windows keeps Command Prompt executable file, go to C:\Windows\System32  and find the cmd.exe file. That is your Command Prompt in Windows 11.

Additionally, Windows 11 File Explorer allows opening Command Prompt right in the current folder.

Open cmd.exe in the current folder

  1. Open File Explorer, e.g. using the Win + E hotkey.
  2. Go to the desired folder.
  3. Type cmd.exe in the address bar of the File Explorer window.
  4. Hit Enter to open the command prompt right in the current folder.

You can also open Command Prompt from Task Manager in Windows 11. Since Microsoft has made some drastic changes in Windows 11, we recommend reading our dedicated article that explains how to open Task Manager in Windows 11.

Launch Command Prompt from Task Manager

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager app.
  2. Click File > New Task.
  3. Type cmd, then click OK.
  4. A new command prompt will open.

If your system fails to boot and you want to troubleshoot it from recovery, you can also use the Command Prompt.  Here is how to do that.

How to open Command Prompt from Recovery in Windows 11

  1. Boot into Windows Recovery by pressing Shift + F8 before Windows attempts to start in a normal mode.
  2. Click Troubleshoot.
  3. Click Advanced Options.
  4. Click Command Prompt.

Open Command Prompt during Windows 11 setup

You can also open Command Prompt during Windows 11 installation process. All that you need to do is boot using your Windows installation media and press Shift + F10 during any step (before Windows 11 starts installing its files).

How to create a shortcut to Command Prompt in Windows 11

  1. Right-click anywhere on the Desktop or in any folder where you want to create a shortcut to Command Prompt in Windows 11.
  2. Select New Item > Shortcut.
  3. In a new window, enter cmd.exe into the only input field available and click Next.
  4. Give your shortcut a meaningful name, then click Finish.

Now you can rename your shortcut or change its icon. Unfortunately, you cannot pin that shortcut to the taskbar directly, but here's a workaround.

How to pin Command Prompt to the taskbar in Windows 11

All you need to do is open Command Prompt in Windows 11 using any of the methods described in this article. Then, right-click the Command Prompt icon on the taskbar and select Pin to taskbar.

After that, you can launch Command Prompt in Windows 11 with a single click on the taskbar. Neat.

Add Command Prompt to the Context Menu in Windows 11

  1. Download a ZIP archive with the required registry files using this link.
  2. Extract files to any preferred folder. If needed, unblock the files.
  3. Launch the Add Command Prompt.reg file and confirm changes to the Windows Registry.
  4. Now you can right-click in any folder and select Show More Options > Open Command Prompt here.

The undo file is also included in the archive.

Alternatively, you can use Winaero Tweaker. It includes an option to quickly add the command prompt to Windows 11 context menu, and even customize its appearance. Here you go.

Add Command Prompt to the Context Menu with Winaero Tweaker.

  1. Download the app from here, and install it.
  2. In the left pane, navigate to Context Menu \ Add Command Prompt to Context Menu.
  3. On the right, check the option to add it to the context menu.
  4. Customize the options according to your preferences, and click on Apply.

You are done. Now you can right-click a folder and select Show More Options > Open Command Prompt here.

Tip: Clicking Show More Options in the context menus just to get to the Command Prompt option is a cumbersome and not-so-convenient process. You can set Command Prompt as the default profile in Windows Terminal, then use the Open Windows Terminal option in the context menu without opening additional menus.

Alternatively, you can use a dedicated guide that describes how to Add Open in Windows Terminal" cascading context menu to Windows 11.

Now you know all the possible ways to open Command Prompt in Windows 11.

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