A method by which actions can be performed on a computer running Microsoft Windows by typing text into a command prompt window. The commands that are available depend on which version of Windows is used.
Examples of commands common to most Windows platforms include the attrib command, cacls command, copy command, dir command, and diskcopy command. In addition to these Windows commands, some special commands are available only when certain networking services or protocols are installed. For example, if TCP/IP is installed on a computer running Windows, a number of TCP/IP commands are available, including the arp command, ping, tracert, and nbtstat.
Commands are useful for administering different aspects of a system or network using a command-line interface, such as a telnet connection or a command prompt. Commands are also often used in writing batch files that can perform a group of operations on a system or network service. You can run such a batch file directly, or you can schedule its operation for a predetermined time.
Finally, many Windows programs can be started in different ways from the command prompt using optional switches. For example, Windows Explorer can be run by typing explorer.exe from the command prompt. These programs are normally run using a graphical user interface (GUI), are started by desktop shortcuts, and are not usually referred to as commands.