Windows Command Line Utilities Every Professional Should Know

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The Windows command prompt is a feature that’s been a core part of the Windows operating system for a long time. Some windows command-line utilities are so useful and easy to use that even regular users see the Windows command prompt as a key part of the operating system.

1. PING: Send Test Packets

ping command
PING Command

An IT Professional’s best friend is the PING command.  Running this command sends test packets over the network to the target system.

You can use the PING command to test whether your computer can access another computer, a server, or even a website. It can help with revealing network disconnections. It also provides transit time for the packets in milliseconds, so it also reveals a bad network connection as well.

2. TRACERT: Trace Route

tracert command

The TRACERT command is a fascinating Windows Command to use. If you’re ever curious to see the path your internet traffic takes to get from your browser to a remote system like Google servers, you can use TRACERT to see it.

The command stands for “Trace Route”, which sends packets out to a remote destination (server or website), and provides you with all of the following information:

  • Number of hops (intermediate servers) before getting to the destination
  • The time it takes to get to each hop
  • The IP and sometimes the name of each hop

TRACERT can reveal how the routes of your internet requests change depending on where you’re accessing the web. It also helps with troubleshooting a router or switch on a local network that may be problematic.

3. POWERCFG: Power Configuration

power configuration command

Are you frustrated with how quickly your laptop seems to run out of power? It could be that your power settings are configured as efficiently as possible. There’s a windows CMD command called POWERCFG (power configuration) that can help. Run the command prompt as an administrator and type powercfg – energy to get a full power efficiency report.

The process can take up to about a minute, but when it’s done, you’ll see whether there are any warnings or errors that might help you improve the power efficiency of your system. Just run the command “start energy-report.html” to view the result.

4. IPCONFIG: IP Configuration

ipconfig command windows

Network troubleshooting is never simple, but one command that makes it much easier is IPCONFIG.

Using this command in the CMD command prompt returns detailed information about your current network adapter connection including:

  • Current IP Address
  • Subnet Mask
  • Default Gateway IP
  • Current domain

This information can help you troubleshoot router issues and other connection issues you could be having with your network adapter.

5. SYSTEMINFO: System Information

system information
system information

If you need to know what brand of network card you have, processor details, or the exact version of your Windows OS, the SYSTEMINFO command can help.

This command polls your system and pulls the most important information about your system. It lists the information in a clean format that’s easy to read.

6. SFC: System File Checker


If you’re ever concerned that a virus or some other software might have corrupted your core system files, there’s a Windows command that can scan those files and ensure their integrity.

You need to launch CMD as administrator (right-click and choose Run as Administrator). Typing SFC /SCANNOW will check the integrity of all protected system files. If a problem is found, the files will be repaired with backed-up system files.

7. SCHTASKS: Schedule Tasks

scheduled tasks command line

Windows comes with a wizard for creating scheduled tasks. For example, maybe you have a BAT file stored on C:\temp that you want to run every day at noon.

You’d have to click through the Scheduled Task wizard to configure this. Or you can type a single SCHTASKS command to set it up.

SCHTASKS /Create /SC HOURLY /MO 12 /TR Example /TN c:\temp\File1.bat

The scheduled switch accepts arguments like minute, hourly, daily, and monthly. Then you specify the frequency with the /MO command.

If you typed the command correctly, you’ll see the response, SUCCESS: The scheduled task “Example” has successfully been created.

Source – Microsoft


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