Tip

Open the command prompt from right-click menu

Many users find the command prompt very useful when it comes to doing down-and-dirty tasks such as mass deleting or renaming files. For example, when using Windows Explorer, they want to open the command prompt in the folder of their current location. That involves opening a command prompt and then navigating to your current folder.

However, there's a quicker way: you can add an option to the right-click context menu that will open a command prompt at your current folder.

For example, if you were to right-click the "C:\mydocs\official\finance" folder, you could open a command prompt at C:\mydocs\official\finance.

To add this option on right click menu, follow these steps:

  1. Run the Registry Editor
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Classes/Folder/Shell.
  3. Create a new key called Command Prompt. For the default value, enter whatever text you want to appear when you right-click a folder for example, Open Command Prompt.
  4. Create a new key beneath the Command Prompt key called Command. Set the default value to Cmd.exe /k pushd %L.
  5. Exit the Registry.

The "pushd" command stores the name of the current directory, and %L uses that name to start the command prompt at it. The new menu option will show up immediately whenever you right click any folders. Note that it won't appear when you right-click a file; it shows up only when you right-click a folder.

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This was first published in June 2006

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