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The aim for this Wiki is to promote using a command to open up commonly used applications without having to go through many mouse clicks - thus saving time on monitoring and troubleshooting Windows machines.

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Shortcut to commands

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11  
If you find this stuff interesting, take a look at commandlinefu: commandlinefu.com It's basically like digg for CLI –  username May 11 '09 at 6:47
1  
Try putting each command as a separate answer. Then we can vote and comment on each one. –  lamcro Jun 26 '09 at 12:22
1  
This is a great question, super useful info, and the stackexchange engine made it trivial to find. I agree with @lamcro, however, that structuring each command as an individual answer would likely provide more value, however then the wouldn't be sorted alphabetically? hmmm... –  David Alpert Jul 29 '09 at 22:00
1  
This is a great example, across all SE, of a well-executed poll. I especially like combining separate answers (for voting) and alphabetical index to them! –  Jonik Sep 17 '10 at 14:16

160 Answers 160

EventViewer
eventvwr.msc

Opens enter image description here

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1  
You can just use "eventvwr" and save a few characters. –  boflynn May 4 '09 at 10:57
Remote Desktop Connection
mstsc.exe

Opens:

Some image demonstrationg the use of mstsc.exe.

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16  
Even better with the /v: switch. Just Win+R, then "mstsc /v:computer.fabrikam.com" –  Portman May 4 '09 at 3:31
9  
renamed to /admin switch these days, and behaves quite differently in 2008+ –  Oskar Duveborn May 4 '09 at 10:04
17  
don't forget the /span option for creating really big sessions across two monitors. –  SqlACID May 4 '09 at 14:35
6  
Renamed back to /console in Vista SP1 and later, because they shouldn't have changed it in the first place. :) –  Mark Allen May 5 '09 at 21:00
7  
While we're at it, I also often use /w: and /h: to manually set width and height. I'm particularly fond of running IIS Manager in 800x800 for some reason. –  Portman May 6 '09 at 0:08

Services control panel:

services.msc
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Programs and Features (Formerly known as "Add or Remove Programs")
appwiz.cpl

Opens

alt text

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1  
+1 for 256-colour greatness! –  Mark Henderson Oct 8 '09 at 2:34
Computer Management
compmgmt.msc

Opens
enter image description here

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Device Manager
devmgmt.msc

Opens

enter image description here

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7  
If you set the environment variable devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices to 1 before launching device manager, then when you show hidden devices it will show all the completely inactive devices (e.g. have been removed) as well. –  Richard May 4 '09 at 9:35
Disk Management
diskmgmt.msc

Opens
enter image description here

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Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager
InetMgr.exe - IIS 7
InetMgr6.exe - IIS 6
  • IIS 7
    enter image description here

  • IIS 6
    enter image description here

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ODBC Data Source Administrator
odbcad32.exe

Opens
enter image description here

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enter image description here#####Mouse Properties control mouse

-- or --

main.cpl

Opens

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Keyboard Properties
control keyboard

Opens
enter image description here

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Network and Sharing Center
control.exe /name Microsoft.NetworkAndSharingCenter

Reference: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc733147.aspx#BKMK_Anchor3

Opens
enter image description here

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Regional and Language Options
intl.cpl

Opens
enter image description here

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Internet Properties
inetcpl.cpl

Opens
enter image description here

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Task Manager | taskmgr.exe

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8  
Ctrl-Shift-Esc uses fewer keys to open Task Manager. –  Ryan Bolger May 4 '09 at 5:29

Local Security Settings

secpol.msc
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A little known one is

getmac

It shows the MAC address(es) of your network adapter(s).

Screenshot of running getmac from a Windows commandline window.

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10  
+1 Nice! Didn't know about that one. Very useful! –  WaldenL May 5 '09 at 19:22
5  
ipconfig /all gives you this information in a less direct way too. –  LeopardSkinPillBoxHat May 11 '09 at 6:56
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Oh, MAC. It would be better if it ordered a Mac from the Apple store for you. ;-) –  Kyle Cronin Jun 10 '09 at 15:55
2  
THANK YOU! No more ipconfig /all and scrolling around! "Happy dance!" –  Gomibushi Mar 24 '10 at 20:41

A list I use a lot:

  • nbtstat - List NetBIOS stats and information
  • netstat - List TCP/IP stats and information
  • ipconfig - List TCP/IP configuration for a system
  • netsh - Network configuration for a system
  • sc - manage services
  • net - whole slew of commands to manage users and groups, shares, connections, etc.
  • ping - makes sure a system is up on the network
  • tracert - trace the hops between two hosts. useful to see if there's a break in between and where it is.
  • nslookup - Query DNS for information
  • dcdiag - check health of the domain controller
  • setspn - check SPNs for Kerberos configuration
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4  
+1 for an actual list of command line tools, and not just ways to start MMC. –  WaldenL May 5 '09 at 19:24
1  
sc allows you to control services, and it allows you to do so remotely. This is different from net start/net stop, which run locally (albeit you can use psexec or something like that to get to a console on a remote system). sc will also query the service, etc. Basically everything you can do from services.msc you can now do from the command-line. technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc754599.aspx –  K. Brian Kelley May 9 '09 at 11:23
1  
netsh seems like a really powerful command, but I have not really been able to work with it. What do people really use it for? –  railmeat Aug 11 '09 at 2:33
desk.cpl

opens the display properties. (Sorry, no image)

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control userpasswords2

Opens the classic User Accounts dialog:

enter image description here

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explorer .

Open explorer with the current folder selected.

explorer /e, .

Open explorer, with folder tree, with current folder selected.

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Registry Editor

regedit
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To manage the entire IIS7 from the standard command-line (no PowerShell needed ;)

appcmd.exe
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To free up some disk space:

format c:

No, really, here's Disk Cleanup:

cleanmgr.exe

enter image description here

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On Windows XP at least (I haven't tried on Windows Vista and Windows 7):

appwiz.cpl @,2

It takes you straight to the Add/Remove Windows Components pane.

Another way to add or remove components in an automated fashion is to use

sysocmgr.exe

in unattended mode with a .inf file that lists the components you'd like to install. For example,

[NetOptionalComponents] 
SNMP = 1 

[SNMP] 
Contact_Name = IT Dept. 
Location = Office
Service = Physical, Applications, End-to-End 
Community_Name = Mormon 
Traps = server1, server2 
Send_Authentication = Yes 
Accept_CommunityName = Public:Read_Only 
Any_Host = No 
Limit_Host = server1, server2

(Credit due to thesystemadministrator.com for .inf file.)

It's a clunky tool (hey, it's MS), but it's invaluable for getting your components sorted out post-install.

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1  
"appwiz.cpl @,2" works but renamed to "Turn Windows Features On and Off" –  Sung May 4 '09 at 23:39

In the command prompt type:

C:\> start .

It opens the current directory in the Windows Explorer.

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2  
How neat. it works just like "ii ." in powershell. –  Sung May 4 '09 at 15:34
5  
You could also do "explorer ." –  Manuel Ferreria May 9 '09 at 17:14
2  
start actually works for any file type you can double-click on (word documents, xls files, etc) as well as drive mappings (not just the current working directory). –  Kyle Burton May 27 '09 at 16:40
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Note that start can be a bit funny if you have files with spaces in their names. If start's first argument is quoted, it interprets it as a request to change the window title. So instead of running: start "My File.txt" you have to enter: start "" "My File.txt" This drove me nuts until someone explained it to me! –  Ken Keenan Jun 28 '09 at 20:39

The ever-so-appropriately named lusrmgr.msc - Local Users and Groups Administrator

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Windows 7 Run Commands

I find it better to know where to find them until I have used them often enough to actually remember them.

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Notepad or something similar

notepad
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To restart IIS

iisreset
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3  
This can also be used to restart IIS on a remote server: iisreset remoteservername –  Saul Dolgin May 27 '09 at 17:58
3  
I don't use iisreset any longer. It may not save metabase config issue. I use net stop iisadmin /y && net start w3svc instead. Here's why: support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/286196 –  K. Brian Kelley Jun 10 '09 at 16:02

protected by Iain Dec 11 '11 at 14:08

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