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.

Answer entries need to specify

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  • Commands
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Shortcut to commands

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    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
  • great list, very usefull – Adyt May 20 '09 at 8:56
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    Try putting each command as a separate answer. Then we can vote and comment on each one. – lamcro Jun 26 '09 at 12:22
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    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
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    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


I am a big fan of

  • If you're still using newsid, you're doing it wrong. – Ashley Aug 3 '11 at 22:54

powercfg.exe /QUERY

Description: This command line tool enables an administrator to control the power settings on a system.

powercfg.exe /? for full command list

devenv   # to start visual studio IDE.



Msinfo32 [/?] [/pch] [/nfo Path] [/report Path] [/computer ComputerName] [/showcategories] [/category categoryID] [/categories categoryID]

Between this, the event log and the Problem Steps Recorder, you can usually get the critical support data in just a few keystrokes.

When I am skeptical of user-reported information, I often have them run the following and e-mail me the output:

msinfo32 /report %userprofile%\Desktop\sysinfo.txt

Or just:



File > Export

A little known one is eventtriggers.

The windows task scheduler has a hidden way to schedule programs to run when particular events occur in one of the windows event logs. These kinds of tasks can only be configured from the eventtriggers command. It works in a very similar way to schtasks.

See http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb490901.aspx


Someone posted somthing simular - I have a modified version.

I create a desktop shortcut to logoff.exe and place in allusers/desktop on all servers. This way when you are done with your RDP sesssion, you just double click the logoff icon!

Love it!


Except for BGInfo with my custom configuration file, this is the best thing I've deployed to the domain via group policy:


It does exactly that; it elevates whatever command you run at the command prompt so that you don't need to have explicitly started an elevated command prompt, nor have to run everything in elevated mode. It still brings up the UAC prompt, but I find it useful when I've had a command prompt running most of the day that has the commands I've used in it, but then need to quickly add a route, or do something that requires elevation without losing my history and starting a new cmd.

As I said, I deployed it via group policy (into %windir%\system32) and got it from John Robbin at Wintellect.


shadow will allow you to shadow someone's RDP or Terminal Server session. Very useful for troubleshooting a box remotely with another party:

query user

A Control + * will stop the shadowing the session.


I use 'set' from a command line quite a lot when wanting to find the system environment variables. Such as whether or not an end users machine is 64bit.


Type SET without parameters to display the current environment variables.


Telephone and Modem Properties

The command



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Side Note: I wish I never get to see this screen ever again...

  • great +1... very very usefull – Adyt May 20 '09 at 9:02
  • It made me shiver... – splattne May 22 '09 at 13:25

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