The Windows console, or CMD, is a tool that Windows has carried since its first versions. But not everyone knows about it, and even fewer people have a rough idea of everything that can be done with it. Especially if they have always handled operating systems through a graphical user environment. For this reason, they are unaware that the command line provides access to various system and network functions, in addition to those provided by the system’s graphical interface.
If you have never used it, the first thing you have to do is know how to access it. To achieve this you will not have to do anything, since it is integrated into Windows. To open it you just have to press the Windows button on the Desktop. The Start Menu will appear. At its bottom is a search box.
Write the letters cmd in it and press enter to appear, in a few moments, an option in the menu that gives direct access to the console. It’s already on the screen. Now you just have to keep in mind that to use some high-level system commands, you need to have the option activated that allows you to run the console in System Administrator mode.
If you want the console to open in the folder of your choice, you can do it from the Windows graphical interface. To begin, move through the File Explorer until you are inside the folder that interests you. Then click on the address bar that appears at the top of the window. Then type cmd in it and hit the Enter key. That’s it. As simple as that. When the console appears you will see in the command line that it has been opened inside the chosen folder. This is just one of the ttricks that you can use to get as much juice as possible from the Windows console. Here are ten more.
1 – Remove a program that does not uninstall from the system
Sometimes when you try to uninstall a system program, there seems to be no way to do it. In most cases, it will be due to a bug in the uninstall tool. To save problems you can resort to the Windows Console. To achieve this, once you have the console on the screen, with the option to run in administration mode activated, type wmic in the command line, and press Enter.
Then type product get name and press Enter again. In the text that appears, locate and write down the name of the program that you cannot uninstall. When you have it write products where name=”program name” call uninstall, where program name is the name of the program in question. Confirm the action you want to perform and wait for the ReturnValue = 0 entry to appear on the screen at the end of the text. If it does, you will have managed to uninstall the program.
2 – Check the local IP address of your computer’s network card
Sometimes it is useful, or necessary, to know the IP address that your computer is using to connect to the network through which it connects to the Internet. To do this, in the Windows Console command line, type ipconfig. Press Enter and wait a few seconds. Among other information, the current IP address of your computer’s network adapter will appear.
3 – Check who is connected through the Windows Console
Checking which users are connected to the computer you are using can be useful in various situations. Through the console you can see his username, email address and even the system permissions he has access to on the computer. To see it, type whoami/all on the command line. Wait a few seconds after pressing Enter, and review the list of information that appears. Your information will appear on it, as well as that of the rest of the users who are connected to the device.
4 – Get ownership of a file or folder on your system
If you need to remove your internal hard drive from an old laptop or computer, and connect it to your new computer by inserting it into an external storage enclosure to transfer your files to your computer’s storage drive using a simple copy and paste process. The copy will not give you any problems, but by doing so you may lose access to the rights you had until now as the owner of the files. In case this happens, you can use the Windows Console to regain control of your files so that the system recognizes you as their owner.
To start, open the Windows Console directly in the folder with the files you want to recover ownership of, as we have seen. Then, on the command line, type takeown /f filename.extension. filename refers to the name of the file whose ownership you want to retrieve, and extension to its own. Be careful to type the extension carefully, because if you make a mistake, the system will not be able to locate the file, even if its name is spelled correctly. If everything goes well, in a few moments you will have all the rights to the file in question.
If you want to reclaim ownership of an entire folder, and the files it contains, open the Windows Console in the folder you want to reclaim, after you’ve copied the folder path from the top of File Explorer. Type, on the command line, takeown /f folderpath /r (folderpath is the path to the folder and its contents). Press Enter and instantly, the folder and its contents will become your property again.
5 – Check what devices are connected to the computer
If you have administrator access to your computer and the network it is connected to, viewing all active connections on your network can be very useful in certain circumstances. Above all, to see what devices you have connected to the network, and active in it, in real time. By doing so, you can also see their IP addresses and what ports are used. So you can monitor their activity and detect if there is something out of the ordinary on the network or on the connected devices.
Writes netstat at the Console command line, and wait a few moments after pressing Enter. The system will search for active connections on your computer, and will display the ports that are being used, and what device is using them. To see more details about connections, type netstat –a on the command line.
6 – Make the contents of a text document appear on the command line
This feature is not well known, but it allows you to view text files in the Windows Console. It is useful, for example, if you have to see the content of one and you do not have a word processor installed, or the one you have does not work. To achieve this, write type filename.extension (the name and extension of the text file) at the command line and press enter. The document will appear in the Windows Console window.
7 – Check which drivers are installed
Drivers are responsible for telling your computer’s hardware how to communicate with Windows. That is why it is important not only that they are present. They also have to always be reliable. So if there are problems with them, Windows will not work properly. If this is the case, the first thing you can do to solve the problems is to see if they are installed and properly updated.
Writes driverquery at the command line, and when you press enter note the information that appears on the screen. Find the name of the drivers you want to check, and check their LinkDate column. In it you will see information about its last update, a useful piece of information for the manual installation of driver updates.
8 – Check if there are problems with your Internet connection
Sometimes, when your computer apparently goes offline because a website does not open, it may not be so. It is possible that your computer has a specific problem, which in most cases is solved with a system restart, but it does have an Internet connection. Therefore, instead of directly restarting the router without doing any checks on the equipment, see if the connection responds through the Windows Console.
Writes ping www.webpage.com at the command line (that is, the URL of any page) and hit enter. The equipment will then send, as a test, small data packets to the server where the page is hosted, which will return them if there is an Internet connection.
If everything goes well, you will see that information about the process appears on the screen, that no packets are lost and that the response time is low. In fact, the shorter the response time, the better. But if you see that there are packages that are lost, you do not receive a response from the website to which you are sending the packages or the response time is high, the connection has problems.
9 – Scan Windows system files to fix problems
Sometimes Windows system files get corrupted or missing. This can be due to various reasons, but the result in these cases is always the same: error messages or system reboots. That is why it is necessary to prevent this from happening. And if you do, get them back ASAP. But first you have to see if any are missing. For this, Windows has a built-in file scanner, which repairs the system if something is wrong with the main system files.
To run it you have to access the Windows Console and run it with administrator functions. When you have it active in this way, write sfc /scannow at the command line and press enter. The scanner will then check the entire system for any problems you may have.
The moment the scan is finished, the tool will automatically fix the faults it has found. If it hasn’t found any, a message will appear informing you that the tool, called Windows Resource Protection, has found no system integrity violations.
10 – Review and close the processes and tasks running on the system
Although you can use Windows’ built-in Task Manager to manage running processes, you won’t always achieve the desired effect. Task Manager can monitor processes in real time, but you can use the command line to generate a static list that doesn’t update automatically. This way you can more calmly review the list of processes, and calmly locate and identify those that do not want to be closed.
Type tasklist at the command line and press Enter. In the list of running programs and tasks that is generated, find the task or process that you want to close. Write down its Image Name. Then again at the command line, type taskkill /im imagename.exe (imagename.exe is the name of the process) and press Enter.
You can also do it with the PID of the process, which is also shown in the list of active processes. Then, after writing it down, write taskkill/pid, write down the PID number, and press Enter. In this case, pid is the identifier of the process that you have noted. For example, taskkill/pid 7708 would kill the process identified by PID 7708.