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How can I clear the current line in the command prompt? (I'm using Windows 7.)

Too often, I enter a command, execute it, get many lines of output, then wish to enter another command. But before entering the second command, I press the up arrow key to review the first command, then I find I have to hold backspace for 30-or so characters. (I can't just press down again to get an empty line. Nor can I get it by pressing up again.)

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@myrddim has it but that aside, some poor alternatives are keep tapping up until you have something short then hold backspace. another one is make the command be a bad command or filename, or rather, an "'sdfd' is not recognised as an internal or external command" so move the cursor a bit with left arrow and just tap a letter or don't and just tap a letter at the end, mess up the cmd input, then hit ENTER, get that error and the next line will be blank. – barlop Mar 5 '12 at 18:55
@barlop That is indeed a poor workaround! It only takes one keystroke. If you can't use the Esc key, you could use AutoHotkey to simulate it. – iglvzx Mar 5 '12 at 19:20
up vote 58 down vote accepted

The Escape (Esc) key will clear the input line.

In addition, pressing Ctrl+C will move the cursor to a new, blank line. This may be helpful as the input you just reviewed remains visible while you type the new command.

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And if you want to clear the whole screen, you can use the cls command. :) – iglvzx Mar 5 '12 at 18:52
As a side note, on UNIX it's ctrl+u. – 0sh Oct 22 '12 at 23:12
Which would be relevant if the question wasn't specifically targeted at the Windows 7 command prompt. :-) Also, I believe this is shell specific, as I am reasonably certain some shells have the same behavior as Windows when pressing Ctrl+C. – Myrddin Emrys Oct 22 '12 at 23:19
and how do you remove all the text so you can't scroll up? – FutuToad Jul 26 '14 at 16:55
@FutuToad the clear command will do what you ask. – Myrddin Emrys Jul 28 '14 at 3:57

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