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I have made several customizations to how the Command Prompt window looks in Windows and now I want to reset it to its original state.

How can I do that? I just want it to look that way it does after you install Windows.

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Your question title says Command Prompt, but the body says Command Prompt window. The former is why you're getting answers about resetting the prompt itself to $p$g. You should clarify what it is you want to do. – Karan Jun 19 '13 at 15:46
I improved the title. Thanks! – Corporate Geek Jun 20 '13 at 8:57
up vote 21 down vote accepted

Try deleting the entire HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Console key (export it first just in case) from the registry. It's re-created when you customise any cmd window again, and seems to have done the trick for me in Win7.

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This seems to be the only trick that works... What's strange though is that the Command Prompt defaults for its main window are different from computer to computer. This is really strange. If you delete these keys the Command Prompt will look different on different computers. – Corporate Geek Jun 26 '13 at 11:36
I checked on a single PC only, but that's weird. Perhaps there's some sort of auto-customisation done based on certain conditions? Not sure... – Karan Jun 26 '13 at 17:13
On a closer look, the settings are generally the same everywhere. The Command Prompt looks different because screen resolutions are different, etc. The same font and size will look different on different displays. – Corporate Geek Jun 27 '13 at 18:14
Thank you, with a thousand suns. – Chad Oct 9 '14 at 0:44

Is this what you are looking for?

cmd defaults

You can also check HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Command Processor registry key and delete all the values (upon reopening cmd the default values should be set).

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This will probably not help because of this bug. – Karan Jun 19 '13 at 15:48
That does not return the Command Prompt window to the default look and feel. It just opens the customization window where you can change the way it looks. But, there's no reset option, no restore defaults, etc. – Corporate Geek Jun 20 '13 at 9:08
+1 Despite the fact this is an old thread, this should be the accepted answer. There's absolutely no need to play with registry keys. @Corporate Geek : In fact it's opening the properties window but with the default values, so you just click "OK" and your command prompt comes back to his default look and feel. Also, you will note that this method works for PowerShell as well. – Twist Apr 23 at 22:31

At a command prompt you can type prompt /? to see all the possibilities available to you but, the conventional path like C:\> is to type prompt $p$g

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This is not related to my question and doesn't help in any way. Please read my whole post. – Corporate Geek Jun 20 '13 at 8:59
Apologies, Corporate Geek identified why I misunderstood. What has been altered about the window? – datatoo Jun 20 '13 at 14:12
Font, size of the font, background colors. It just looks very different from the defual.t – Corporate Geek Jun 21 '13 at 19:10
I checked on three different machines and they all have different settings. It may be that screen resolution and available fonts, or even the OS will change this. If you are used to seeing a different font, maybe check those that are available in the window properties – datatoo Jun 21 '13 at 20:00

The only solution that works OK is the one proposed by @Karan. However, while experimenting, I did learn a couple of important things:

  • The reset is on a per user basis. If you want to reset the looks of the Command Prompt window for all user accounts, you have to manually use the same procedure individually, for all accounts.
  • The reset is performed for both the Command Prompt and PowerShell. Apparently, they use the same registry key to store their visual settings.
  • The way the windows of these tools look, differ from computer to computer. It seems that the resolution you are using is an important factor in how their windows are drawn on the screen.

In order to help others, I summarized all my learning in a complete step by step tutorial. Also, I created a registry file that can be run in order to reset all visual settings as quickly as possible. Everything can be found here: How to Reset the Looks of the Command Prompt or PowerShell Window.

Thank you all for helping me out. This problem was really bugging me.

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To reset windows console (CMD):

  • Create restore point of your system.
  • In start menu type RegEdit right click it and run as admin.
  • Now if you modified your console before, you should find a key like this: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Console\%SystemRoot%_system32_cmd.exe
  • Only delete that key i.e %SystemRoot%_system32_cmd.exe
  • Restart your system and check your console (cmd) now should be back to defaults.
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Default PROMPT:

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This is not related to my question. Please read what I have posted. – Corporate Geek Jun 20 '13 at 8:58

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