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Is it possible to open the command prompt with Windows 7 with a shortcut key, and if it is, how do you do it?

I know that I can assign a shortcut key to it, but does Windows come with a shortcut key already?

I know in that in Ubuntu, with the Unity desktop environment at least, you can press Ctrl + Alt + T.

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2  
In Linux there may be no such shortcut key, depending on desktop environment. In fact, there rarely is one (except Alt+F2, entering something like xterm or another terminal emulator and pressing Enter, but this is analogous to Windows' WinLogo+R, cmd, Enter). –  Ruslan Mar 14 at 12:37
    
@Ruslan I should have said the flavour... I am using Debian 12.04 LTS –  Dozer789 Mar 14 at 22:59
    
You must mean Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. There's no such thing as Debian LTS, nor such versions as 12.04 for Debian. –  Ruslan Mar 15 at 4:07
    
@Ruslan Sorry, I don't why I said Debian... I meant Ubuntu. –  Dozer789 Mar 17 at 23:13

12 Answers 12

up vote 52 down vote accepted

For normal prompt, follow these steps:

  • WinKey+R
  • Input "cmd".
  • Enter

.
For elevated (administrator) prompt, follow these steps:

  • WinKey (Start Menu opens on the left-bottom corner)
  • Input "cmd".
  • Ctrl+Shift+Enter
    .

You can, of course, create a special shorcut for your computer, but memorizing the above keys should be useful because they work on every vanilla (untouched) Windows version (NT, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1... even Win98 or 95, if you still use them), and, as far as I know, flavour (Home, Pro, Server, Premium, Ultimate... etc).

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+1 This is the best method IMO. Simple, allows for elevated, and works on stock installations. –  user2714915 Mar 14 at 10:04
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It seems the ctrl+shift+enter trick doesn't work on Win8.1 though... But there you can select it directly from the menu-popup that's brought up by pressing win+x. –  deroby Mar 14 at 12:44
    
I have just tested it working fine on Windows 8. Don't know about v8.1 yet. –  Sopalajo de Arrierez Mar 14 at 13:10
    
@SopalajodeArrierez What is the difference between normal prompt and elevated prompt? –  Geek Mar 15 at 18:39
2  
@SopalajodeArrierez turns out to be my own mistake off course. I re-read the issue and then realized that out of habit I pressed Winkey + R, then typed cmd and pressed shift-enter, thus starting it via the "Run"-box. This does not work indeed. Pressing just Winkey and typing cmd starts it via the "Search" and this one does indeed recognize the shift-enter. Sorry for the confusion! –  deroby May 2 at 16:56

Easy as. You just need to create a shortcut to the command prompt somewhere to allow you to apply the hotkey combination to it. Here's one way to do it.

  • Hit the Windows button
  • In Search programs and files, type cmd
  • When cmd.exe is found, right-click on it and go Pin to start menu
  • Close and reopen the start menu (or just press Esc)
  • Right click on your new pinned shortcut and choose Properties
  • On the shortcut tab, you will find a field called Shortcut key
  • Select that field and set the key combination you want to use
  • Press OK

Job done!

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That is what I was talking about... I know I can set the hot key for it, I was just wondering if there was a pre-set one. –  Dozer789 Mar 14 at 0:39
4  
No, there is no preset one. –  Iain Fraser Mar 14 at 0:40
    
This is the best way to do it. +1, but someone gave it a -1 –  Devid Mar 14 at 0:45
    
I am thinking that setting a shortcut for it is the best way for doing it. +1 from me! –  Dozer789 Mar 14 at 0:46
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@MooingDuck: Haha, you're right. That's what I do as well (Win-R, cmd, enter). I do it so frequently that in my brain, I thought Win-R WAS a shortcut to Cmd. My mistake. :-) –  loneboat Mar 14 at 22:54

Click Start, and type cmd. Right click the icon, and click Pin to Taskbar. Then, depending on its position, you can press Win + 1-9, depending on its position from the Start orb.

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This is what I would do. I like that feature. It was even added to Ubuntu. –  OregonTrail Mar 14 at 4:56

Use AutoHotKey for this.

Example(CTRL + Alt + T):

^!t::
Run %comspec% /k
return

Note: comspec is a built-in variable that resolves to C:\Windows\system32\cmd.exe on a typical system.

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In Windows 7 there's also a convenient way to create a command line window pointing to a folder that is currently open in explorer: Shift + Right-click in that folder and select "Open command window here":
convenient way to create a command line window pointing to a folder
See this sevenforums post for more examples of Shift changing default behavior.

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Even better, in the address bar type cmd –  TankorSmash Mar 14 at 15:09
    
Shift+Right click offers this option on desktop as well. –  David Starkey Mar 14 at 17:14
    
Also works in Windows 8 / 8.1 –  user11153 Apr 8 at 10:50

The best way !(no typing and no clicking just shortcut key)

  1. Make a shortcut of this cmd.exe file at desktop
  2. Go to the shortcut's properties and there will be a space for shortcut-key ... input any key of your choice (lets say c) then the shortcut key turns to ctrl + alt + c.
  3. Now test it out anywhere!

Another way out (this has 2 key combo)

  1. drag cmd.exe to just beside the windows orb at bottom-left corner of your screen (by default the orb is there)
  2. press winkey + 1(yeah! the key with windows logo and the number 1)

P.S : and the best part of this is that you can have programs which can open with shortcut keys of your choice!

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In Windows, any link (.lnk) can have hotkey assigned. Create a link to cmd.exe, go to it's properties and set the hotkey.

Or you can pin any program to task panel and start it with Win+(digit) combination. Win+1 will start the first icon on the task panel, Win+2 - the second one and so on.

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You can use AutoHotkey to make a keyboard shortcut for the command prompt and set it to any key combination you want. It's easy to set up and use.

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Windows does not come with a shortcut key to the command prompt. The closest thing would be the extended context menu (Shift + Right-click) on the Desktop or perhaps just Win + R and then running cmd.

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How do I add one of those to the cmd? –  Dozer789 Mar 14 at 0:33
    
On Windows 7, Shift + Right-click on the Desktop should give you an option that says "Open command window here." If you'd like a right-click option to be available anywhere, I've found Ultimate Windows Context Menu Customizer to be helpful. –  N1ghtshade3 Mar 14 at 0:35
    
That Ultimate Windows Context Menu Customizer looks useful. I'll look into that. –  Dozer789 Mar 14 at 0:41

If you are a keyboard guy, you will like Launchy.

Launchy indexes the entries in the start menu (configurable, other places are possible too). Now, you hit Alt+SPACE and the Launchy window opens.

Type cmd and the console opens.

IMO a much more natural way to start applications (by their name) than Autohotkey.

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It's quite unnatural to install a special tool to run an executable in %PATH%. WinLogo+R can do this, and it's available by default. –  Ruslan Mar 14 at 12:40
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Yep. Things get interesting when you want to start something not in %PATH%. Or if you not only want to start an executable but for example open a word document, calculate something quickly etc. Launchy handles all that. Give it a try. Once you've used it you'll never want to miss it again -- if you're a keyboard guy. If you're fine with clicking through the explorer, Launchy is not for you. –  eckes Mar 14 at 12:44
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It's overkill for the OP's question. As for myself, I don't use Windows, I'm happy with Yakuake @ Linux :) –  Ruslan Mar 14 at 12:48
    
@Ruslan: yep. Solves more that OPs problem. Give a man a fish... you know? –  eckes Mar 14 at 12:50

Not quite a shortcut key, but still only a mouse-click and 4 keystrokes away: Since Vista, in File Explorer editing the "breadcrumbs" address and overwriting it with cmd and pressing Enter will start cmd.exe and a bonus: it starts it in the folder you're currently displaying.

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It is better to:

  • Create a custom shortcut of CMD.EXE on the desktop
  • Go to properties of shortcut you have created
  • Assign a custom key to whatever you want in the shortcut key textbox
  • Press the shortcut key on the keyboard, and it starts opening
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