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Say you have a program that gives a lot of output. It seems that Command Prompt unfortunately doesn't keep all of it (there's only so far you can scroll up).

Is there a way to keep all of it?

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up vote 23 down vote accepted

Increasing the buffer size is the best way if you just want to scroll up and see the output, which you can configure in properties.

If you are appending to a file, you'll also probably want the errors in case there are any:

C:\>somecommand.exe > "C:\path\to\output.txt" 2>&1

If you want a pager, there is more or less for Windows.


C:\>somecommand.exe | less

you can then use f to page forward or b to go backward.

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Most comprehensive answer, I think. At it just happens to be John T. What do you know. – Nathaniel Jan 29 '10 at 20:23
@Nathaniel, is that a bad thing =[] ... :) – John T Jan 30 '10 at 2:32
Nah, I just like to poke you and Molly. I don't think I'd actually like that many points. Doesn't look as pretty by one's name. – Nathaniel Jan 31 '10 at 1:14
@JohnT, What are the cmd commands (as opposed to UI) to increase the buffer size? – Pacerier Aug 25 '15 at 10:27
FYI, you need to configure Layout > Screen Buffer Size > Height, not Options > Command History > Buffer Size. – mythofechelon 2 days ago

To just capture output to a file, see other answers. You can also increase the amount to text you can scroll back and see up to a limit.

With the command prompt window open, click the [C:] icon in the title bar to bring up the menu and select properties. Under the Layout tab, change the Screen Buffer Size->Height to 9999. That will allow you to scroll back that many lines in the window.

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Are you using Windows XP if so you could append to your command | more

Alternatively you could use

command redirection operators

This page has more info for you.

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+1 for the use of block quote! (And the answer.) – Nathaniel Jan 22 '10 at 4:51
more exists since the Dark Ages of DOS ... – Joey Mar 31 '10 at 7:44

Output the results to a file, like this:

C:> RunMyProgram.exe > outputfile.txt
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+1 I was going to answer this but I was looking for a better way and didn't see one. You could increase the buffer size to 999 and number of buffers to 999, but depending on how large "a lot of output" is this may not be practical, especially when you go to save it out. You your program requires user interaction you would have to read the text file to know what the question is so you can answer it. Too bad Windows doesn't have a way to dump a log and keep the display buffers normal. – Scott McClenning Jan 22 '10 at 3:37
@Scott: The number of output buffers is irrelevant for how many lines can be displayed. In a way they're like frame buffers for graphics; you can write to them and switch the display to another one. The buffer size, however, goes up to 9999 which should suffice for most needs. – Joey Mar 31 '10 at 7:50

you can increase the buffer size on command history (defaults to 50) on properties. you could try to something like 500 or even 5000, than you should be able to scroll up a lot more.

another way is to redirect the output to a file using the ">" char:


C:> someCommand > output.txt

than open the txt file and you should see the output for the command there.

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