When Windows is running one of these programs what is the actual language being used? Is it C++ or something else?


3 Answers 3


A .bat file is a DOS/Windows shell script executed by the DOS/Windows command interpreter. When a batch script is saved to a .bat file, it is just called a "batch file".

The language is simply batch script. It is not a high level language like C++, but a simple interpreted scripting language.

Some consider batch files to be limited in functionality. Microsoft has released PowerShell, which is a powerful, yet complex, scripting language.

  • 3
    Batch files are not limited in functionality. You can do almost anything with them.
    – KeyC0de
    Feb 10, 2017 at 21:09
  • 1
    @RestlessC0bra batch files are extremely limited. they cannot do anything close to a full programming language, or other scripting languages.
    – Keltari
    Feb 11, 2017 at 0:21
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    @ Keltari, the Windwos batch language is Turing-complete. Here, for example, is a Brainfuck interpreter in this language. Aug 20, 2019 at 22:00

Sometimes known as the MS-DOS Batch File Language, or simply batch commands: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc722477.aspx. It is merely the encapsulation (in a file) of a series of commands, most of which could also be executed on the command line itself (at the prompt, outside of the batch file).


Windows script is what's being used, it doesn't get translated to another language it's just telling Windows explicitly what to do.

  • 3
    Batch files came about before Windows in the DOS era, so the term Windows script is inaccurate. Also, there are a lot of Windows scripting languages: PowerShell's, VBScript, JScript, batch files.
    – Olathe
    Mar 25, 2016 at 5:44

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