How does one set the title of the of the Command Prompt (CMD) in Windows XP to the current working directory dynamically ? I can use

title %CD%

however, this is a temporary fix and the title remains fixed when I change directory using the CD command.

  • Well, what happens when you use pushd with one of the macros?
    – Hello71
    Jul 5, 2010 at 21:27

6 Answers 6


Got it to work thanks to gravvity's doskey macro. He has used && to combine the cd and title commands which works perfectly. I even made this macro load every time I use cmd by tweaking the registry.

1) I created a bat file called cmd_title.bat and it contents are

@echo off
title %cd%

2) I placed this file in the C: drive (C:\cmd_title.bat)

3) Create another batch file called cmd.bat in the C: drive with the following contents

doskey cd = cd /d $* ^&^& "C:\cmd_title.bat"
title %cd%

(the /d flag is for using cd to switch to another drive).

4) Then we open regedit and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Command Processor. Here there is a key called AutoRun. We modify the value of this key and set it to the location of the cmd.bat file in quotes (eg: "C:\cmd.bat").

Now cd works as we want every time we open cmd.

Basically && is used for command chaining in Windows

  • 1
    You might have disturbed the CompletionChar/PathCompletionChar values in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Command Processor key in the registry. To set use the tab key for auto-completion you need to set the CompletionChar and PathCompletionChar values to 0x9 (hex) Sep 10, 2010 at 5:44
  • 1
    +1 it is a working solution, but with minor correction: AutoRun is not a key, but value of type of string.
    – mloskot
    Dec 6, 2011 at 23:53
  • 2
    Nice solution! You could also do it without the cmd_title.bat if you type the macro like this instead: doskey cd=@echo off$Tcd /d $*$T@title ^%cd^%$Techo on
    – Superole
    Dec 21, 2015 at 17:24
  • 2
    I find @echo off is not necessary if you just add @ in front of the commands you don't want echoed. I also found this command more useful to set the title to just the current directory name instead of the full path @for %%* in (.) do @title %%~nx* Sep 14, 2016 at 19:21
  • 1
    This solution works, but it means that you cannot add your own /d flag when you call cd. For instance:"H:\>cd /d V:\" gives you the message "The syntax of the command is incorrect." I actually think that cd should always work like cd /d, and this will save me some typing, so I consider it an improvement. However, it's worth mentioning.
    – Alan
    Jul 20, 2017 at 14:01

I think that pushd and popd are much more useful than cd, and would see a lot more use if they were quicker to type. I have resolved the issues of cd vs. pushd/popd and console window directory title with the following script, which I call d.bat, which is in my path.

@ echo off
rem d.bat replaces CD, PUSHD, and POPD with one command that also changes the title
rem of the console window to tell the current directory. Invoked with no arg, the
rem title is updated. Use this after changing the directory by some other means.
rem The argument / invokes popd. Any other argument invokes pushd with that arg.

if not _%1 == _ ( 
    if _%1 == _/ (
    ) else (
        pushd %*
title %CD%

You can change the Command Prompt's title by using the title command.

You may create a batch file (say mycd.bat) containing:

title "%1"
cd  "%1"

and use it instead of "cd" :

mycd "newdir"

You can also put the .bat file in system32 if you wish it to always be available.

  • 6
    Using macros would be a better option: doskey cd=cd $* ^&^& title $* May 20, 2010 at 13:17
  • @grawity: Good idea.
    – harrymc
    May 20, 2010 at 14:53

You can't, at least not with the Windows shell.

It might be possible to add "set Xterm title" escape sequences to %PROMPT%, but you would need a different terminal emulator (perhaps PuTTYcyg or something from SfU), as Windows Console does not support escape sequences.

Alternatively, find another shell which can use the Windows console functions to set titles.

These are often confused in Windows contexts, so...

shell reads and interprets input; cmd.exe, command.com, /bin/sh

terminal, terminal emulator, console displays text-based programs (including the shell) on your screen; Windows Console, xterm, PuTTYcyg

  • actually, cmd.exe is a terminal. explorer is a shell.
    – Rook
    May 20, 2010 at 13:09
  • 2
    @Idigas: explorer is a GUI shell, cmd.exe is a text-based one. (Think about it: cmd.exe is the exact equivalent of /bin/sh in Unix, and /bin/sh is always called "the shell". Similarly, the Windows Console is equivalent to a "terminal emulator" in X11.) May 20, 2010 at 13:14
  • I stand corrected.
    – Rook
    May 20, 2010 at 13:54

Assuming \tools is in the path, and it's where you keep your batch files:

copy con: \tools\titlecmd.txt

title ^Z

copy con: \tools\cdtitle.bat


copy \tools\titlecmd.txt+\tools\cd.txt cdtitletmp.bat

call cdtitletmp


You now have a cdtitle.bat that you can call from another batch file.


Create a file: cd.bat and put the following in there:

cd %*  
title %CD%  

Then issue this command:

doskey cd=...\cd.bat $*  

Replace "..." with the path to cd.bat. Try it out and see that it works.

To make that permanent-ish, create dosrc.cmd, put that doskey command in there, and then create a cmd shortcut, right click on it and select properties.

Modify Target to be:

%windir%\system32\cmd.exe /K ...\dosrc.cmd  

Again, replace "..." with the path to dosrc.cmd

Then double click on the shortcut, you should have the cd functionality.

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