Does %* in batch file mean all command line arguments?

2 Answers 2


Yes. According to the official Microsoft documentation:

The %* batch parameter is a wildcard reference to all the arguments, not including %0, that are passed to the batch file.

  • 8
    note: if you have 30 words separated with spaces as argument, you can only take the 9 first words with %i, with i from 1 to 9, but with %* you can take all the 30 words
    – kokbira
    Apr 25, 2011 at 20:38
  • 6
    @kokbira or you can use shift to access the rest
    – TWiStErRob
    Nov 10, 2014 at 13:38
  • 2
    @TWiStErRob - I'm sure you know it but to be clear... even with %* you need to use shift to access parameters beyond %9. The advantage of using %* is you can pass the entire ORIGINAL parameter list (including parameters that have been "shifted out") to an external batch or other program, or with a call :label %*, even if you don't know how many parameters are in the list (or if it's more than 9). Feb 16, 2020 at 22:44
  • 4
    Is this quoted properly, like "$@" in sh?
    – mirabilos
    Jan 4, 2022 at 22:31

Besides this, a comment by @kobkira notes that you can take only up to 9 arguments in conventional syntax. Like this if you want to get n number of arguments in separate array style variables, use this syntax:

@echo off & setlocal enabledelayedexpansion & set "n=30"
for /l %%a in (1,1,%n%) do (
  for /f "tokens=%%a delims= " %%b in ('echo %*') do (
    set "arg[%%~a]=%%~b"
  • Does array style mean you include indices into variable names? Batch file doesn't support private variables, every assignment exposes variable as environment var... ((
    – gavenkoa
    Nov 25, 2022 at 22:20

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