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The ~ character is a universal alias in the Unix word for referencing the home directory of the user. It is a special character that will be parsed and replaced by the full path of the current user's home directory. Is there an equivalent of this in cmd.exe ? (not Powershell)

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No.

You can use commands like cd /D %homedrive%\%homepath% or cd /D %userprofile% but typing them is just not the same even if end result is. The closest to the simplicity of cd ~ I've ever seen is Señor CMasMas's elegant solution below.

Create a new bat file with one single line:

@cd /d %UserProfile% –

Save it with name cd~.bat into any folder in your %PATH%. After that you can get from anywhere in the system back to home directory by typing command

cd~
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    It is funny that you mention this. I have a cd~.bat file in my path that has one line in it.. @cd /d %UserProfile% Sep 23, 2021 at 2:18
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    That's the most elegant solution I've ever seen :D Sep 23, 2021 at 9:35
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    Be aware that %homepath% does not include the drive, just the path relative to that drive. %homedrive% contains the drive letter. Sep 23, 2021 at 12:14
  • @RossPresser Good point, let's update the answer :-) Sep 23, 2021 at 12:16
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    In Unix you wouldn't even type cd ~, just cd because $HOME is already the default destination. ~ is useful when you're cd'ed somewhere else and want to reference a file in your home dir, e.g. vim ~/notes.txt or cp -a foo ~/bin/. (Or in a script where you might be.) Anyway, isn't %homedrive%\%homepath% basically equivalent to $HOME, expanding an environment variable? When you say it's "not the same", do you mean it's too long to type? Sep 23, 2021 at 22:30

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