I cannot complete command or file name in my cmd using the TAB key. When I press TAB it actually inserts a TAB space. What have I modified from default settings?

I am using Windows 7.


The completion character is configured in Registry. Open regedit, navigate to the key HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor, and make sure the value CompletionChar is set to 9 (0x9). If such a value doesn't exist, add it (right-click - New - DWORD value) and enter 9 as data.

A possible cause for this is that the system-wide settings (HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor) have the completion character set to 64 (0x40) by default, effectively disabling completion unless per-user settings override it. If you want, you can change the system-wide setting to 9 (0x9) too.

  • Thanks! Worked like a charm! This is a recent problem, suggesting that something I might have installed or modified changed my system settings. – Benny May 14 '11 at 18:19
  • @Benny: user settings. Although I can't imagine why any program would want to change that. Did you find the value in HKCU gone entirely, or just with a different data? – user1686 May 14 '11 at 20:01
  • The value did not exist at all. I had to create it. – Benny May 15 '11 at 5:46
  • @grawity This did not work for me. I have checked, both CompletionChar and PathCompletionChar values are set to 9 in both HKCU and HKLM. Do you have an idea what might be the reason? I am not able to autocomplete any command with TAB key. – Utku Nov 16 '15 at 10:46

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