I work a LOT in the windows command line. Unlike other windows, it doesn't maximize - it just goes a big as it can depending on the buffer size. Is there any way I can get the CMD to act like the PuTTY console, flowing with the resize?

NOTE: The answer doesn't have to be a tweak to the CMD. If there's a PuTTY-like program out there that will work between me and the command line I'm happy with that - I just want a proper window to work in

  • @Codemonkey: The problem is, if the program uses a true console, then it can't flow. If it mimics a console (like PuTTy), then it will necessarily fail to work well with some programs, i.e. ones that use low-level console I/O. Which do you prefer?
    – user541686
    May 19, 2011 at 23:34
  • Who says I can't use both? :-)
    – Hubro
    May 19, 2011 at 23:37
  • Ah I see, so you just need the latter, right? (CMD is already the former.)
    – user541686
    May 19, 2011 at 23:39
  • I never really use it, but I think PowerShell should have a bit more flexibility.
    – Ciaran
    May 19, 2011 at 23:46
  • 2
    This one is more general than the Vista-specific superuser.com/questions/7219/…. Could we swap the duplicate, so that we can post a new answer here?
    – Basj
    May 25, 2020 at 13:49

6 Answers 6


It's a bit tricky, but you can make the cmd fullscreen:

  1. Launch the CMD and write the following code:

    mode 800
  2. Now you can make it fullscreen by pull the menubar to the top of the screen or resize it, to whatever size you want.

If you want, that this is set by default, do the following:

  1. Open an editor and write in the code

    @Echo Off
    mode 800
  2. Now change the filename to .cmd or .bat

  3. Put it in the autostart.
    To put it in the autostart for all users, do the following:

    1. Go to the registry by entering regedit.exe in the windows-searchfield.
    2. Go to the following path:

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor
    3. Optional: If you want to do it just for the actual user, go to the following path:

      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor
    4. Now add a key from type REG-SZ with the name Autorun and put the path of the script in the data-section of the key. enter image description here

    5. Now you have to change the value of the value. Rightclick on the key and choose edit. enter image description here

    6. Now set the value to the path, where your script is: enter image description here

Everytime you now launch your machine, your cmd will be able to go fullscreen.

  • This spawns scrollbars and the text doesn't wrap, but it's still the best solution I've seen so far!
    – Hubro
    Oct 19, 2013 at 22:09
  • Yes, it's a workaround. I dont know, why microsoft doesn't implement fullscreen ability.
    – Christian
    Oct 19, 2013 at 22:12
  • 2
    @codemonkey, you can use '''mode 160''' or can test other number that matches desktop width without scrollbars...
    – kokbira
    Nov 3, 2013 at 19:28
  • @c0dev, I liked your solution :)
    – kokbira
    Nov 3, 2013 at 19:29
  1. Open CMD

  2. Right click on titlebar and choose "properties"

  3. In "layout" tab, in "screen buffer size" change from 80 to a number that will fit your screen width. E.g., in my notebook a CMD window is the half of my computer screen in width, so I choose 160.

  4. Maximize window and see if appears an horizontal scroll bar at bottom or if there are more space on the right. If so repeat step 3 using other widths (for me 158 functioned).

  5. In layout tab, copy values from "screen buffer size" to "windows size". Height will be locked to the maximum allowed (in mine case, 61) and it is done.

  6. Trick: if you want, for some reason, maintain original size of CMD window, create a link (or a lot of links) for CMD with different size. E.g., in my desktop there are two shortcuts for CMD. One is a shortut for "CMD" named "CMD - original". The other is a shortcut for "CMD /k cd \" named "CMD - big", with those sizes for fullscreen (158x61).


  • This answer is obvious and doesn't address the "flowing with the resize" part of my question, but it's still the best solution. Damn windows
    – Hubro
    Nov 1, 2011 at 22:56
  • 4
    This is a much simpler method ("wmic" trick): 1. Open CMD 2. Execute wmic 3. At the wmic:root\cli> prompt maximize the window 4. Right click on titlebar and choose "Properties" 5. Copy "Window wide" to "Buffer wide" and increment "Window height" by 2 6. Click "Accept" 7. Enter exit
    – Aacini
    May 27, 2015 at 19:09
  • 1
    @Aacini, use your comment as one more answer.
    – kokbira
    Sep 17, 2015 at 19:22

On most computers, Alt + Enter should let you enter or exit full screen. Note that this will hide your taskbar too.

  • 1
    Not on 64-bit...
    – user541686
    May 19, 2011 at 23:31
  • 1
    Or 32-bit from Vista upwards I think. Was definitely applicable on XP though.
    – Ciaran
    May 20, 2011 at 0:03
  • 1
    Screenshot: i.stack.imgur.com/j9aRm.png . Interesting, I never knew that. And that must be the reason why my Print Shop/New Print Shop (circa 1989/1993) won't run in W7 either! Wonder how to get them working...?
    – therube
    May 20, 2011 at 1:01
  • 1
    @therube: See superuser.com/questions/160134/full-screen-dos-in-windows-7.
    – Hello71
    May 20, 2011 at 1:55
  • @therube If you have Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate, Google "Windows XP mode", install it, then install Print Shop inside the XP virtual machine it creates. Works practically the same.
    – kirb
    May 22, 2011 at 12:14

Open cmd.exe Right click on the title bar click properties click layout adjust to your liking.

  • 1
    That doesn't make the text flow as the window is resized...
    – user541686
    May 19, 2011 at 23:31

No, the Windows architecture simply doesn't understand what "flowing text" means, in the console.

It would need to provide support for pseudo-TTY, but it doesn't: https://jdebp.eu./FGA/capture-console-win32.html

  • Updated my question
    – Hubro
    May 19, 2011 at 23:33

You can create a shortcut with the following content:

PowerShell -WindowStyle Hidden -Command "Start-Process cmd -WindowStyle Maximized"

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