Resizing is one of the biggest problems I face with the default Windows command prompt. Are there are any free/open source alternatives available?

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    You should consider learning Powershell and use Powershell ISE. ;-) Sep 4, 2009 at 11:31
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    More than a year later, answers seem to be supported by facts. Also this question did not solicity any unnecessary debate. I think that the moderator's decision to close this question is not supported by facts and should be revoked Jan 5, 2015 at 4:09

9 Answers 9


ColorConsole is my 'Windows “cmd” replacement' of choice (actually it's just a GUI wrapper around cmd.exe, not a replacement in the strict sense).

Alt text


Favorites commands

Export to HTML and RTF

Copy, Paste, Cut, etc.

Change font style and color

Tabbed Interface with multi cmd.exe

Fast folder switch

And of course it is resizeable to your likings :)

ColorConsole is freeware and portable.

  • gotte love these downvoters who don't have the courtesy (or is it guts?) to leave a comment. maybe they're just of severely limited intellectual prowess and thus not worth my while, whatever ...
    – Molly7244
    Sep 4, 2009 at 12:47
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    seems a bit bloated to me. Export to HTML? and why the extra command toolbar when the entire window is a command shell?
    – hasen
    Sep 8, 2009 at 13:02
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    i wouldn't consider some 190 kilobytes of code a bloated piece of software. and why not export to HTML/RTF? it's perfect if you need to post/print/keep records of certain commands/results (e.g. netstat, ping, ipconfig /all, to name but a few), unless you prefer the good old screenshot ... but then, everyone to their own. :)
    – Molly7244
    Sep 8, 2009 at 14:25
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    +1, Molly. Because It's free, because it adds lots of features, because you answered the question like everyone else and because downvoters can't win!
    – A Dwarf
    Sep 17, 2009 at 0:26
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    -1 It doesn't even support tab for auto-completion...
    – Terry Shi
    Oct 26, 2009 at 4:47

ConEmu is an opensource console emulator with tabs, which represents multiple consoles and simple GUI applications as one customizable GUI window.

Initially, the program was designed to work with Far Manager (my favorite shell replacement - file and archive management, command history and completion, powerful editor). But ConEmu can be used with any other console application or simple GUI tools (like PuTTY for example). ConEmu is a live project, open to suggestions.

A brief excerpt from the long list of options:

  • Use any font installed in the system, or copied to a folder of the program (ttf, otf, fon, bdf)
  • Run selected tabs as Administrator (Windows Vista or later) or as selected user
  • Windows 7 Jump lists and Progress on taskbar
  • Integration with DosBox (useful on 64-bit systems to run DOS applications)
  • Smooth resize, maximized and full screen window modes
  • Scrollbar initially hidden, may be revealed by mouseover or checkbox in settings
  • Optional settings (e.g. palette) for selected applications
  • User friendly text and block selection (from keyboard or mouse), copy, paste, text search in console
  • ANSI X3.64 and Xterm 256 color
  • In last alpha, build (120802), a split-screen feature was added (first try, may be buggy)

Far Manager users will acquire shell style drag-n-drop, thumbnails and tiles in panels, tabs for editors and viewers, true colors and font styles (italic/bold/underline).

(Sorry for the self-promotion, I'm the author of another free and open source Console Emulator, not mentioned here.)

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    Thanks for sharing your work. Finally, I have a terminal in Windows that does not make me miss Ubuntu's terminal. Jan 5, 2015 at 3:47
  • Cmder is a wrapper around ConEmu. cmder.net
    – Ajeeb.K.P
    Feb 12, 2018 at 12:20
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    cmder add nothing to conemu except some configurations and because of that it is slower than conemu. I prefer conemu. Apr 10, 2020 at 5:08

console2 is an open-source console window enhancement.

Note that it's not technically a replacement for cmd.exe as it still uses it in the back to do the real work. Actually it can be configured to use other shells such as bash or powershell.

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    The project is no longer maintained… Jan 26, 2018 at 20:35

You don't need a replacement because you can do what the you want with the Windows "cmd" window using the built in options. If you right click on the title bar you can get to a properties dialog where you can control the fonts, window size and colours etc.

And as Alex points out you can apply the settings to all future command windows, not just the current window, so they'll all be the size you want.

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    And when you've done that, apply the settings to all windows, not just the current window. That way, the settings become permanent.
    – alex
    Sep 4, 2009 at 10:34

The intuitive "mode" command lets you change the size:

mode 250,80 

just about fills my 1680x1050 screen. You could have a batch file that says

cmd.exe /k "mode 250,80"

and launch from there.

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    HKCR\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor\Autorun Sep 4, 2009 at 12:39
  • Never heard of that switch Sep 4, 2009 at 13:01
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    if you do a cmd /? it'll give you a lovely array of fancy things it can do :)
    – Phoshi
    Sep 4, 2009 at 13:34
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    i wonder why only cmd.exe is not resizable to fullscreen on Windows Vista!!
    – Lazer
    Sep 16, 2009 at 22:37
  • This is useful information, but it doesn't answer the question.
    – Jim Balter
    May 16, 2020 at 22:56

It is not cmd you want to replace, it is the console itself. cmd.exe is like /bin/bash - reads commands, prints output. Windows Console is like xterm - displays everything inside a window. These two are independent of each other.

I like "console".


Been using 4NT and Take Command from jpsoftware.com for years and years, that is, when I'm on Windows.

Otherwise, it is "the one true shell" - tcsh!

  • Indeed. TC is one excellent console for windows.
    – A Dwarf
    Sep 17, 2009 at 0:23
  • sad it's not free.
    – Terry Shi
    Oct 26, 2009 at 4:58

I used console 2, powercmd and colorconsole, but neither of them can run most of the external commands, like connecting to another computer using telnet or searching within output by piping to find and sadly, as far as I know there is no way to fullscreen console applications in 64-bit editions of Windows, even if you disable your graphic card driver.


TCC/LE is a free compatible replacement for CMD, and works very nicely within Console2.


  • @lambdor: I reverted your edit, as I don't think TCC/LE is a wrapper for CMD. It is an independent replacement shell as far as I can see. Console2 is a wrapper.
    – paradroid
    Sep 5, 2011 at 11:33
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    This is the only real answer on the page. The others are replacements for the console, this is a replacement for cmd
    – gman
    Apr 13, 2020 at 7:36
  • @gman You're mistaken. The OP wants to resize the window, so the question is about a replacement for the console, not the command interpreter. This answer addresses both, since it mentions Console2, but there are other answers that do the same.
    – Jim Balter
    May 16, 2020 at 23:00
  • Yes, the question itself is wrong and there's a pending edit to fix it.
    – gman
    May 17, 2020 at 3:01

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