When browsing in Windows Explorer, sometimes I want to start a command prompt "here", e.g. with the current browsed folder as the current directory.

For example, when I am browsing "D:\Foo\Bar\Bar1", I want to open the command prompt with current dir pointing to this directory. Normally what I do is

  1. Copy the current folder path from Windows explorer's address bar
  2. Open cmd via Start Menu > Run
  3. Type D: (because I have to change drive, the default is C:)
  4. Type "cd " and then paste the folder path that I copied earlier

I do it quite often in my daily work, and I think by adding a context menu I will improve my efficiency (and also having to do the above repeatedly can be kind of annoying). I imagine I can just Right-Click > Start cmd here and then I will have a command prompt already in D:\Foo\Bar\Bar1

Is this possible?

  • any reason for downvote? – Louis Rhys Apr 9 '13 at 16:20
  1. Start / Run / regedit

  2. Navigate to the following keys in turn:

  3. Under each in the right pane you'll see a REG_SZ string value called Extended. Just rename this to something else (in case you want to easily undo the change) or delete it (just that value):


  4. Now you can simply right-click a drive or directory and have the Command Prompt option show up without having to press Shift.

  • +1 cool. However, it still didn't show up when clicking on empty space in folder (it shows up when pressing shift). Any idea? – Louis Rhys Apr 8 '13 at 16:24
  • @LouisRhys: See my edited answer above. – Karan Apr 8 '13 at 16:48
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    that's cool! Do you happen to know if it's possible to rearrange the position of the menu too? – Louis Rhys Apr 9 '13 at 1:42
  • As in, move the Command Prompt option to another position? Unlikely since one can't control where other programs add their entries, but I'll look into it and let you know. – Karan Apr 9 '13 at 11:48

Right-click on the folder itself with Shift held down, and a new context item should appear named Open command window here.

This trick also works if you do it in the empty space of a folder.

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    +1 that's nice. Makes me wonder why it only appears with Shift – Louis Rhys Apr 8 '13 at 11:52
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    @LouisRhys: Because it has the Extended verb set. See my answer to know how to disable the verb. – Karan Apr 8 '13 at 12:39

Just type "cmd" in Windows Explorer's address bar.

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    This fails completely to answer OP's question. Could you at least take some time to clarify your answer and explain your reasoning? – DanteTheEgregore Oct 23 '13 at 5:22
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    Have you tried it? This definitely works in Win-7 (a tag applied to the OP), and probably in Vista; it doesn't in XP. – user266088 Oct 23 '13 at 9:36
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    Did you bother to even read OP's question? He's looking for a way to spawn a CMD in the current directory he has open in Explorer via the context menu. Your suggestion just spawns a CMD. He'd still have to CD over to his current directory which doesn't help at all. – DanteTheEgregore Oct 24 '13 at 3:00
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    Not in Windows Vista & 7 where the method I described works. This works for other console programs as well, e.g. Powershell.exe or tcc.exe. This behaviour has been described on various other forums, e.g. lifehacker, stackoverflow, jpsoft. I don't think that the OP wanted to limit any solutions to a context menu. – user266088 Oct 24 '13 at 10:21
  • @user266088 this is an excellent trick!! If I could multiple vote up I'd do it! I guess I've not been looking at other forums for this, since I was happy with my solution listed as an answer to another question. My solution works even on files in any explorer context menu BTW. – LMSingh Mar 19 '14 at 18:17

A fast alternative on Windows 10 is to hit Alt, D, E in succession and the command prompt will open on the current open Explorer path. Sorry for the german, but you get the point.

Alt, D shows you this menu

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    In English versions, the shortcut would be Alt, F, P – w32sh Jul 9 '16 at 10:04
  • @w32sh That open a properties dialog for me on Windows 7, which is what the question is tagged. – DavidPostill Jul 10 '16 at 11:04
  • My mistake. Thought I was in Windows 10 topic area. – w32sh Jul 10 '16 at 11:37

Without registry edit, you can achieve this with an answer to a similar but slightly different question (How do I get a right-click command line for a folder?). Works in all versions of Windows NT onwards.


You could remove 2 steps from your workflow by doing the following:

  1. Copy the current folder path from Windows explorer's address bar
  2. Start Menu -> Run -> Type cd /D "D:\Foo\Bar\Bar1 >> cmd

The command cd /D "D:\Foo\Bar\Bar1 >> cmd opens a cmd with the directory set to D:\Foo\Bar\Bar1

I hope that helps!

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