I am trying to modify my CMD, to show only the current directory name dynamically, like:

Desktop $

When I switch the folder, it must be updated.

It is not required to be code in a pure batch file. It may depend on any external commands, Cygwin Bash, etc.

@echo off
set a=bash -c "pwd | sed 's,^\(.*/\)\?\([^/]*\),\2,'"


Microsoft Windows [Version 6.3.9600]
(c) 2013 Microsoft Corporation. Tüm hakları saklıdır.


>> prompt %a%


bash -c "pwd | sed 's,^\(.*/\)\?\([^/]*\),\2,'"

Using Microsoft's PowerShell, the prompt is produced by a function that can do anything at all.

A prompt function that does what you want is:

function prompt { (Split-Path -Leaf $pwd) + '$ ' }

For more information, see:

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  • It is time to switch off CMD age and switch to PowerShell :) Thanks. Difficult to give up habituation but it is more likely cygwin, cd ~ works on PowerShell, but not in cmd. – guneysus Nov 12 '13 at 9:57

I believe you can use the prompt command.

PROMPT [text]

  text    Specifies a new command prompt.

Prompt can be made up of normal characters and the following special codes:

  $A   & (Ampersand)
  $B   | (pipe)
  $C   ( (Left parenthesis)
  $D   Current date
  $E   Escape code (ASCII code 27)
  $F   ) (Right parenthesis)
  $G   > (greater-than sign)
  $H   Backspace (erases previous character)
  $L   < (less-than sign)
  $N   Current drive
  $P   Current drive and path
  $Q   = (equal sign)
  $S     (space)
  $T   Current time
  $V   Windows version number
  $_   Carriage return and linefeed
  $$   $ (dollar sign)

If Command Extensions are enabled the PROMPT command supports
the following additional formatting characters:

  $+   zero or more plus sign (+) characters depending upon the
       depth of the PUSHD directory stack, one character for each
       level pushed.

  $M   Displays the remote name associated with the current drive
       letter or the empty string if current drive is not a network


setx PROMPT $P$S$$$S


Create a batch file containing the code below and run.

@echo off

set root=%~p0
for %%F in ("%root%.") do set "ParentFolder=%%~nF"
setx PROMPT %ParentFolder%$S$F$S

Result is:

enter image description here

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  • Can you see above CURRENT DIRECTORY variable? Let's test it. Open cmd, and set prompt to: set prompt=$B$C$D$E$F$G$H$L$N$P$Q$S$T$V$_$$ which contains all variables except $+ and $M. But still I can not see still current dir, but give |(Pzt 04.11.2013←)<CC:\Users= 17:44:02,69Microsoft Windows [Version 6.3.9600] Why? Is there a huge bug on cmd.exe? – guneysus Nov 4 '13 at 15:44
  • @guneysus I updated my answer. :-) – stderr Nov 4 '13 at 17:54
  • Thanks but i must change it, because current folder is not dynamic and with setx it is systemwide :) It shoud be set not setx In addition i will try replace cd function, to update it dynamically. – guneysus Nov 4 '13 at 18:49

Based on the wikipedia entry for AUTOEXEC.BAT prompt $P$G will do what you want. This is a holdover from good old DOS. God only knows why something like this was never made a default since the early days of ... DOS3.3 or so.

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  • This is not what OP wants. It gives the complete path. OP wants only the last part of the current directory (without its parent-path). And it needs to change when changing the directory. It's not possible with the current prompt command. At least not in cmd.exe. – Rik Nov 30 '13 at 0:43

I like knowing the full context of where I am in the console, but the deeper you go down the directory tree, the longer the "Current drive and path", so to have the best of both worlds, I have the full drive and path followed by a CR then a ">".

This is what I now do on all Windows machines I get access to:

SETX PROMPT "%username%@%computername% $P$_$G"

Which gives you a prompt showing the username, hostname, full path to the current folder, and a whole new line for typing:


SETX stores the variable (in this case, "PROMPT") permanently (through reboots, until you change it).

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