Opening the command prompt ("cmd") on Vista into full screen causes the application to take up 100% vertical space, but only about 50% horizontal. Is there not a way I can make this fullscreen? If it's simply not possible, what is a good replacement?


Found this trick somewhere on "The Internet".

  1. Open cmd
  2. type wmic.
  3. Double click the bar to maximize the screen.
  4. Type exit and press Enter.
  • Great one....!! – keenUser Jun 23 '15 at 10:03

To increase the window width you can right-click the title bar, go to Properties, and change the buffer size under the Layout tab. After this you can make the window larger. In modern versions of Windows, however, text wrapping is on by default, which resizes the buffer automatically.

You can also use the mode command to resize the buffer and window, e.g.:

mode con lines=90000 cols=90000

Furthermore, from Windows 10 onward you can again use Alt+Enter or F11 to actually make it fullscreen (since Windows 7 this did not work anymore).

  • Yeah... Windows 10 also brings up the ANSI functionality which dates back to the DOS days! – programmer365 Aug 25 '20 at 2:49

This article explains how to do it in Vista

In short you need to specify the screen resolution manually in the Display Options.

Replacement? Powershell of course.

  • Powershell won't go into fullscreen either... – Sampson Jul 17 '09 at 15:57
  • @Jonathan - ACtually you can according to this thread: serverfault.com/questions/21367?sort=newest For some reason Powershell is toast on my Windows 7 so I can't confirm right now :( – BinaryMisfit Jul 17 '09 at 16:01
  • Strange. I'm using Powershell v1.0, but don't see any options for Fullscreen. I'm downloading v2 CTP 3 now. – Sampson Jul 17 '09 at 16:11
  • Other than playing around with fonts, I don't see a way to get PS fullscreen. :-( – Brian Knoblauch Jul 17 '09 at 16:58

For a replacement, you could look at Take Command, it has both a normal console replacement, and a windowy tool where you can open multiple tabs with individual console sessions.

Take Command

You can of course turn off all those extra things so that you only have the console part.


Umm.. If you have Vista(i have 7) you could install the graphics driver for XP in XP compatiblity mode under Vista. Then, it will install the same - for XP, but you lose Aero interface. And then, you get the amazing Fullscreen mode in CMD!

PS:This will eventually work, i am responsible for any damage or poofs that crush your graphics. If such happens, please tell me. I will help you or if i don't know how to restore, you must stay in this poof or reinstall vista driver. Crushed.


It’s a graphics driver issue. Vista uses hardware acceleration for the desktop, which is why the graphic card cannot switch to text mode (the system would lose track of the desktop). If you have an older VGA that doesn’t support Direct X 10, you should be able to use fullscreen text mode.

  • it's not the real reason. The terminals in *nix also run in fullscreen graphics mode without problem. "Fullscreen" here doesn't mean text mode like you thought, but a window that covers the whole screen. DOS/V for Japanese also fakes text mode in graphics mode. cmd in Windows 10 also support fullscreen without changing to text mode – phuclv Sep 15 '18 at 4:05

You can use ConEmu for ALT+ENTER fullscreen:

enter image description here

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