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'Command Prompt Here' on Explorer Context Menu

Programmers and system administrators often find it necessary to get to a command prompt (a "DOS box") in a certain directory.  This article describes how to set up a context menu for Windows Explorer to do that.   When finished with these simple steps, you will be able to right-click any folder name in the Explorer, select Command Prompt here... and begin entering commands in a DOS box with the selected directory having been set as desired.
Context Menu for ExplorerGets to DOS prompt easily


In any Windows Explorer, select Tools / Folder Options... and click the File Types tab.Folder Options


Scroll down to find the Folder entry -- the Extension is "(None)"  Click it and then click the [Advanced] button.


In the Edit File Type dialog, click [New...]


In the New Action dialog, click fill in the values:
       Action: Command Prompt here...
Application: Cmd.ExeNew Action


OK the the New Action input, OK the Edit File Types box, and OK the Folder Options dialog.  You are done.
The Context Menu change will take effect immediately.  Use the Windows Explorer to drill-down to any depth of folder on any disk.  Right-click the folder and select Command Prompt here.

Some notes:  
If you select a virtual folder, the "current directory" may well be one that you have never seen "naked" before.  For instance, the "My Documents" folder ends up in the correct user's "Documents and Settings" folder.
If you later try to remove the new Context Menu item, you may find that the "Remove" button is not enabled.  You may need to go to the registry to make changes.  You could use RegEdit to modify the EditFlags of the Folder settings in
But I'd not recommend that.   Instead, just locate the subkey that we created...
and remove it entirely.
If you don't want to do all of those manual steps, you can add the Context Menu item using a registry file.  Just copy the following snippet to a text file named, for instance, CmdHere.reg then double click it.
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell\Command_Prompt_Here] @="Command Prompt Here" [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell\Command_Prompt_Here\command] @="Cmd.Exe \"%1\""
I recently learned that Windows Vista has a built-in (though not well known) ability to do exactly what this article describes.  With Vista, if you press the SHIFT key while right-clicking a folder, then an "Open Command Window Here" item is added to the context menu.  Thanks to evilrix for that tip!

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Comments (5)

If you make the mistake of adding an action or setting that you don't want, for instance the folders all open in new windows... How do you delete the action... I've noticed that there are Edit and Remove buttons on the window, but they are greyed out...
Author of the Year 2009


The options that are greyed out relate to the "Edit Flags"  in the registry.  It is possible to use RegEdit to change the flags to enable Edit and Remove, but as I stated in the Article, your best bet is to just use RegEdit to delete the new entry.  Warning:  Be careful using RegEdit -- especially with with important "file types" as "Folder"

wow... Maybe I should read through the entire article before asking a question that was already answered ehh? :-(

Oops...  Thanks for your patience and help with this matter... it seems weird however that the setting for those buttons to work must be changed in the registry... yet at the same time I can see why, because you don't just want a user to accidentally edit or remove something and not know how/what it contained in the first place.

Thanks again... hopefully we'll be all set now.
Most Valuable Expert 2011
Top Expert 2011

I would suggest including this here, for the non technical persons. Where they can install/uninstall the tweak as needed...

Open Command Window Here

Microsoft has a quick installer that does this for you already....

Just wanted to add it........

Been using the aforementioned PowerToy for years...another indispensible tool is "Open Target Folder" option for shortcuts.

After installing, simply right-click a shortcut, click "Open Target Folder" and viola!  No more right-click, choose properties, then click on "Find Target".

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