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Tech tips

Command Prompt: The secret utility menu hiding in your PC

We all love a good action movie, especially when the plot leaves you hanging on the edge of your seat. Have you ever noticed that one of the bad guys is a genius computer hacker more often than not? Tap or click here for Windows tips the pros are using.

In movies, we see hackers pull up a black screen to type codes into their computers. Suddenly, they are taking over the world. Ironically, anyone can use Windows Command Prompts.

While you won’t be taking over the world, there are quite a few prompts that you can use. While antiquated, some Command Prompts are still available on Windows 10 for personal use. Here’s everything you need to know about the secret utility menu hiding in your PC.

How to open Command Prompt on Windows

To enter Command Prompts you’ll need to open up the command dashboard, and you may be asking yourself, “Where is that black screen hidden anyways?” There are several ways to find the Command Prompt window.

RELATED: Windows 11 will launch as a free upgrade (if you qualify)

How to open the Command Prompt:

Search method

  • Head to the Start menu on your Windows PC.
  • Type in Command Prompt in the Start menu.
  • Click on the Command Prompt menu and voila, you’re ready to use it.

Win + R

  • Press Win + R to open the Run box.
  • Type cmd and hit Enter to open it.

Win + X

  • Press Win + X on your keyboard.
  • Choose cmd from the pop-up menu.
  • If Windows PowerShell comes up instead, this is fine, it runs the same commands.

If you want to run Command Prompt as an admin, you’ll need to hold down Ctrl + Shift when you open the menu using the search method or Win + R. If you use Win + X, you’ll want to pick Command Prompt (Admin) from the pop-up options.

Commands you might want to try

ipconfig

This command will tell you what your IP address is. Your IP address is used to allow you to connect to a network and also to websites.

For example, you ever wonder why when your online printing coupons, it’s able to remember that you’ve already printed them, even if it’s from months ago? That’s because the website recognizes and remembers your IP address.

If you type in ipconfig, you’ll receive the local address of your network router. What else can ipconfig do? Type in ipconfig/release and then ipconfig/renew to make your computer grab a new IP address.

If you are having trouble connecting to a network, you can try ipconfig/flushdns to force your computer to refresh your DNS address as well.

systeminfo

If you’ve ever wondered what kind of specs your PC has, systeminfo is the command prompt you want and need in your life. By typing in systeminfo, you’ll get a detailed list of all the hardware specs on your computer.

This will include information about your operating system as well, like the original Windows install date. Find network card configurations and even details on how much memory is being used.

systemfilechecker

You’ll need to be running Command Prompt as an admin for this prompt, as explained above. If you are experiencing issues on your PC or running a quick system check, you can use system file checker.

It will scan your computer and attempt to repair any issues on Windows system files only. If you have missing files or files have been corrupted, this command could fix it for you.

Enter systemfilechecker in administrator mode, then type in sfc/scannow to use it.

chkdsk

Windows has a lot of built-in mechanisms to ensure that your computer runs efficiently. One of them is chkdisk. This is an automatic process run by Windows, but if you feel that your hard drive is failing or not operating correctly, you can enter the prompt yourself.

Enter chkdsk c:, this is the most common version and will scan your C drive. If you have other drives you want to scan, you can substitute them for the c drives. Note: you also need to run this command as an administrator.

Windows still holds a lot of its original luster, despite its constantly developing technology. Interested in more? Here are keyboard shortcuts for Windows you’ll wish you knew sooner.

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