If you use Windows, you must have realized that Command Prompt is one of the most frequently used programs. There are many times when we wish to open a Command Prompt to start in a certain directory. For example, how nice would it be if we could just right click on a deep directory and open a Command Prompt window to start from there!

Yes, there are ways to do this for Windows XP and Vista. For Windows XP you would need to install a PowerToy called “Open Command Window Here” which can be downloaded from here. For Windows Vista, however, this feature is already inbuilt but is hidden! To try this, just hold shift before you right click on any directory and the “Open Command Window Here” context menu entry appears out of no where as shown highlighted below!

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However, I believe in simplifying life as much as possible. To get the context menu entry for Command Prompt, all we need to do is modify the registry slightly. Download the following “.reg” file, and run it. Windows will prompt you with a confirmation dialog asking if it’s ok to merge the values into registry. Click OK. That’s it!

Download Command Prompt Registry File (924 bytes)

Now, whenever you right click on any folder in explorer, you will see two new context menu entries - “Command Prompt In” and “Command Prompt Out” as shown in the above screenshot.

“Command Prompt In” will open a new Command Prompt inside the directory on which right click was done. “Command Prompt Out” would open the prompt at the same level as the directory on which right click was done.


  • This utility has been tested on Windows XP and Windows Vista Business and it works without a hitch.
  • If Windows is installed in a directory other than C:\, you will need to edit the “command-prompt.reg” file and replace the path for C:\Windows appropriately.
  • Windows Registry has to be cautiously edited. It is recommended that you back up your entire registry before you use this utility.


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