What Does CMD /C Means In Windows MS-DOS Command-line Tutorial with Examples?

MS-DOS is an operating system and shell used to run commands and provide a command line interface in Windows operating systems. cmd.exe is used to interpret and provide a console for the MS-DOS command. cmd.exe provides different options where cmd /c is a popular one. cmd /c is used to run commands in MS-DOS and terminate after command or process completion.

Run Command and Terminate with CMD /C

We can run commands in MS-DOS or in cmd.exe by using cmd /c. We will also add command string we want to run. For example, if we want to run ping poftut.com we will issue the following command. The command will create a process which will run command and then terminate after the command execution is completed. Also using " double quotes in order to surround command is very useful.

cmd /c "ping poftut.com"
Run Command and Terminate with CMD /C
Run Command and Terminate with CMD /C

Run Command and Terminate with CMD /C On Run Command Prompt

We can run cmd /c and related commands from the Run Command prompt. We can open Run Command Prompt from the start menu or with the Windows Key+R key combination and write the cmd /c "ping poftut.com" command like below. Keep in mind that after the execution of the command is completed the MS-DOS windows will be terminated or closed automatically.

Run Command and Terminate with CMD /C On Run Command Prompt
Run Command and Terminate with CMD /C On Run Command Prompt

Run Command and Terminate with CMD /C On Search Prompt or Box

Another alternative to run commands with the cmd /c we can use Search Prompt or Box. We will click to the Start Menu and write down the complete command. This will also show the command with the MS-DOS icon like below. This will work like previous examples.

Run Command and Terminate with CMD /C On Search Prompt or Box
Run Command and Terminate with CMD /C On Search Prompt or Box

Run Command and Terminate with CMD /C On Run Command Prompt

Alternatively, we can run cmd /c command from a regular command line or MS-DOS. This will open a new MS-DOS shell and run given command. After the command execution is over the newly created MS-DOS shell will be terminated or closed automatically.

> cmd /c "ping poftut.com"
Run Command and Terminate with CMD /C On Run Command Prompt
Run Command and Terminate with CMD /C On Run Command Prompt

Run Multiple Commands

We can run multiple commands with the cmd /c. We just need to provides them in double quotes by separating them with space. In this exapmle, we will run ping poftut.com, ping google.commkdir test in the following example.

> cmd /c "ping poftut.com" "ping google.com" "mkdir test"

Run Bat File and Terminate

Bat or batch files are used to run multiple commands from a file. This will make recurring task easier. We can run a bat file by providing its path and name to the cmd /c like below. In this example, we will run the batch file backup.bat

> cmd /c C:\backup.bat

Run Command and Return To CMD Prompt with CMD /K

As stated previously cmd /c will run given the command and terminate new shell or process after the command is completed. If we do not want to terminate a new process we can use /K option where a newly created process or window will remain without closing.

> cmd /k "ping poftut.com"

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