Add “Open command window here” to Context Menu in Windows 10

In the recent versions of Windows 10 (Creators Update and higher), the “Open Command Prompt here” context menu entry has been removed and is replaced by “Open PowerShell window here”.

Microsoft, in an effort to bring the best command line experiences to the forefront for all power users, has made PowerShell the de facto command shell.

This article tells you how to add “Open command window here” to right-click menu in Windows 10. Optionally, you can also remove the Open PowerShell window here from the context menu.

You may also be knowing that since the preview build 14971, “Command Prompt” and “Command Prompt (Admin)” entries in the Win+X menu (the menu which appears when you right-click Start) were replaced with PowerShell links.

Quoting Microsoft:

It (PowerShell) replaces Command Prompt (aka, “cmd.exe”) in the WIN + X menu, in File Explorer’s File menu, and in the context menu that appears when you shift-right-click the whitespace in File Explorer. Typing “cmd” (or “powershell”) in File Explorer’s address bar will remain a quick way to launch the command shell at that location.

For those who prefer to use Command Prompt, you can opt-out of the WIN + X change by opening Settings → Personalization → Taskbar, and turning “Replace Command Prompt with Windows PowerShell in the menu when I right-click the Start button or press Windows key+X” to “Off”.

win x replace powershell with command prompt

Although you can run the old commands in the PowerShell window, you need to use the “.exe” suffix when running certain commands. For instance, running the “SC” command under the PowerShell window gives different results than what you get when running the same command from a regular Command Prompt shell.

SC” is understood as the alias for “Set-Content” PowerShell cmdlet. So to manage services using the SC (SC.EXE) command in the PowerShell window, you’ll need to type the file extension — .EXE. Whereas the regular Command Prompt (CMD.exe) shell knows SC is nothing but SC.EXE, assuming no file of the same name and with a .COM extension exists in the path.

Add Command Prompt to the Context menu

If you’re fond of the old Command Prompt (cmd.exe), you can add the traditional “Open Command window here” option back in the context menu for file system folders and drives, using a Registry edit.

Method 1

This method creates a new menu item named “Open command window here” by adding the necessary context menu registry entries.

  1. Open Notepad.
  2. Copy the following lines and paste them in Notepad:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\cmdprompt]
    @="@shell32.dll,-8506"
    "NoWorkingDirectory"=""
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\cmdprompt\command]
    @="cmd.exe /s /k pushd \"%V\""
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell\cmdprompt]
    @="@shell32.dll,-8506"
    "NoWorkingDirectory"=""
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell\cmdprompt\command]
    @="cmd.exe /s /k pushd \"%V\""
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\cmdprompt]
    @="@shell32.dll,-8506"
    "NoWorkingDirectory"=""
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\cmdprompt\command]
    @="cmd.exe /s /k pushd \"%V\""
    
  3. Save the file as “cmdhere.reg
  4. Double-click the file to apply the settings to the registry.

Alternately, you can download the following registry file:



This adds the “Open command window here” option to the right-click menu for folders and drives, which, when clicked, opens a Command Prompt window at the current drive or directory path.

add cmd here to right-click menu

To have the Command Prompt context menu icon, apply the cmd-here-windows-10-with-icon.reg file included in the zip file.

Additional Tip: Add “Open command window here” as an extended menu

If you want to show the “Open command window here” as an extended or hidden menu (to reduce clutter), use this registry file instead:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\cmdprompt]
@="@shell32.dll,-8506"
"NoWorkingDirectory"=""
"Extended"=""

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\cmdprompt\command]
@="cmd.exe /s /k pushd \"%V\""

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell\cmdprompt]
@="@shell32.dll,-8506"
"NoWorkingDirectory"=""

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell\cmdprompt\command]
@="cmd.exe /s /k pushd \"%V\""

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\cmdprompt]
@="@shell32.dll,-8506"
"NoWorkingDirectory"=""
"Extended"=""

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\cmdprompt\command]
@="cmd.exe /s /k pushd \"%V\""

An “extended” menu appears only when you press and hold the Shift key when right-clicking on a folder or drive.


Method 2

The “Open command window here” context menu registry entry still exists by default in Windows 10. But it’s been made inactive with a registry value named HideBasedOnVelocityId.

In this method, we change the HideBasedOnVelocityId registry value to 0 using the HKEY_CURRENT_USER override. This will enable the built-in and dormant “Open command window here” in the right-click menu.

  1. Open Notepad.
  2. Copy the following lines and paste them in Notepad:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Directory\shell\cmd]
    "HideBasedOnVelocityId"=dword:00000000
    "Icon"=hex(2):25,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,72,00,6f,00,6f,00,74,\
      00,25,00,5c,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,32,00,5c,00,63,00,\
      6d,00,64,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,2c,00,30,00,00,00
    
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Drive\shell\cmd]
    "HideBasedOnVelocityId"=dword:00000000
    "Icon"=hex(2):25,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,72,00,6f,00,6f,00,74,\
      00,25,00,5c,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,32,00,5c,00,63,00,\
      6d,00,64,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,2c,00,30,00,00,00
    
  3. Save the file as “cmdhere2.reg
  4. Double-click the file to apply the settings to the registry.

That’s it. This enables the “Open command window here” context menu item (with icon) for directories and drives.
cmdhere context menu icon
This method works only for the current user account — i.e., per-user account basis.

(For the Windows 11 version of this article, check out the page How to Add “Open command window here” Option in Windows 11.)


One small request: If you liked this post, please share this?

One "tiny" share from you would seriously help a lot with the growth of this blog. Some great suggestions:
  • Pin it!
  • Share it to your favorite blog + Facebook, Reddit
  • Tweet it!
So thank you so much for your support, my reader. It won't take more than 10 seconds of your time. The share buttons are right below. :)

Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded Winhelponline.com in 2005.

65 thoughts on “Add “Open command window here” to Context Menu in Windows 10”

  1. Thanks for the info and reg file!
    I’m hoping somebody would stop Microsoft making a mess in every update for God’s sake!

    Reply
  2. Microsoft has given the fix for returning CMD back into the Start menu, but not for the Windows Explorer context.
    Your .reg and explanation is very welcome.

    Reply
  3. I downloaded the file, and it works perfectly. I personally think they should both be there. It should’ve been like that for a long time, in my opinion.

    Reply
  4. Thanks, now I don’t have to open cmd from the menu and browse there through commands anymore. I don’t get why Microsoft decided to remove this, powershell can’t do everything that command prompt can.

    Reply
  5. thank you so muchhh!!!you help me so much guys i’ve been checking all day and i finally found it here in this website lifesaver love you guys!!!

    Reply
  6. Your regedit works perfectly. The system should have been like this from Microsoft. Add new features, don’t delete the old ones!
    Powershell does not do ‘dir’ correctly.
    Björn

    Reply
  7. Thanks for the .reg file. I had to log out of my standard account and the log into my admin account for the .reg file to work.

    Reply
  8. I’ve created a .reg file with the contents shown above, run the reg file and confirmed that the registry contains these entries. Yet the context menu for any directory in File Explorer does NOT contain an entry for a command window.

    Reply
  9. The zip package worked excellently. Thanks a lot sir. Shame on you MS for “forcing” stuffs on us! Shameful act from MS.

    Reply
  10. Also you can add this parameter:
    “Icon”=”cmd.exe,0”
    After each “NoWorkingDirectory”=”” line, so this menu option will have cmd.exe icon and get easier to distinguish in context menu.

    Reply
  11. Agree with SagePtr, but I used
    “Icon”=”%windir%\system32\cmd.exe”
    Maybe cmd wasn’t in my path for some reason. The “,0” is probably optional

    Reply
  12. Others in other places on the web trying to help with complex 10 step registry edits, including permissions changes which I know from past experience are problematic for even some who are willing to edit the registry when it’s straight forward. I followed and double-checked my steps, twice and they did not deliver! Your Reg delivered (THANKS), and thank you for including an UNDO in case I ever need that. I do wish Microsoft would allow me to have a stasis on my PC, as I’m happy with it as-is. The problem is while MS did an extensive check on my PC to upgrade to Windows 10 they don’t do anything like that on any subsequent upgrades since that change years ago. As a result Microsoft has taken their upgrades over a year past when my manufacturer, DELL, said my PC was no longer compatible with Win10 as it was in June 2020. Thanks again!
    Dean Pennington

    Reply
  13. hmm how do we undo Method 2 if we want to remove it. I see how to undo the other methods (adding a – infront of their registry entry in the .reg file will remove key or – after the = will remove a value) however I’m not sure how to under the HKCU method on enabling the native-but-dormant cmd here (Method 2)

    thanks for the wealth of knowledge

    Reply
    • @watchutalkinboutwillis:

      This registry modification will undo Method 2.

      Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
      
      [-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Directory\shell\cmd]

Leave a Comment