A batch file is a file that contains MS-DOS commands and when the batch files are clicked or called these commands are executed. Batch files are also called BAT files. Most operating systems like windows provide the ability to create and run batch files. In this tutorial, we will learn how to create a batch file for MS-DOS and PowerShell, How To Run, or Execute a Batch File?
Batch files are supported by all modern Windows operating system versions like Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, and Windows Server versions. But the batch file contents like commands, binaries, and features should be compatible with the current operating system in order to execute in a reliable way. If specific command, binary, or feature is not supported it will be skipped and not executed but other lines of batch file will be executed.
What Is a Batch File?
Before starting to create and run batch files we should learn what is a batch file. A batch file is a simple text file that has the *.bat file extension and contains MS-DOS commands or binary files. Batch files are also balled as BAT files because of their extension. Batch files are popular among system administrators and technical people in order to complete repetitive or non-interactive jobs easily and reliably. Even interactive jobs can be completed with batch files with little or no effort or action.
Advantages of Batch/BAT Files
Batch or BAT files are a lot of advantages for Windows users. Below we will list some of them.
- Offload repetitive tasks and automate them.
- Reliable command execution
- Noninteractive command execution.
- Advanced reporting and performance tracking
- Scheduled tasks can be executed on different dates and times.
Create Batch File
Batch files are a simple text file that contains MS-DOS and related commands and binaries. First, open Notepad and create a file and save the file whatever name you want but set the file extension as
*.bat .In this example we will create the batch file named runwise.bat . Batch files may also use extensions like .cmd and .btm.
mkdir Test @ECHO OFF Welcome a folder named Test has been created PAUSE
The saved batch file will look like the below. As you can see the batch files or files with
*.bat extension has the following file icon which is simply used for system-related files. By default, the .bat extension is not displayed.
Run Batch File
In order to run batch files content and commands batch files should be executed properly. Batch files can be executed in the following ways.
- Clicking on Batch File
- Using Scheduled Jobs
- Calling From MS-DOS or PowerShell Command Lines
- Calling Another Batch File
Run Batch File By Clicking
The simplest and most popular method to run a batch file is just clicking on the batch file. This is a GUI method to run a batch file where it can be used from desktop or file explorer. Double-clicking on a batch file will run the batch file in an MS-DOS command prompt.
Run Batch File Using Scheduled Jobs
Scheduled Tasks is a tool used to schedule different jobs or tasks to run the future at the specified date or time or repetitively etc. It is recently called as
Task Scheduler and can be opened by typing
schedule in the start menu like below.
In the following screen, you can create a new task for the batch file. We will click to the
Create Basic Task in order to create a new task.
In the following screen, we will set the name of the task which is not the batch file name. Then we will click to the
Next . Below we can set the name of the task and also add some description about the task.
In the following screen, the date or time of the execution will be specified. The batch file will be executed at the specified date, time, or interval. We can see that Daily, Weekly, Monthly, One time, When the computer starts, When I log on, or When a specific event is logged time values are provided to trigger a task.
As we have selected daily the start date with the time and recur count will be provided in the following screen.
This step is important where we will select the
Start a program in order to specify our batch file to execute.
This step is the most important to schedule our batch file. In the program script part, we will specify the script file location. Also, the
Browser button can be used to select and specify a batch file location. Also, we can specify arguments to be passed into the batch script from the
Add arguments textbox.
The following screen is the last screen where all information about the scheduled batch job will be displayed.
Run Batch File From MS-DOS or PowerShell Command Lines
Batch files can be run from MS-DOS or PowerShell command lines. MS-DOS command line can only run MS-DOS-based batch files and con not run PowerShell batch files. But PowerShell command line can run both MS-DOS and PowerShell batch files. In order to run a batch file from the MS-DOS command line just specify the batch file name with the full path. Alternatively, if the batch file is located in the current working directory only the name of the batch file can be called.
Or alternatively, the complete path of the batch file runwise.bat can be provided from any directory like below.
Run Batch File From Another Batch File
Batch files can call another batch file like a regular MS-DOS command. The most important thing about running a batch file in a batch file is to provide the complete path of the batch file. Even just the name or relative path can be used to run a batch file in a batch file the most reliable way is using the absolute or complete path of the batch file.
mkdir Test @ECHO ON Welcome a folder named Test has been created C:\Users\ismail\Desktop\runwise.bat
Run Batch File As Administrator
If the batch file has commands that need to be executed as Administrator or with Administrative privileges you should open the MS-DOS or PowerShell as Administrator. Please follow the following tutorial in order to open MS-DOS, Command Prompt, or PowerShell as administrator and then use previously described steps like “Run Batch File From MS-DOS or PowerShell command line“.