What Does “cmd /c” Means In Windows MS-DOS?

The cmd or cmd.exe is the MS-DOS command prompt. The cmd is executed when the MS-DOS or command prompt started in Windows. The “cmd /c” is a popular usage where the “/c” is provided to execute a specified string as a command in MS-DOS. After the provided command execution is completed the created shell will be closed.

The “cmd /c” Syntax

The “cmd /c” syntax is like below.

cmd /c COMMAND
  • COMMAND is the command which is executed in MS-DOS interpreter.

Run Command and Terminate In MS-DOS

The cmd is used to execute MS-DOS commands. Actually, it is an interpreter that reads provided commands and interprets them, and as the last step executes them. The command is provided as a text. Even command text can be provided without a special sign using the double quotes is a very good best practice.

cmd /c "ping windowstect.com"

Run Multiple Commands with “cmd /c”

The “cmd /c” supports multiple commands in a single execution. We can provides multiple commands by putting them inside the double quotos and separating them with the spaces. In the following examle we will execute 3 commands.

cmd /c "ping windowstect.com" "mkdir test" "cd test"

Run Command and Terminate In Windows Run

Another useful case for the “cmd /c” is running MS-DOS commands via the Windows Run. First we will open the Windows Run with the WIN+R key shortcut. Then type the following command which will ping to the windowstect.com . After the ping command is completed the MS-DOS terminal exit automatically.

cmd /c "ping windowstect.com"
Run Command and Terminate In Windows Run

Run Command and Terminate In Start Menu

Another use case for the “cmd /c” is running commands via the Start Menu. This may sound strange but using the Start Menu search box MS-DOS commands can be executed. When the command is typed the MS-DOS icon and provided command is displayed in the Start Menu.

cmd /c "ping windowstect.com"
Run Command and Terminate In Start Menu

Run Command and Terminate In PowerShell

By defualt the MS-DOS commands are supportef by the PowerShell command line interface. But in some cases there may be some compability problems about this. By using the “cmd /c” command the MS-DOS commands can be executed in PowerShell without any problem.

cmd /c "ping windowstect.com"
Run Command and Terminate In PowerShell

“cmd /c” vs “cmd /k”

The “cmd /c” is used to create a new shell, execute the provided command, and exit from the shell automatically. The cmd.exe also provides the /k option which will not exit from the created shell automatically. It will stay the newly created and command executed shell. This can be helpful to test some variables and results.

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