It seems that in many cases, while instructing people, the phrase “just open a Windows Command Prompt and type in …” is usually interrupted with the comment “ok, how do I do that”.

Also, in the user manuals and document we generate, there are occasions that a command prompt may be needed, and this note will serve as a reference on how to do that.

Open a Windows Command Prompt:

Following are three methods of opening a command prompt, the first method use the shift key and the right mouse button, the second method use the “Start” button and a search. The third uses the “Start” button and then navigates “All Programs”.

Method One: Using a Key Sequence (shift right-mouse)

An easy and fast way of getting the Command Prompt is using a key sequence.

First go to the directory in which the programs are to be run.
For demonstration purposes here is an empty folder:
While in the main work area, click and hold the shift key, followed by clicking the right mouse button. (Shift Right-Click)
And a pop-up window will appear with the option of “Open command window here”
Click on this option, and a command window will open (which is also conveniently at the desired directory location):

Method Two: Search

Another way of finding Windows Command Prompt is to simply search for it in the start menu. (This method tends to be easier to describe verbally, and because of the general search approach, people also tend to remember this method)

Click on Start:
In the “Search programs and files” space, just start typing: Command Prompt
Usually the results will be shown even before you finish typing.
The resulting windows will give various options, and generally the item will be at the top of the menu:
Click on the item and a Command Prompt window will open:

Method Three: Navigate to the Accessories Folder

This method is also easy to describe verbally (and for completeness is included). It begins by clicking on the Start button and then navigating to the folder that contains the Command Prompt.

Click on Start:
Then click (or hover) on all programs
Next expand the Accessories folder and select Command Prompt:
The result will be the Command Prompt window: