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What is the difference between PowerShell and the Command Prompt?

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#1 Aikame


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Posted 13 September 2017 - 04:02 AM

I often follow guide to fix things on Windows and sometimes it requires to do commands in the PowerShell and sometimes in the Command Line. 


What is the difference between PowerShell and the Command Line?

Can you do everything in the Command Line that you can do in the PowerShell? Or the other way around?

What type of things would you do in the PowerShell as opposed to the Command Line?


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#2 SleepyDude


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Posted 13 September 2017 - 04:34 AM

Hi :welcome: to BleepingComputer,


This should give you some ideas https://www.howtogeek.com/163127/how-powershell-differs-from-the-windows-command-prompt/

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#3 jenae


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Posted 13 September 2017 - 06:07 AM

Hi, powershell is slowly replacing command prompt (deprecated is the term) however, too many of us still use cmd prompt for system control (batch files etc..) so it isn't going anywhere soon. BTW if you open powershell and type cmd (press enter) cmd prompt opens within powershell and all cmds work.

#4 britechguy


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Posted 13 September 2017 - 09:55 AM

Also, although someone has identified one exception (and I can't remember right now what that was), virtually every command prompt command is aliased in PowerShell.


As far as following step-by-step instructions that ask you to do something in Command Prompt the odds are very, very good that you can do exactly what's asked in PowerShell instead.


The converse, however, is not true if the step-by-step instructions are using native PowerShell syntax.  PowerShell came after Command Prompt and, as is noted by jenae, there exist millions of .bat files that contain scripts written in Command Prompt syntax.  Microsoft knew that most of these would probably be simply converted to PowerShell by changing their extensions to .ps1 (PowerShell Script) and wanted them to be "runnable as is."


I need to try this with a couple of my .bat files that I still use.  I know that I still issue quite a few Command Prompt commands in PowerShell, using their old syntax, and they work just fine.

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