How to run an exe file at the Windows command prompt

May 7, 2024 / How-to Guide

In this article, we will explain how to run an exe file at the Windows command prompt.

Do you want to open a program on Windows without clicking its icon or menu item? Running programs from the Windows Command Prompt, or CMD, is simple using the “start” command.

This guide will demonstrate how to run an executable (exe) files in Windows from the command line using Command Prompt –

  1. First, find the folder path containing your exe program. Open the folder containing your program in a File Explorer window and copy or note the file path from the address bar at the top.
  2. Open your computer’s Start menu and click the Start button in the lower-left corner to access it.
  3. Type “cmd” in the Start menu search bar, and the command prompt should appear at the top of the search results.
  4. Click on Command Prompt in the Start menu to open a new Command Prompt window-
    1. For example, let us say you want to run Mozilla Firefox, and its exe file is located in a folder called Mozilla Firefox in Program Files on your C drive.
    2. Your file path would be:
      C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox.
  5. Type “cd [filepath]” in the command, replacing “[filepath]” with the actual path to the folder containing the EXE program you want to run.
    1. For Mozilla Firefox, your command would look like-
      “cd C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox”
  6. Press Enter on your keyboard. This will navigate you to the selected file path in Command Prompt.
  7. Type “start [filename.exe]” into Command Prompt, substituting “[filename.exe]” with your program’s name. Make sure it exactly matches your exe program’s file name in the folder.
    1. For Mozilla Firefox, the program file is typically named firefox.exe.
    2. So your command would be-
      “start firefox.exe”
  8. Press Enter again on your keyboard. This will run the selected program on your computer.

That is it! Hope you understood everything well.


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