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MS Publishes Big Free Command Line Reference

Last Friday, my partner in crime at Win10.Guru, Kari Finn, sent me a link to a very interesting document. It comes from the Microsoft Download Center and shows up with very little descriptive information or fanfare. It’s a 948-page PDF file that includes comprehensive and current coverage for ALL commands from the Windows command line. Most of these items work in both PowerShell and in the old cmd.exe “Command Prompt” window. I don’t know why, but it wasn’t until I saw Martin Brinkmann’s article this morning, that the value of this not-so-little item struck me. It’s also what led to the headline for this blog post — namely “MS publishes big free command line reference.”

There’s not enough information to really clue readers into what’s inside this document. It covers hundreds of common commands of interest to admins and power users.
[Click image for full-size-view. Command Line Reference download link.]

Why MS Publishes Big Free Command Line Reference Is a Big Deal

A few simple observations will explain the preceding assertion.
1. The document is 948 pages long, 4.6+ MB in size, and covers commands relevant to Windows 8.1 and 10, and Server versions 2008 through 2016 (including R2s ).
2. Though MS describes the document as a “complete listing of Windows commands” I must quibble. It doesn’t include bootrec or dism. But those are .exe files, so I understand why Microsoft might not include them in a command reference.
3. I count 273 individual commands documented in the PDF file, where at least another 100 sub-commands have subsidiary entries.
4. If you follow any of the linked references in the PDF, it takes you to the Windows Commands online reference. For those who want to access current info online, this link is also handy.

Great stuff, though, all the way around! Grab a copy of the PDF, and add the online reference to your bookmarks or favorites today.