This article explains how to change to a different folder (directory) in the Windows command prompt. To work with the command line, you must use an administrator account.
Part 1 of 2: How to open a command prompt
Step 1. Open the Start menu
To do this, click on the Windows logo in the lower left corner of the screen, or press the ⊞ Win key on your keyboard.
In Windows 8, move your mouse to the upper-right corner of the screen and click the magnifying glass that appears
Step 2. In the search bar, enter Command Prompt
The command line utility icon appears above the search bar.
Step 3. Right click on the command line icon
It looks like a black square. A context menu will open.
Step 4. Click Run as administrator
This option is at the top of the drop-down menu. A command prompt will open with administrator rights.
- In the window that opens with a proposal to confirm your actions, click "Yes".
- You cannot run Command Prompt as an administrator if you are using a restricted computer, located in a public place or connected to a local network (for example, in a library or at a school), that is, if you are using a guest account recording.
Part 2 of 2: How to change directory
Step 1. Enter cd
Be sure to add a space after the "cd". This command, which is short for "change directory", is the main command for changing directory.
Do not press the ↵ Enter key
Step 2. Determine the path to the required directory
The directory path is like a directory listing. For example, if the directory you want is the System32 folder located in the WINDOWS folder on the system drive, the path will be C: \ WINDOWS \ System32 \.
To find out the path to a folder, open My Computer, double-click the hard drive icon, navigate to the desired folder, and then copy the information from the address bar of Explorer (above)
Step 3. Enter the path to the directory
Do this after the "cd" command. Make sure there is a space between "cd" and the directory path.
- For example, the command might look like cd Windows \ System32 or cd D:.
- By default, all folders are located on the hard drive (for example, "C:"), so you do not need to enter a hard drive letter.
Step 4. Press ↵ Enter
This will take you to the correct directory.
- You need to change the directory to edit or delete the file.
- Some common commands for working with directories are as follows:
- D: or F: - change directory to floppy drive or attached flash drive.
- .. - move up one folder from the current directory (for example, from "C: \ Windows \ System32" to "C: \ Windows").
- / d - change drive and directory at the same time. For example, if you are in the root directory of the "D:" drive at the command prompt, enter "cd / d C: \ Windows" to navigate to the "Windows" folder on the "C:" drive.
- \ - go to the root directory (for example, the system drive).