Microsoft DOS help command

help commandAbout help
Availability
Help syntax
Help examples

About help

Help is used to access the information and help file from an MS-DOS prompt.

For quick reference help with MS-DOS commands in any of the versions of MS-DOS or Windows, you can also use the -help or /? after a command. For example, running either of the below two command give you additional help information about the dir command.

dir -help
or
dir /?

Availability

The help command is an external command and is available in the below Microsoft operating systems. With MS-DOS 5.x help.exe was used as the external file. MS-DOS 6.x uses help.com as the external file. Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows XP, and later versions of Windows use help.exe as the external file.

MS-DOS 5.0 and above
Windows 95
Windows 98
Windows 2000
Windows XP
Windows Vista
Windows 7
Windows 8
Windows 10

Help syntax

Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, and later syntax
Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows XP recovery console syntax
Microsoft Windows 95, 98, ME syntax

Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, and later syntax

HELP [command]

command - displays help information on that command.

Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows XP recovery console syntax

help [command]

command Any Recovery Console command.

If command is not specified, all of the commands supported by the Recovery Console are listed. The command parameter is used to see the help for a specific command.

Microsoft Windows 95, 98, ME syntax

HELP [/B] [/G] [/H] [/NOHI] [topic]

/B Allows use of a monochrome monitor with a color graphics card.
/G Provides the fastest update of a CGA screen.
/H Displays the maximum number of lines possible for your hardware.
/NOHI Allows the use of a monitor without high-intensity support.
[topic] Specifies the help topic to view.

Help examples

help

Displays the available commands that help is capable of showing help information. Typing help <command>, where <command> is the command you want help for, is the same as typing command /?.

help dir

Displays the help information for the dir command.

Additional information

  • See our help definition for further information and related links on this term.