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Microsoft DOS shift command

shift commandAbout shift
Availability
Shift syntax
Shift examples

About shift

Changes the position of replaceable parameters in a batch program.

Availability

The shift command is an internal command that is available in the below Microsoft operating systems.

MS-DOS 3.00 and above
Windows 95
Windows 98
Windows ME
Windows NT
Windows 2000
Windows XP
Windows Vista
Windows 7
Windows 8
Windows 10

Shift syntax

Windows 2000, Windows XP, and later syntax
Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows ME syntax

Windows 2000, Windows XP, and later syntax

Changes the position of replaceable parameters in a batch file.

SHIFT [/n]

If Command Extensions are enabled the SHIFT command supports the /n switch that tells the command to start shifting at the nth argument, where n may be between zero and eight. For example:

SHIFT /2

would shift %3 to %2, %4 to %3, etc. and leave %0 and %1 unaffected.

Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows ME syntax

Changes the position of replaceable parameters in a batch file.

SHIFT

Shift examples

The example below would be done in a batch file; in this example we are naming the batch file test.bat and it contains the below lines.

@ECHO OFF
ECHO - %1
SHIFT
ECHO - %1

After creating the above example test.bat file, if you were to type the below command at the MS-DOS prompt, it would print "- ONE" and then "- TWO"; this command is commonly used to work through each of the command extensions or remove command extensions.

TEST ONE TWO

Additional information

  • See batch file page for additional examples and uses of the shift command.
  • See our shift definition for further information and related links on this term.