Help command

Updated: 11/12/2023 by Computer Hope
help command

The help command is used to access the information and help file from an MS-DOS prompt or the Windows command line.

Quick reference tip

For quick help with MS-DOS commands in any of the version, use the -help or /? after a command. For example, running either of the following two commands gives you additional information about the dir command.

dir -help


dir /?


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

Help 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 Displays help information on that Recovery Console command.

If command is not specified, all 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 a monitor without high-intensity support.
[topic] Specifies the help topic to view.

Help examples


Displays the available commands that help can display. 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.