What is the difference between COMMAND.COM and CMD.EXE?

Updated: 12/30/2019 by Computer Hope
Windows DOS command prompt window

Not to be confused with OS/2 Warp's CMD.EXE, in Microsoft Windows, CMD.EXE is the executable of the command line shell. It's more compatible and portable between different hardware platforms than the original COMMAND.COM, which has been used as the command interpreter with DOS for several years. COMMAND.COM is included for backward compatibility and we recommend using it when old MS-DOS programs may not run in Windows NT, 2000, XP, and later releases of Windows.

What versions of Windows have support for the CMD command?

Microsoft Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 have support for the CMD command.

What are some advantages of using CMD instead of COMMAND?

Apart from what is listed above, an advantage of using CMD to access MS-DOS is the ability to use long file names. When a user uses COMMAND, the short 8.3 name format must be used. For example, if you wanted to access "My Documents" in COMMAND, type cd mydocu~1. However, to enter the same directory through CMD, type cd "my documents" or cd my documents.