How to loop or start a batch file over after it has completed

Updated: 11/13/2018 by Computer Hope
Batch file

You can use the goto command in a batch file to "branch" the execution of your script, skipping to another section of the program. If you skip to a later part of the program, you can bypass lines of the script. If you skip to a previous part of the program, you can create a simple loop.

The following are examples of some ways to use goto in a Windows batch file.

@echo off
cls
:start
echo Example of a loop
goto start

In this first example, the computer will print "Example of a loop" over and over until you terminate the file. To cancel this example press: Ctrl+C.

@echo off
cls
:start
echo Example of a loop
pause
goto start

Next, adding the pause statement before the goto line will prompt the user to press any key before looping the batch file. Adding pause allows the user to run the batch when they're ready.

@echo off
cls
:start
echo Example of a  loop
set choice=
set /p choice="Do you want to restart? Press 'y' and enter for Yes: "
if not '%choice%'=='' set choice=%choice:~0,1%
if '%choice%'=='y' goto start

Finally, in this last example and most recommend method, the user would be prompted if they want to rerun the batch file. Pressing "y" would use the goto command and go back to start and rerun the batch file. Pressing any other key would exit the batch file. The above code is meant for Windows 2000, XP, and later users if you're running earlier Windows 98 or earlier you'd need to use the choice command.

Note

Replacing the "echo Example of a loop" line with your batch file allows any of your batch files to loop or rerun.

Additional information

  • Our goto page and set page has the complete syntax of these commands.
  • See the loop definition for further information and related links on loops.
  • Batch file help.