Microsoft DOS shift command

Updated: 05/21/2018 by Computer Hope

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.

Shift 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. The command below would shift %3 to %2, %4 to %3, etc. and leave %0 and %1 unaffected.

SHIFT /2

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 following lines.

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

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

TEST ONE TWO

Additional information

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