Windows 10 (Threshold) Changes To The Windows Command Prompt

Jeff here from the Windows SDK team.

This blog isn’t network related, but something else that is close to my heart, the Windows Command Prompt. I have been using and supporting
Windows NT since version 3.51, and I don’t think the command prompt has changed in all that time. But Windows 10, build 9841, brings lots of long overdue

The first things I did to every install of Windows for the last 20 years was to enable QuickEdit mode, and increase the screen buffer
size. Now QuickEdit mode is enabled, and the buffer sizes are a much more reasonable 120 x 9001. That by itself is enough of a reason for the happy
dance, but wait, there’s more!

Windows 10 now has an experimental tab. The link below doesn’t have much information at the moment.



Enable line wrapping selection – Lets you select text on multiple lines, just like Word or

Filter clipboard contents on paste
– How many times have you sent a command line to a customer and when they paste it into a command prompt it just doesn’t work correctly?
Usually this is because Outlook changes quotes and dashes.

“Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.”

Wrap text output on resize – Changes the text wrapping as soon as you resize a window. No more
re-running a command after you resize the window to see the new changes.

Enable new Ctrl key shortcuts – Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V now copy and paste just like every other app.
(Although I am partial to Ctrl+Insert and Shift+Insert, because I am left-handed.) Ctrl+A, Ctrl+F, and others also work as expected.

Extended Edit Keys
– Not much information is available on this yet.

Trim Leading zeros on selection – (Disabled by default) When selecting numbers with leading
zeros, the zero’s aren’t selected.

Numbers with a leading radix as still selected in their entirety.

Opacity – Lets you see through beneath it.

This information is based on an unreleased version of
Windows. Your mileage may vary.


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Comments (4)
  1. The command prompt is bringing sexy back! I foresee myself wasting a lot time tweaking that opacity setting! 🙂

  2. Louis St-Amour says:

    Now if only they could add some tabs and a borderless full-screen mode for that retro look. 😉

    I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that a really good terminal window/app, because, let's face it, Apple hasn't done enough innovation here either, would bring plenty of developers back to considering Windows again, or at least a Surface device.

    I also want a metro/modern command prompt. Then I can snap it, right? 😉 You could extend it as Apple did to also perform commands easily on remote servers, etc.

    Perhaps we'll see more checkboxes in the "Experimental" section eventually…

  3. BrianO says:

    I commend you for paying attention to the miserable thing that is Windows cmd. Being able to change the default screen size from 80×24 was wondrous – in the earlier 1990s. Now, it's a wonder that no attention has been paid to the command prompt UX in the intervening 20+ years. "Quick Edit" mode beats the excrutiating alternative (grindingly slow edit mode), but even with it enabled, the experience is bumpy – the key and mouse bindings are nonstandard and, well, weird, unlike anything else on land or sea.

    Who would NOT want these "experimental" settings?  Why even make them settings? The only one that nobody would want to be the unchangeable rule is "filter leading 0s on copy" – and who needs that anyway? (Possible answer: some well-heeled customer who thinks it'd be cool. But it really is a special case and a special need, not an intuitive feature that will make the average sophisticated user of the command prompt smile. Most won't notice it; most of those that do will curse it.) Mac OS X Terminal has had all this and more for years, as just normal features, without burdening a user with the dread chance that they'll be turned *off* on some random other Mac.

    It's wearisome how timorous Redmond is.  Please JUST DO IT, dammit. And do it yesterday, not in the hypothetical Windows 10 that's N years away.

  4. GregM says:

    Excellent, especially the copy/paste stuff.

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