Difference Between PowerShell and Command Prompt

PowerShell and Command Prompt

PowerShell and Command Prompt

The command prompt or cmd is a standard Windows application that interacts with all Windows objects in the Windows operating system. Users can interact directly with the system. It is most commonly used to run batch files or simple utilities. PowerShell is an extended version of cmd. In addition to being an interface, it is also a scripting language that makes administrative tasks easy to perform. Most of the commands run on cmd can also be run on PowerShell. This article explains the differences between Powershell and Command Prompt in detail.

Direct comparison between PowerShell and Command Prompt (infographic)

Here Are The 14 Main Differences Between PowerShell and Command Prompt:

Critical differences between PowerShell and Command Prompt
Let’s discuss some of the critical differences between PowerShell and the Command Prompt:
PowerShell and Command Prompt’s main difference is understanding what command or cmdlet does for the average user. An average user can use the cmdlet to guess what a PowerShell cmdlet should do, as most cmdlets are very easy to interpret because they follow a simple one-verb convention—followed by a name.

Cmdlets follow the verb-noun convention. The first part of a cmdlet indicates what type of action the cmdlet should take. H. receive, set, or add. When followed by a name, it shows what the movement is doing.
PowerShell has a get-help command that provides the user with all of the controls available, their syntax, and their aliases. Some examples of cmdlets are Add-Content, Get-Content, and Get-Command. For the average user, it is easier to find out what the above cmdlets are doing just by looking at them. On the other hand, let’s look at some of the cmd-driver-query, encryption, and assoc command commands. The controls are difficult to see for the average user.

Another difference between PowerShell and cmd is the way they are used. Cmd is primarily used for batch command execution and primary troubleshooting, while PowerShell can be used both for batch command execution and for administrative purposes.
Scripts also be written in PowerShell to automate tasks. PowerShell also has an ISE, which makes it easy to write and debug scripts. Cmd cannot interact with system objects at the central level because PowerShell, based on the .net platform, can also interact with Windows objects significantly.

Cmd only works with text. PowerShell is like Linux and works with pipes. It means that the output of one cmdlet can be passed to another cmdlet. It ensures that the interaction between different programs in a system is possible or even the interaction between other systems connected in a network.
PowerShell allows the user to create aliases for cmdlets or scripts to switch between them easily. The output in PowerShell is an object.

Examples of PowerShell vs. Command Prompt

Let’s look at some basic operations that both cmd and PowerShell can do with their syntax.

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1. How to change the location of the directory

Command Cmd: cd / d D: \ test folder
PowerShell cmdlet: Set-Location” D: \ test folder”
Output: Both commands change the location from the current directory to the test folder on drive D.

2. To list all files in a directory

Command cmd: dir
PowerShell cmdlet: Get-Childitem
Output: The files in the current directory are displayed above

3. Renaming a file

Command cmd: c: \ old.txt Rename new.txt
PowerShell cmdlet: Rename element “c: \ file.txt” -NewName “new.txt”
Output: The above commands will rename the desired file.

4. Access to the help command

Command cmd: help [command name] [/?]
PowerShell cmdlet: Get-Help “cmdlet-name”
Output: Both show the syntax and helpful information about the named command/cmdlet.

5. Stop a process

Command Cmd: Stop-Process -Name “ProcessName”
PowerShell Cmdlet: Stop-Process – Name “Application Name”
Output: Both prevent the mentioned process from running.

6. Shut down the local system

Command cmd: shut down
PowerShell cmdlet: Stop-Computer
Output: Both shut down the local system

7. Restart the local system

Command cmd: shut down
PowerShell cmdlet: Restart the computer
Output: Both restart the local system

8. Get the IP address

Command cmd: Ipconfig
PowerShell Cmdlet: Test Connection Computer Name (Host Name)
Output: Both return the system’s IP address


Therefore, various aspects of Command Prompt and PowerShell have been covered in the article. From a larger perspective, it’s best to start learning PowerShell, as it’s relatively new to Command Prompt, and Microsoft is working to improve PowerShell’s capabilities. PowerShell is based on the .net framework and therefore has access to multiple libraries, simplifying various systems. Finally, PowerShell is the ideal tool for administrators because it helps automate various day-to-day tasks.


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