How to Change Directory in CMD (Command Prompt) in Windows 10 or Windows 11

The command prompt, sometimes also called cmd.exe in short, is a command-line interpreter in the Windows operating system, and has been used since the earliest days of Microsoft operating systems, dating back to the days of DOS.

Offered as an alternative to the Windows GUI, the Command Prompt offers far more control and functionality to the average Windows user than the normal GUI ever can.

But, before you can perform any magic with the command prompt, you must first learn how to change directories. In this article, we have covered some of the easiest ways to change your command prompt directory in Windows 10/11.

Let’s cut to the chase.

3 Ways to Change Command Prompt Directory

There are a plethora of ways to change Command Prompt directory in Windows 10/11. First, we’ll start with what’s probably the simplest of all: the CD ordered. Let’s go.

Change your command prompt directory with the cd command

The cd command, short for Change Directory, allows you to move from one directory (folder) to another without any problem.

Just type “cd” in the command prompt and press Walk in. From there, you will immediately be taken to the top of your command prompt directory. As you will see on your command prompt screen, you will be redirected to the Windows root directory “VS:” conduct.

To move to a particular directory, just enter CD followed by the directory name. For example, we moved into the Downloads directory located in the root directory of our Windows 10 here.

For directories containing multiple words, you may need to enclose the name in quotes, e.g. cd “onenote notebooks” – a tip here, you can start typing a directory name, then press the tongue key, and Windows will fill in the name for you. If you have multiple directories with similar names (e.g. Files 1, Files 2, Files 3, etc.), keep pressing the tongue key and Windows will cycle through the possible matches.

Alternatively, instead of going directly to the root directory, you can also go back to the previous folder by adding .. after CD ordered. So go to your command prompt, type CD..and hit Walk in, as we did in our Windows 11.

run cd command in cmd

Changing Drive in Command Prompt

If, on the contrary, you want to change the directory completely, you will have to type the name of the drive, followed by :. So if you are in the “VS:” are driving right now, and you would like to move into your “D:” drive, just type “D:” in the command prompt and press the Walk in.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the Command Prompt is case insensitive, which means it treats uppercase and lowercase letters the same. So it doesn’t matter whether you type “D:” or “d:”, the command prompt will interpret them as the same.

Another command that deserves special mention is the director ordered. Type it director in the command prompt and you will see a list of files and folders in the parent directory.

running dir command in cmd on Windows 11

Now if you want to go to a specific directory from here, just use the CD command from above, with the name of the directory, as we did above.

Change directory in CMD by dragging folder

You can also use the GUI with the command prompt here. Type CD in the command prompt, drag the folder you want to move into the terminal and press Walk in.

The command prompt will jump directly to the desired folder.

Changing directories in CMD (command prompt)

If becoming a terminal pro is what you’re looking for, being able to modify your terminal directories is just one of the many hacks you’ll master along the way. Don’t get me wrong, because that’s just the beginning, and you’ll learn a lot more as you dive deeper into the Command Prompt.

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