How to Copy and Paste in the Windows 10 Command Prompt

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With Windows 10, Microsoft finally updated the long-neglected command prompt. You can now quickly select and paste text within the command prompt window, but first you have to enable the keyboard shortcuts. Here's how to do it.

Previously if you wanted to copy and paste in the command prompt you had to jump through hoops: Open the context menu with the Alt+E keyboard combination, go to Edit > Mark to tell Windows you want to mark text to select, and then use a lasso tool to create a box around the text you wanted to select. You needed to go back into the context menu to copy and to paste.

The upgraded command prompt in Windows 10 is much simpler. You can copy and paste with the familiar CTRL + C to copy and CTRL + V to paste keyboard shortcuts. To get this functionality, head to the application's properties settings.

1. Open Command Prompt. The quickest way to do this is to click the Windows key, type in cmd, and hit Enter or clicking on the app.

command prompt open

2. Right-click on the command prompt's title bar and choose Properties

command prompt properties

MORE: How to Make Windows 10 Look and Feel Like Windows 7

3. Uncheck the box next to "Use legacy console (requires relaunch)". This should automatically check the "Enable Ctrl key shortcuts" option.
command prompt legacy

command prompt shortcuts

4. Click OK.

Now you can select text using your mouse or the keyboard (hold down the Shift key and use the left or right arrows to select words). Press CTRL + C to copy it, and press CTRL + V to paste it in the window. You can also easily paste text you've copied from another program into the command prompt using the same shortcut.

Add a comment
  • Fedelibre Says:

    Same experience as below comments. The settings were already as recommended. To enable the selection you must use Ctrl+M or mouse right-click and Select. I wonder why it's not enabled by default...

  • John Lamb Says:

    Not for me either. The settings were already as recommended, but the (Dell Studio 1747 Windows 10) computer ignores the ctrl shortcuts in Opera and Firefox browsers, at least.

  • Davorin Jurisic Says:

    For me this didn't work. Even with legacy console enabled the option to enable ctrl shortcuts is still greyed out, even after restarting the entire pc, not only the command prompt.

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