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Toolbox Tip
Change the Default Directory in Command Prompt
by kp

To change the default directory in the Command Prompt, you can either do a change directory command or permanently modify the directory using Registry Keys. The Command Prompt directory normally shows the user's documents and settings path as the default. This can be changed manually by using the 'cd' command along with the new directory path name. For example, to change the directory to the WINDOWS folder, type:

cd C:\WINDOWS\system32\

This allows you to run programs found within this directory. To permanently change the default directory, the Registry Keys needs to be modified for the Command Prompt application. To open Registry Keys, go to Start -> Run and type: regedit.exe. In the Registry Editor, locate Command Prompt under HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Software -> Microsoft -> Command Processor. Look for a key named "Autorun." If the key doesn't exist, create one by right-clicking and choosing New -> Expandable Sting Value. Rename the key to Autorun. Right-click on Autorun to edit the string. Under Value data, enter the following:

CD /d C:\WINDOWS\system32\

Edit String

The path name to your directory may vary depending on your custom settings. Re-boot Command Prompt and the new default directory should be shown in the window.

Microsoft Windows registry information for advanced users

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