Disk Operating System (DOS)

How to create a new action for the Windows Explorer context sensitive menu which will open a DOS session in the folder of your choice in MS-Windows versions prior to Win-7.

Opening a DOS session from Windows Explorer

In all versions of MS-Windows you can open a command line this way:

  • A Windows shortcut for a DOS session
  • The RUN dialogue: i.e. Start > Run > RUN COMMAND or RUN CMD

In MS-Windows 7 you can open a CMD (DOS) command line in a selected folder by right-clicking the folder in Windows Explorer and left-clicking "Open Command Window Here" on the context-sensitive menu.

In MS-Windows versions prior to Win 7 there is also a way to open a DOS session command line in a folder selected in Windows Explorer.

Follow the steps below to create an "Open in DOS" action on the Windows Explorer context-sensitive menu.
(Do not include quotation marks when typing in text).

  1. In Windows Explorer, click on Tools
  2. On the Tools menu, click on Options
  3. In the Folder Options dialogue, click on File Types
  4. From the list of Registered File Types, select Folder (or File Folder)
  5. Click the Edit button (in Windows XP click the Advanced button instead)
  6. In the Edit File Type dialogue box, click the New button beneath Actions
  7. In the New Action dialogue box, first type "Open in DOS" in the Action text box
  8. Next, type "command.com /k cd %1" in the Application Used to Perform Action text box
  9. Click OK and then click Close in the Edit File Type dialogue box
  10. Click Close in the Options dialogue box

To use this method, right-click on any folder in Windows Explorer and then click on Open in DOS in the context-sensitive menu. Your DOS session command line will open in the selected folder.

Bruce Miller, 2001, 2014