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How to Make the Windows Command Prompt Wider

It can be annoying when you’re using the default Command Prompt window settings and not being able to read everything easily. What you may not know is you can make it wider, and here is how.

Command Prompt

The Command Prompt in Windows is a feature that provides the ability to enter in MS-DOS and other commands to perform tasks in the OS. By default though, it’s not always wide enough for viewing the data you want in an easy to read format.

In this example we’re running the tracert command in prompt. With the default settings we cannot see all of the information in an easy to read format. The data wraps so it can be somewhat difficult to review.

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Change Command Prompt Width

Right-click on the prompt boarder and select Properties…

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Now select the Layout tab and change the Window Size width, by default it is 80. Here you can change the Screen Buffer Size Width and Window Position. When you’re finished click OK.

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Now the window is wider and when we run the same command above, we can see all of the data in a much easier to read format!

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If you find yourself using the command prompt and were frustrated about not being able to see everything easily, this quick tweak helps out a lot. If you want to find out more ways of tweaking the Command Prompt, check out our article on how to personalize it.

This will work with in XP, Vista, and Windows 7

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 06/22/10

Comments (8)

  1. Bjarnovikus

    Easy but simple guide. Thank you :)

  2. Cosmo

    C:\>mode 100,50

  3. Ste_95

    Fantastic, thanks! I don’t know why cmd is so small, now it’s all easier… :)

  4. TomAmitai

    If you want your custom view every time you open a command prompt, make the changes under “defaults” instead of “properties”.

  5. nakuls

    i am not sure if its supposed to be like that but microsoft has just been lazy to make cmd resizable.

  6. Migration Expert Zone

    Great tip! It’s curious that Windows will allow you to change the height of the Command Prompt window (just by clicking and dragging with your mouse) but not the width.

  7. byron morris

    hey, i am having problems with my toshiba L300, the fan is somewhat too noisey, i dont know if thats because there is something caught in it or its a computer problem. and sometimes my fan just doesnt go, can any1 tell me a command prompt that will allow me to make my fan run? it would be a big help.

    let me know your answers, email me: byronmorris2009@hotmail.com

  8. Pancho Delgado

    Thank you.

    I’m a Linux guy and … well I probably don’t need to say any more than that. Now I just need to figure out how to change $PATH.

    But really, thanks again!

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