How to Enable Auto Complete Feature in Windows Command Prompt

Feb 1 12:52 2016 Rossy Guide Print This Article

If you are a Windows power user, then you will probably be using the command prompt very frequently. In command prompt includes lacks of several features out of the box and auto-completion is one of them. Here we discuss “How you can enable the auto-complete feature in Windows Command Prompt”, both temporarily and permanently.

Enable Auto-Complete Feature Temporarily:

You can enable the auto-complete feature temporarily in the command prompt by invoking a simple command. To do that,Guest Posting

  • Click on Start, then click Run (or press the “Windows key+ R”) and then type cmd and press the OK button to open the command prompt. Once opened, enter the below command and press the Enter

cmd /f

  • From this point onward, you can use the auto-complete feature by pressing the control characters “Ctrl + D” for folder and “Ctrl + F” for files. As this is a temporary solution, the command is only valid for the current session. If you want to disable auto-completion feature in the current session, then use the below command.

cmd /f:off

Enable Auto-Complete Feature Permanently:

If you want to enable the auto-complete feature permanently, you need to edit a couple of Windows registry entries. To do that,

  • Click on Start, then click Run (or press the “Windows key+ R”) and then type regedit and press the OK This action will open the Windows Registry.
  • To enable automatic completion for the computer, then navigate the following key

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftCommand Processor

  • To enable automatic completion for the current user, then navigate the following key

HKEY_CURRENT_USER SOFTWARE MicrosoftCommand Processor

  • For folder name completion, double-click on the key “CompletionChar”. This action will open the Value Data window.
  • Replace the existing value with “9” and click on the “Ok” button to save the changes. This action will set the default control character as the TAB key on your keyboard.
  • If you want to set “Ctrl + D” as your control character, then enter the value as “4”. If you want to use “Ctrl + F” as your control character, then enter “6” as the value in the value data field.
  • For file name completion, double-click on the key “PathCompletionChar” and enter the value data as “9” for TAB key, “4” for “Ctrl + D” and “6” for “Ctrl + F”. After entering the value data, click on the “OK” button to save the changes.

Note: Make sure both keys we just edited have the same value data. Otherwise the configuration won’t work as it should.

  • Close
  • Run command prompt and enjoy.

If you enable this feature for the computer, the feature is available to all users. However, you can deactivate the feature for any individual user, or you can use different control characters for that user than you applied to the computer. The user settings take precedence over the computer settings.

Differences between folder and file name completion:

The file name completion feature works on folders also because the feature searches for a complete path and matches against both file and folder names.

The folder completion feature matches only against folder names. This makes the folder completion feature faster for folder searching than the file name completion feature if there are both files and folders with matching strings.

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Rossy Guide
Rossy Guide

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