CMD (Command Prompt) vs PowerShell: What is Key Difference?

4 min read

If you are a Windows administrator and spend most of your time working in the Windows environment, you may have come across the terms CMD and PowerShell many times. But what is the difference between these PowerShell and CMD? In this article, you will get a comprehensive overview of PowerShell vs CMD, some commands, and a comparison table so that you can easily understand all the significant differences.

The difference between a CMD and a PowerShell is that a CMD is the “traditional” style of command prompt or interactive Shell. It is very user-friendly, and you can have thousands of people execute it without any problems. On the other hand, PowerShell is Microsoft’s built-in but complicated command prompt program that is dramatically inferior to shells available for Linux or Unix-based systems. Most of the command prompts commands are easy to use in PowerShell either natively or through aliases.

So, what is the difference between and how did it come to be? There have been many arguments over the years about the exact origination of PowerShell. There is no doubt, that PowerShell has become an essential part of our computing experience.

The CMD or “Command Line Interface” is nothing more than a series of simple commands. These commands allow you to perform simple administrative tasks and interact with any Windows object in Microsoft’s Windows operating system. In contrast, a PowerShell command-line interface will enable you to perform more complex tasks and complicated scripts.

A typical PowerShell interface has no special abilities. All the same, way the CMD is divided up into a series of commands. So, what is the difference between PowerShell vs cmd?

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PowerShell Vs Command Prompt: Comparison Table

PowerShell Command Prompt
PowerShell was introduced in 2006. CMD was introduced in 1981.
You can run it by typing PowerShell. You can run it by typing CMD.
It supports both batch and PowerShell cmdlets. Only batch commands should be run on CMD.
It also supports the creation of aliases for cmdlets so that users can easily navigate between the functions. CMD can’t create aliases of commands.
You have the freedom to pass the output of a cmdlet to another cmdlet. You can never pass the output of a command to another one.
PowerShell returns the output in the form of an object. CMD only returns the text.
We can run a sequence of cmdlets in a script. In cmd, the second command will run if the first command is finished.
You can Help command to get information regarding any cmdlets with ease. There is no such help option available in the CMD.
PowerShell has an Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE). It is just a Command-Line Interface.
You can access programming libraries because it is built on top of .NET Common Language Runtime (CLR) No access to libraries
You can integrate it with WMI directly. If you need WMI integration, then you must need some external plugins.
It is easier to connect with Microsoft Cloud products. CMD can’t connect with Microsoft Online products.
It supports Linux Systems. CMD doesn’t support Linux systems.
You can run all types of the program using PowerShell. ssCMD is made for only console-type programs.

Powershell vs CMD: A Few Examples

How to change a Directory?


cd /d D:


Set-Location D:
How to change a Directory

Output: Both commands given above have been used to change the current directory location to the D drive.

How to list files in a Directory?




How to list files in a Directory

Output: As you can view in the given result, both commands are used to display the files and folders present in the current directory.

How to rename a file?


rename d:\old.txt new.txt


Rename-Item "d:\new.txt" -NewName "old.txt"
How to rename a file

Output: These commands are used to rename any particular file.

How to get help?




How to get help

Output: If you are not an expert person, you can run the above commands to get helpful information about commands or cmdlet.





Output: As you have seen in the above picture, both commands are used to display all the running tasks.


taskkill /IM "skype.exe" /F


Stop-Process -Name "Skype" -Force

Output: You can stop any running process with the help of given commands. I have stopped Skype with the use of commands.

Final Words

If you want to use a PowerShell in combination with your command prompt, then CMD is the best option. But when you have a bit of technical knowledge and need to use automation in your administrative tasks, you should go with PowerShell. So, if you need automation, then I would say go with PowerShell. If you want to learn more about PowerShell’s advantages or any other questions, feel free to write a comment.

One thought on

CMD (Command Prompt) vs PowerShell: What is Key Difference?

  • ilyas

    thnks for letting us know beetween power shell and cmd

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