Customize the Look of the Windows 10 Command Prompt

Customize the Look of Windows 10 Command Prompt

The Command Prompt is one of the most boring-looking (yet powerful) parts of Windows with a very unattractive design and the least interactive interface. As soon as you open the Command Prompt, you are slapped with white text on a black background. Thankfully, this nightmare can be customized to look a little better. Especially with the Windows 10 update, some new customization features are added to make the Command Prompt a bit interactive and easy to use.

In this post we will show you how you can make the Command Prompt look better. Although some of these customization options also apply to older versions of Windows, we will focus on Windows 10 and use it for demonstration purposes.

Change the Command Prompt Color

The first thing anyone wants to get rid of is the black and white interface of the Command Prompt. You can easily change the color of both the background and text of the Command Prompt from its properties. Right-click on the top window bar of the Command Prompt and select “Properties” from the menu.

Customize-Command-Prompt-Properties

Here, move to the “Colors” tab, and you will see options to change the screen background and text color. Screen background/text color is the color of the main interface, and Popup background/text color is the color of the popup window, like the one that shows all processed commands when you press F7.

Customize-Command-Prompt-screen-colors

You can use the color provided below to individually choose the right color for the text and the background. If these colors are not enough for you, then you can use RGB (Red, Green and Blue) values to make any color in the spectrum. Tweak these values and you will see the color changes in real-time below. Make sure you use a dark background color and a light text color or vice versa to easily see the text; otherwise it will be hard to see the text if both are dark or light.

Customize-Command-Prompt-change-color

Customize-Command-Prompt-color-changed

Tip: You don’t have to experiment with the RGB values to get your desired color. If you know the name of the color you want, then just search for its RGB value online. For example, for color “Sarcoline” you can search for “Sarcoline RGB value.” (It’s 250, 223, 174, by the way.)

Adjust Command Prompt Transparency

Windows 10 only feature. You can also adjust the opacity of the Command Prompt window. This is extremely handy in many situations; you can easily read text (or instructions) behind the Command Prompt window without needing to switch different windows.

To do so, go to the same “Colors” tab in the Command Prompt properties, and you will see an “Opacity slider” at the bottom. You can adjust the opacity anywhere between 30% to 100%. For me, 60% opacity is perfect to see the content in the back and also easily see the Command Prompt text.

Customize-Command-Prompt-Transparency

Change Font

If you are not comfortable with the current font type or size, then you can easily change it. In Properties, go to the “Font” tab, and you will see all the options below. You can select font size from the first panel and font type from the panel below it. You can also “Bold” the fonts if you want a clearer look. The changes can be seen in the right and the bottom window in real time.

Customize-Command-Prompt-change-font

Adjust the Command Prompt Window Size

In the previous versions of Windows it was a little hard to adjust the Command Prompt window size. You were not allowed to easily adjust a window’s width, and some other convenience options were missing as well. In Windows 10 you have full control over the Command Prompt window and can even maximize it to take the full screen.

You can easily change its width or height by grabbing the window from the sides or the corners and moving the cursor outwards. You can also go to the “Layout” tab in the Properties to enter your desired value for the window’s width and height.

Customize-Command-Prompt-window-size

In Windows 10 all the above-mentioned changes will stay even if you exit and restart the Command Prompt window. Once you have customized the Command Prompt look, you won’t have to worry about tweaking it every time you access the Command Prompt.

Conclusion

If you are a heavy user of the Command Prompt, then you should definitely tweak its look a bit to make it easier to use. You should at least change the boring black and white color, which can also be handy in keeping some variation in case you need to use more than one Command Prompt window.

Know any other ways to make the Command Prompt look better? Share with us in the comments below.

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3 comments

  1. One of the most valuable configurations is to change the prompt itself.

    http://www.hanselman.com/blog/ABetterPROMPTForCMDEXEOrCoolPromptEnvironmentVariablesAndANiceTransparentMultiprompt.aspx

    $A & (Ampersand)
    $B | (pipe)
    $C ( (Left parenthesis)
    $D Current date
    $E Escape code (ASCII code 27)
    $F ) (Right parenthesis)
    $G > (greater-than sign)
    $H Backspace (erases previous character)
    $L < (less-than sign)
    $N Current drive
    $P Current drive and path
    $Q = (equal sign)
    $S (space)
    $T Current time
    $V Windows XP version number
    $_ Carriage return and linefeed
    $$ $ (dollar sign)
    $+ zero or more plus sign (+) characters depending upon the depth of the PUSHD directory stack, one character for each level pushed.
    $M Displays the remote name associated with the current drive letter or the empty string if current drive is not a network drive.

  2. Want to make command prompt better? Install Linux ;)

  3. Customizing the command prompt is a nice feature, but how do you save the changes so they are set for the next time you open the command prompt?

    I have several Windows 10 PCs, and each time I close the command prompt I lose the customized settings…

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