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New to using the command prompt? Check out the Windows Command Prompt Beginner’s Guide

Earlier today, we looked at how to launch the command prompt in Windows and how to run it with elevated permissions as an administrator. Now, we’ll learn how to customize the user interface of the command prompt. Specifically, we’ll learn the following:

  • How to Customize the Command Prompt
  • How to run a Transparent Command Prompt

How to Customize the Command Prompt

To customize the command prompt that comes bundled with Windows:

Open a command prompt, right click the title bar, and click Defaults.

On the Font tab, you can customize the font and size:

On the Colors tab, you can customize the text and background colors:

Click OK, close the command prompt, and open it again:

You can also set the color of the background and text by referencing this chart and using the color command:

For example, color F0 will result in ‘F’ bright white background with  ‘0’ black text:

How to Run a Transparent Command Prompt

To get a customized command prompt, I recommend downloading Console2 by Marko Bozikovic (bozho.)

Extract the downloaded file to C:\Program Files\Console2 (C:\Program Files (x86)\Console2 for 64 bit users.)

Note: You can extract this wherever you like but Program Files seems like a logical place to me.

Add Console2 to Your Start Menu

This step is optional but highly recommended if you want quick access to Console.

  1. Right click on Console.exe and click Create Shortcut.
  2. Rename the shortcut to cmd2 and put it on your start menu.

Now, when you want to access the command line, press Winkey, type cmd, and click cmd2.

Customize the Default Look of Console

We’re not done yet; to customize the look of Console from its default:

You can either use the format menu or modify the XML. Let’s modify the XML (it’s more fun that way.)

Go to the directory of Console, make a backup of console.xml, and open console.xml with your favorite editor (I use Notepad++ and highly recommend it):

Note: These instructions work for Console-2.00b146-Beta_32bit. As newer versions are released, these values may change.

Note 2: These instructions are to change the console to the look like the example at the top (and bottom) of this post. Of course, you can change the values to whatever you like.

Go to line 3 and change rows to 20

Go to line 24 and change bold to 1

Go to line 28, change show_menu to 0 and show_statusbar to 0

Go to line 33 and change type to 1, active_alpha to 200, and inactive_alpha to 200

Go to line 93 and change title to any title you want on the window

Go to line 95 and change r to o, g to 128, and b to 0

The end result:

Have fun with it!

Download Console2

Download Console

Download Console2

About Rich

Rich is the owner and creator of Windows Guides; he spends his time breaking things on his PC so he can write how-to guides to fix them.

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2 thoughts on “Customize the Appearance of the Command Prompt in Windows [How To]”

  1. Erick Magnus says:

    I liked it!

  2. Rich says:

    Aside from changing font color and background color, I know of no way to customize the command prompt, but I’m sure there are ways to do this with which I’m not familiar.

Comments are closed.

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