Difference Between PowerShell & CMD in Windows 10

Difference Between PowerShell & CMD in Windows 10

Remember those days when systems used to boot with a floppy drive and we had to punch in few commands to get to the desktop screen? Eventually that C:\> got swapped with a decent GUI looks and now we can boot directly from the Hard Drive. That command prompt (CMD) lived on for decades and still a very useful tool for system administrators and programmers. Back in 2006, Microsoft introduced a new application (PowerShell) which looks similar to command prompt and may replace CMD. This application was introduced with Windows 7 which turned out to be a more powerful command-line shell and scripting language than the Command Prompt. PowerShell has become more prominent and the default choice in Windows 10 users. They look similar though there are a lot of differences between PowerShell and CMD. Here is a comparison between both the powerful applications.

Comparison PowerShell Command Prompt
Definition Windows PowerShell is the new Microsoft command shell that joins the functionality of the old CMD with a new scripting/cmdlet instruction. It has a built-in system administration functionality for an effective command line. PowerShell cmdlets enable administrators and users to program complex tasks with reusable scripts. System administrators can save a substantial amount of time by completing administrative tasks with PowerShell. Windows Command Prompt, (CMD) is the base shell for MS-DOS. CMD was known as the default command shell until Microsoft discovered PowerShell as the primary option with Windows 10. CMD can be considered as the last fragments of (MS-DOS) that is replaced by Microsoft in Windows 10.
PowerShell is designed by Microsoft for task automation and Windows framework for configuration management, based on command line shell and other associated script languages. CMD is a command line interpreter on Windows NT, Windows CE, OS/2 and eComStation operating systems.
Features PowerShell has added features and enhancements. CMD command line was never upgraded with new features.
Superset of CMD with added functionality. CMD is a baseline product but is considered to be the first set of the command line.
Usage PowerShell is designed to control & automate the administrative tasks of Window OS. It is also used by the administrators to manage other applications. CMD is mainly used to execute a given command on the console and can be used to debug a problem as well.
Complexity PowerShell is more complicated. CMD is easy to use.
Function PowerShell can pass and return objects structure data with methods, events, and properties to another command. CMD has limitations to such functions.
PowerShell has the power to trigger CMD or call an external program or a new program. It has direct access to all of the .NET, easy access to COM, C#, F#, and other .NET languages. CMD produces simple text and runs short of advanced functionality.
PowerShell can be integrated with the .NET framework at runtime. CMD doesn’t come with such an option.
PowerShell is an object-oriented shell/programming language that processes objects. CMD is string oriented and an antiquated CLI that mainly executes console programs of your file system and processes the output they provide as text.
PowerShell can interpret both batch commands and PowerShell commands. You can’t run PowerShell cmdlets in CMD. CMD can only interpret batch commands.
PowerShell is much more powerful and allows modern and sound scripting. CMD is like an old school program which is limited to file management commands.
PowerShell is designed for program automation. CMD is designed for file management and batch files made from the same commands.
PowerShell is mostly used by system administrators to perform administrative tasks. CMD interacts with the user programs and performs tasks according to user-issued commands.
PowerShell can execute all kinds of program and can produce results as Object OR Text. CMD can produce only text as an output.
Inventor PowerShell is developed by James Truher. CMD was developed by Therese Stowell.
Example of Commands Set-Location’ – to change the directory, ‘Get-ChildItem’ – to list out the file. CD’ – to change the directory, ‘DIR’ to list out the files in the directory.

Also Read:  Use Command Prompt Like A Pro – All About Command Prompt


Now as we know, PowerShell and CMD both are very useful and powerful tools, though PowerShell is a new product of Microsoft. We have already compared and listed out differences between PowerShell and CMD which proves that PowerShell is a more powerful command line interface than as compared with CMD. CMD is an old product of Microsoft with a basic set of command line interface and a limited set of functionalities. PowerShell is a new generation product which is more efficient and productive as it consists of additional features than regular CMD. Those who use CMD regularly shall try PowerShell and explore a new set of the command line to execute new tasks.

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