CMD vs Windows PowerShell on Windows 10 – How do they differ?

Windows users are blessed with multiple Command Line Interface i.e. Command Prompt and Windows PowerShell. Most of the Windows users don’t know about the differences between this two command-line interface which are included in the Windows 10 systems. If you too are confused between these two and don’t know anything about them, then CMD vs Windows PowerShell on Windows 10 tutorial will give you the best of information. Let’s get the details now!

The Command Prompt and PowerShell look similar to their interfaces, but their purposes are different which most people don’t know. First, let us figure out what’s the actual use of these two command-line interfaces on a Windows PC.


What is the Command Prompt on Windows PC?

Windows Command Prompt is known as CMD. It is a command shell which is based on the MS-DOS operating system. This interface lets users interact with the Operating System directly. This means users are allowed to make changes to the Operating System and its functionality by using the different commands.

It creates a new environment for the users and developers where they can test out different applications and other utilities effectively. Interestingly, you will get the response from the system’s operating system instantly in the same Window. You can work on different command lines for automation tasks.

If you are from the developing side, then you can make use of the CMD Shell to create additional scripts and save them as batch files. These batch files can be used to solve automation tasks within a single frame. It works manually and you have to enter the command lines manually within the system. If you wish to do the things automatically, then you have to work on the commands which are compatible with that particular task you are willing to do on a Windows system.

The demonstration of the Command Prompt Window is given below. You can see how the command lines and responses for each command are listed in a single Window. It is a simple plain black Window with white color fonts. You can use normal Keyboard keys to enter the command and hit the Enter button to receive the response instantly.

Command Prompt is based on MS-DOS Operating System but it doesn’t have anything to do with the MS-Dos Operating System. It is an independent platform and not relying on any other Operating Systems.

What is the Windows PowerShell on a Windows PC?

Windows PowerShell is also a command shell which is powered by the scripting language. This command shell is designed for the system administration tasks which gives you more power to change or create scriptings for the Windows 10 Operating System.

The Windows PowerShell is built with the .NET Framework which is why it is more powerful than the command prompt interface. A .NET Framework is a software developing platform which was designed by Microsoft itself in the year 2002. Developers are using the same framework to design software and other Windows-powered applications.

PowerShell Commands are also known as cmdlets. If you wish to change or interact with the infrastructure of your Windows Operating System, then you can simply make use of this Command Shell window.

Unlike the Command Prompt Interface, PowerShell enables users to access the Windows registry. Users can also interact with the file system and Windows Management Infrastructure. Interestingly, users can make use of all these command lines and functions remotely. Since its a powerful command interface, it lets users create complex scripts which can be used for various automation tasks. You can also create scripts with multiple conditions.

The demonstration of the Windows PowerShell can be seen in the below-given image. Unlike the simple black Window, the PowerShell has a dark blue Window which looks completely different from the Command Prompt window.

How Command Prompt Differs from Windows PowerShell?

Command Prompt is based on an older MS-DOS Operating System which makes it itself an outdated tool for the new generation Windows users. This is command interface was designed for the manual tasks and was never designed to work with remote administration. To extend their abilities and functionalities, users need to add more compatible tools and scripts manually.

On the other hand, PowerShell is based on Microsoft’s advanced .NET Framework which makes it the advanced command-line interface for the Windows users and developers who can test out the latest software and applications which requires Command Line Interface and its environment.

The purpose of this Command-Line Interface is just to simplify the tasks of the administrators. It is designed to work with remote administration. The same interface supports a wide range of automation tasks which can fix all the applications and software related issues.

The Windows PowerShell is compatible to handle a variety of tasks and able to interact with active directory administration, extracting data about security and its configurations, and also manages the permissions of the users. The latest updates added additional support for the Linux Operating System.

Unlike the normal PowerShell window, the Windows 10 comes with an integrated PowerShell ISE i.e. Integrated Scripting Environment. This environment is designed for professional developers who can design new and complex scripts for all types of software and applications.

In the Integrated Scripting Environment, you will be provided with two different Windows from which the right side window will show you the integrated scripts which you can select from the list. The Scripts and Commands are ready-to-use and you can simply start using these scripts and commands while working on a new script or testing out a command line.

Windows PowerShell is undoubtedly more powerful than the traditional Command Prompt, but it costs you something. You need to understand the basic functionalities of using the PowerShell and its cmdlets unlike the simplest commands for the Command Prompt interface. It’s a bit tricky and you have to invest your time to understand the useful things about the new interface.

Which one is better?

In Windows 10, you would see that the Microsoft has replaced the Command Prompt Interface with the Windows PowerShell interface as the default command-line interface. There are many reasons behind replacing the older Command Line Interface in the latest Windows Operating System.

Being the latest command-line interface, the Windows PowerShell is compatible to run all the commands of the Command Prompt. So you can use and work with the Command Prompt’s command on the PowerShell window. You don’t need to switch between the interface if you are working on PowerShell.

The only purpose behind replacing Command Prompt with PowerShell is to simplify the process for the developers who can work as an administration task remotely. The system administrators can work remotely and finishes their tasks quickly unlike the Command Prompt.

PowerShell offers a more familiar environment than the Command Prompt. In fact, it is way more convenient in terms of its functionality and abilities to handle various tasks which are essential for the new generation of applications and software.

Moreover, Windows PowerShell is used by all the new generation developers and hence it has a great helping community who can help you out learning new things or if you are a beginner, you can also get started with the basic things by interacting with the community members. To keep yourself up to date with the new technologies and environment, you have to start using the latest and advanced command-line interface i.e. Windows PowerShell.


Leave a Comment