Create batch file on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

On Windows 10, a batch file is a special kind of text file that typically has a .bat extension, which can include one or multiple commands that Command Prompt can understand and run in sequence to perform various actions.

Usually, you can input commands manually to perform a particular task, but a batch file simplifies the work of retyping commands, saving you time.

Also, even though, there are other tools, such as PowerShell, that write more advanced scripts, using batch files with Command Prompt is a convenient option when you need to run commands to change system settings, automate routines, and launch apps or websites.

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In this Windows 10 guide, we walk you through the steps to get started creating and running your first batch file on your computer.

How to create a batch file on Windows 10

The process of writing a batch (script or batch script) file is easy. You only need a text editor and some knowledge using Command Prompt. In the steps below, we detail the steps for creating a simple and advanced batch file, as well as the steps to write a script to change the system settings.

Creating simple batch file

To create a simple batch file on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Notepad, and click the top result to launch the app.
  3. Type the following lines to create a simple batch file:

    @ECHO OFF
    ECHO Congratulations! Your first batch file executed successfully.
    PAUSE
    

    Batch file sampleSource: Windows Central

    The above script outputs the phrase, "Congratulations! Your first batch file executed successfully" on the screen.

    Batch file outputSource: Windows Central

    • @ECHO OFF — Turns off the display prompt to show only the message on a clean line. Usually, this particular line goes at the beginning of the file. (You can use this command without "@," but the symbol hides the command being executed for a cleaner output.)
    • ECHO — Prints the desired text on the screen.
    • PAUSE — Prevents the console window from closing after executing the command. You can use this command at the end of the script or after a specific command when running multiple tasks, and you want to pause between them.
  4. Click the File menu.
  5. Select the Save as option.
  6. Type a name for the script — for example, first_simple_batch.bat.

    Quick note: While batch files typically use the .bat file extensions, you may also see scripts using the .cmd or .btm file extensions.

Once you complete the steps, you can double-click the file to run it, or you can use the steps below to learn the different ways to execute a batch file on Windows 10.

Creating advanced batch file

To create an interactive batch file that executes multiple commands, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Notepad, and click the top result to launch the app.
  3. Type the following lines to create a complex batch file:

    @ECHO OFF 
    :: This batch file reveals OS, hardware, and networking configuration.
    TITLE My System Info
    ECHO Please wait... Checking system information.
    :: Section 1: OS information.
    ECHO ============================
    ECHO OS INFO
    ECHO ============================
    systeminfo | findstr /c:"OS Name"
    systeminfo | findstr /c:"OS Version"
    systeminfo | findstr /c:"System Type"
    :: Section 2: Hardware information.
    ECHO ============================
    ECHO HARDWARE INFO
    ECHO ============================
    systeminfo | findstr /c:"Total Physical Memory"
    wmic cpu get name
    :: Section 3: Networking information.
    ECHO ============================
    ECHO NETWORK INFO
    ECHO ============================
    ipconfig | findstr IPv4
    ipconfig | findstr IPv6
    PAUSE
    

    Complex batch fileSource: Windows Central

    The above batch script will run a series of commands to query different system information that is grouped into three different categories, including OS INFO, HARDWARE INFO, and NETWORK INFO.

    Complex batch file outputSource: Windows Central

    • @ECHO OFF — Turns off the display prompt to show only the message on a clean line. Usually, this particular line goes at the beginning of the file. (You can use this command without "@," but the symbol hides the command being executed for a cleaner output.)
    • TITLE — Displays a custom name in the title bar of the console.
    • :: — Allows you to add comments and documentation information, which are ignored when the batch file runs.
    • ECHO — Prints the text on the screen.
    • PAUSE — Prevents the console window from closing after executing the command. You can use this command at the end of the script or after a specific command when running multiple tasks, and you want to pause between them.
  4. Click the File menu.
  5. Select the Save as option.
  6. Type a name for the script — for example, first_advanced_batch.bat.

After you complete these steps, you can run the script double-clicking the .bat file, or you can use the steps below to learn the different ways to execute a batch on Windows 10.

Creating actionable batch file

You're not limited to showing information on a Windows 10 console. You can also write non-interactive batch files to perform virtually any task. For instance, to write a batch file that runs a specific command without the need for user interaction, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Notepad, and click the top result to launch the app.
  3. Copy and paste the following command:

    net use z: \\PATH-NETWORK-SHARE\FOLDER-NAME /user:YOUR-USERNAME YOUR-PASSWORD
    

    Map folder batch file sampleSource: Windows Central

    The above command is just an ordinary command that maps a network folder as a drive on File Explorer using the "Z" drive letter.

    Map folder batch file outputSource: Windows Central

  4. Click the File menu.
  5. Select the Save as option.
  6. Type a name for the script — for example, map-z-drive.bat.

Once you complete the steps, when you run the batch file, the command will map a shared network folder with the settings, you specified without the need to open Command Prompt. Although we only specified one command in the file, you can include as many commands as you like, as long as you write one per line.

How to run a batch file on Windows 10

On Windows 10, there are a least three ways to run a batch file. You can run a batch on-demand (using File Explorer or Command Prompt). You can create a scheduled task using Task Scheduler. Or you can place the script in the "Startup" folder to run it every time you sign in to your computer.

Running batch file on-demand

When you need to run a batch file on-demand, you can use File Explorer or Command Prompt.

File Explorer

To run a batch file using File Explorer, use these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Navigate to the folder with the script.
  3. Double-click the batch file to run it.

    Running batch file from File ExplorerSource: Windows Central

    If you're executing a command that requires administrator privileges, you'll need to run the script as an admin by right-clicking the batch file and selecting the Run as administrator option, and clicking the Yes button.

After you complete the steps, the batch will run each command in sequence displaying the results on the screen.

Command Prompt

To run a batch file from Command Prompt, use these steps.

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  3. Type the path and the name of the batch file and press Enter:

    C:\PATH\TO\FOLDER\BATCH-NAME.bat

    For example, the following command runs the batch file located in the user's "batch" folder inside the "Downloads" folder:

    C:\Users\user\Downloads\batch\first_simple_batch.bat

    Running batch file from Command PromptSource: Windows Central

Once you complete the steps, the output will display on the screen regardless of the script containing the "PAUSE" command or not.

Running batch file on scheduled

To schedule a batch file on Windows 10, you'll need to use the Task Scheduler with these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Task Scheduler, and click the top result to open the app.
  3. Right-click the "Task Scheduler Library" branch and select the New Folder option.
  4. Type a name for the folder — for example, MyScripts.

    Quick note: It's not necessary to create a folder, but it's recommended to organize your tasks.

  5. Click the OK button.
  6. Expand the "Task Scheduler Library" branch.
  7. Right-click the MyScripts folder.
  8. Select the Create Basic Task option.

    Task Scheduler create basic taskSource: Windows Central

  9. In the "Name" field, type a short descriptive name for the task — for example, SystemInfoBatch.

    Task Scheduler basic taskSource: Windows Central

  10. (Optional) In the "Description" field, create a description for the task.
  11. Click the Next button.
  12. Select the Monthly option.

    Basic task triggerSource: Windows Central

    Task Scheduler allows you to select from a number of triggers, including on a specific date, during startup, or when you or a particular user signs in to the computer. Depending on your requirements, you'll need to configure additional parameters. In this case, we're selecting the option to run a task every month.

  13. Click the Next button.
  14. Using the "Start" settings, specify the day and time when the task should start running.
  15. Use the "Monthly" drop-down menu to pick the months of the year that you want to run the task.

    Task Scheduler time optionsSource: Windows Central

  16. Use the "Days" or "On" drop-down menu to specify the days that the task will run.

    Task Scheduler time optionSource: Windows Central

  17. Click the Next button.
  18. Select the Start a program option to run the batch file.

    Source: Windows Central

  19. In the "Program/script" field, specify the path for the batch file.

    Task Scheduler start a program option Source: Windows Central

  20. Click the Finish button.

Once you complete the steps, the task will be saved, and it'll run the batch file on the schedule you specified.

These instructions cover the steps to create a basic task. If you want to create a more customizable task, use this guide.

Running batch files on startup

Alternatively, if you want to run a batch file every time that you sign in to your device, use these easy steps:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Navigate to the folder that contains the batch file.
  3. Right-click the file and select the Copy option.
  4. Use the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command
  5. Type the following command, and click the OK button:

    shell:startup

    Run command with Shell:Startup commandSource: Windows Central

  6. Click the Paste option from the "Home" tab in the Startup folder. (Or you can click the Paste shortcut button to create a shortcut to the batch file.)

    Startup folder on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

  7. Sign out of your Windows 10 account.
  8. Sign back into your account.

After you complete the steps, every time you sign in to your account, the batch file will automatically execute in sequence the commands you wrote.

We're focusing this guide on Windows 10, but the ability to use batch files has been around for many years, which means that you can refer to these instructions if you're still using Windows 8.1 or Windows 7.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources: