Home > Commands N-Z > Commands S


Description | Syntax | Parameters | Switches | Related | Notes | Examples | Errorlevels | Availability

Runs a Windows program or an operating system program in a new window.

CAUTION:This command will not work in DOS MODE, it must be run under windows.



START [[/M[inimized]] | [/Max[imized]] | [/R[estored]]] [/W[ait]] program [arg...]

START [[/M[inimized]] | [/Max[imized]] | [/R[estored]]] [/W[ait]] document.ext

START ["title"] [/Dpath] [/B] [/I] [[/MIN] | [/MAX]] [/WAIT] [[/LOW] | [/NORMAL] | [/HIGH] | [/REALTIME] | [/ABOVENORMAL] | [/BELOWNORMAL]] [[/SEPARATE] | [/SHARED] program [arg...]

arg... (Win95 NT3.5)
Specifies the program arguments.
document.ext (Win95 NT4)
Specifies the document.ext (data file) that windows has associated with a particular program (by extention), that program will be run and the document.ext loaded for use by that program.
program (Win95 NT3.5)
Specifies the program you want to run.
"title" (NT3.5)
Text for the CMD window title.

/? (NTXP)
Displays help.
Start application in the ABOVENORMAL priority class.
/B (NT3.5)
Start application without creating a new window. In this case CTRL+C (^C) will be ignored - leaving CTRL+BREAK (^BREAK) as the only way to interrupt the application.
Start application in the BELOWNORMAL priority class.
/Dpath (NT3.5)
Starting directory.
/HIGH (NT3.5)
Use HIGH priority class.
/I (NT3.5)
Ignore any changes to the current environment.
/LOW (NT3.5)
Use IDLE priority class.
/M[inimized] (Win95)
/MIN (NT3.5)
Run the new program minimized (in the background).
/Max[imized] (Win95)
/MAX (NT3.5)
Run the new program maximized (in the foreground).
Use NORMAL priority class.
/R[estored] (Win95)
Run the new program restored (in the foreground). [default]
Use REALTIME priority class.
Start in separate memory space (more robust). 16-bit WINDOWS programs only.
Start in shared memory space (default). 16-bit WINDOWS programs only.
/W[ait] (Win95)
/WAIT (NT3.5)
Does not return until the other program exits.


There is some overlap in the function of START, CALL, and COMMAND /C in that all commands are typically used in batch files to invoke secondary batch files or programs.
CMD - can be used to call a subsequent batch and ALWAYS return even if errors occur.
GOTO - jump to a label or GOTO :eof.
Equivalent Linux BASH commands:
.period - Run commands from a file.


If Command Extensions are enabled: external command invocation through the command-line or the START command changes:

non-executable files may be invoked through their file association just by typing the name of the file as a command. (e.g. WORD.DOC would launch the application associated with the .DOC file extension). See the ASSOC and FTYPE commands for how to create these associations from within a command script.

When executing an application that is a 32-bit GUI application, CMD.EXE does not wait for the application to terminate before returning to the command prompt. This new behavior does NOT occur if executing within a command script.

When executing a command-line whose first token is the string "CMD " without an extension or path qualifier, then "CMD" is replaced with the value of the %COMSPEC% variable. This prevents picking up CMD.EXE from the current directory.

When executing a command-line whose first token does NOT contain an extension, then CMD.EXE uses the value of the %PATHEXT% environment variable to determine which extensions to look for and in what order. The default value for the %PATHEXT% variable is:


Notice the syntax is the same as the %PATH% variable, with semicolons separating the different elements.

When searching for an executable, if there is no match on any extension, then looks to see if the name matches a directory name. If it does, the START command launches the Explorer on that path. If done from the command-line, it is the equivalent to doing a CD /D to that path.





Win95 Win98 WinME
Windows NT
NT3.5 NT4 NT2000 NTXP NT2003