Start a program, command or batch script (opens in a new window.)
Syntax START "title" [/D path] [options] "command" [parameters] Key: title Text for the CMD window title bar (required.) path Starting directory. command The command, batch file or executable program to run. parameters The parameters passed to the command. Options: /MIN Start window Minimized. /MAX Start window Maximized. /W or /WAIT Start application and wait for it to terminate. (for an internal cmd command or a batch file this runs CMD /K) /LOW Use IDLE priority class. /NORMAL Use NORMAL priority class. /ABOVENORMAL Use ABOVENORMAL priority class. /BELOWNORMAL Use BELOWNORMAL priority class. /HIGH Use HIGH priority class. /REALTIME Use REALTIME priority class.
/B Start application without creating a new window. In this case ^C will be ignored - leaving ^Break as the only way to interrupt the application. /I Ignore any changes to the current environment. Use the original environment passed to cmd.exe Options for 16-bit WINDOWS programs only /SEPARATE Start in separate memory space. (more robust) /SHARED Start in shared memory space. (default)
Always include a TITLE this can be a simple string like "My Script" or just a pair of empty quotes ""
According to the Microsoft documentation, the title is optional, but you
may will have problems if it is omitted.
If command is an internal cmd command or a batch file then the command processor is run with the /K switch to cmd.exe. This means that the window will remain after the command has been run.
Document files may be invoked through their file association just by typing
the name of the file as a command.
e.g. START "" MarchReport.DOC will launch the application associated with the .DOC file extension and load the document.
Run a minimised Login script:
START "My Login Script" /Min Login.cmd
Start a program and wait for it to complete before continuing:
START "" /wait autocad.exe
Open a file with a particular program:
START "" "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Winword.exe" "D:\Docs\demo.txt"
Open Windows Explorer and list the files in the current folder (.) :
C:\any\old\directory> START .
Connect to a new printer: (this will setup the print connection/driver )
Start an application and specify where files will be saved (Working Directory):
START /Dc:\Documents\ /MAX "Maximised Notes" notepad.exe
Run several Programs in Sequence
To run a sequence of 32 bit GUI programs to complete a task, create a batch file that uses start /wait:
start /wait /b First.exe
start /wait /b Second.exe
start /wait /b Third.exe
This is similar to the way batch files would run under MSDOS command.com (16 bit)
It is best to specify the full path to the application including file extension. If you START an application without a file extension (for example WinWord instead of WinWord.exe)then the PATHEXT environment variable will be read to determine which file extensions to search for and in what order. The default value for the PATHEXT variable is: .COM;.EXE;.BAT;.CMD
The syntax for PATHEXT is the same as %PATH%, with semicolons separating each item.
If there is no match on any extension, then START will look to see if the name, matches a directory name and if so will launch Explorer on that path.
START is an internal command.
When Command Extensions are enabled, external command invocation through the command line or the START command will change as follows:
“Do not run; scorn running with thy heels” ~ Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
WMIC process call create "c:\some.exe","c:\exec_dir" - This method returns the PID of the started process.
CALL - Call one batch program from another
CMD - can be used to call a subsequent batch and ALWAYS return even if errors occur.
Powershell: Invoke-Item - Invoke an executable or open a file (ii)
Q162059 - Opening Office documents
Equivalent bash command (Linux) : open - Open a file in its default application.