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How to Enable Automatic Complete for the Command Prompt (Cmd.exe)

This article was previously published under Q244407
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
File name completion and folder name completion are quick-search features of the Windows NT command processor, Cmd.exe. When you type a path or a file name and then press TAB, Cmd.exe searches for all files whose path and file name match your entry.

NOTE: Automatic complete for CMD.exe is not enabled by default in Windows 2000 and later.

When you type a path and then press the TAB key, the command processor searches for all files whose path (but not necessarily the file name) matches your entry. The command processor displays one of the matching file names each time you press TAB. To go backward through the list of file names, press SHIFT+TAB. This article describes how to enable automatic complete for Cmd.exe.
Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
To enable automatic complete for Cmd.exe, use Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe) to view the following registry key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Command Processor
Edit the CompletionChar value, and set the value of REG_DWORD to 9. Note that you do not need to restart your computer.

Article ID: 244407 - Last Review: 12/05/2015 16:21:11 - Revision: 2.3

Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition, Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition, Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition

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