Command Prompt / Console / Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

Greetings from the Windows Command-Line Teams, including the Windows Console and Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) teams!

We’re hear to learn about the features you’d like to see in the Windows Console (the terminal app itself), Cmd and PowerShell shells, and the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) upon which several Linux distros now run!

Note: Please don’t file bugs & issues here: file issues on our GitHub repos instead:

Please DO post your asks, ideas, wants and needs for future features: We ARE listening, and we ARE grateful for your feedback!

Windows Console & WSL Teams.

$ | >

(thinking…)

Enter your idea and we'll search to see if someone has already suggested it.

If a similar idea already exists, you can support and comment on it.

If it doesn't exist, you can post your idea so others can support it.

Enter your idea and we'll search to see if someone has already suggested it.

  • Hot ideas
  • Top ideas
  • New ideas
  • My feedback
  1. cmd.exe substringing and substitution

    Currently, set var=%avar:sub=replace% uses fixed characters for "beginning of substring (:)" "all characteruntil (*)" "with (=)" which are sometimes inconvenient.

    A command STRING :=+ might switch "+" to replace ":" for instance (syntax standardchar=replacementchar) STRING OFF might restore to standard.

    The syntax set var=%avar:*sub% Might be used to extract that leading part of avar up to the substring sub (note: no "with replacement" is specified)

    2 votes
    Sign in
    Check!
    (thinking…)
    Reset
    or sign in with
    • facebook
    • google
      Password icon
      Signed in as (Sign out)

      We’ll send you updates on this idea

      0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    • CMD.exe forcing decimals

      set /a assumes that a string with a leading 0 is Octal which is very inconvenient, but must be retained for backward compatibiliy.

      If set /a encounters a string that starts `0d` then it should regard the remainder of the string as a decimal, hence currently '09` as in month-number 09 requires work-around action, but changing the set to set /a var=0d%date:~0,2% would then correctly assign 9 to var. The leading character allowed (and skipped) should be zeroes or spaces for maximum flexibility.

      1 vote
      Sign in
      Check!
      (thinking…)
      Reset
      or sign in with
      • facebook
      • google
        Password icon
        Signed in as (Sign out)

        We’ll send you updates on this idea

        1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
      • Windows Console should support tabbed 'pages'

        Great to see some of these improvements, especially the cut/copy/paste keyboard shortcuts. However, I've been seeking for a way for the cmd window to have a tabbed interface for a while. So, for example, I can run a ping/tracert etc. in one tab, a chkdsk in another tab, and something else in a third, without having multiple windows open taking up screen real estate.

        Also consider adding panes side-by-side within the console.

        1,580 votes
        Sign in
        Check!
        (thinking…)
        Reset
        or sign in with
        • facebook
        • google
          Password icon
          Signed in as (Sign out)

          We’ll send you updates on this idea

          63 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
        • Quick launch shortcut

          It would be great option to let shell be Quake-style - to have it launched on start and quickly toggled by hotkey. Idea is inspired by Terra Terminal and Guake for *nix

          2 votes
          Sign in
          Check!
          (thinking…)
          Reset
          or sign in with
          • facebook
          • google
            Password icon
            Signed in as (Sign out)

            We’ll send you updates on this idea

            0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
          • SORT.exe opions

            Allow case-sensitive sorting.

            Borrow the "tokens=...delims=...each=..." from for/f to permit sorting on token numbers in addition to straight column-numbers. Permit the column-sequence in output to be different from input so

            sort "tokens=1,2,3 each=," +3.1.2 /out 2,3,1 might sort 3 comma-separated columns in the order 3 then 1 then 2 and output the result as column2 then 3 then 1.

            1 vote
            Sign in
            Check!
            (thinking…)
            Reset
            or sign in with
            • facebook
            • google
              Password icon
              Signed in as (Sign out)

              We’ll send you updates on this idea

              0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
            • cmd.exe enabledelayedexpansion

              enabledelayedexpansion/disabledelayedexpansion should be permitted as a swich, a la echo on/echo off rather than just as an option for setlocal which necessitates extraordinary actions to retrieve altered values within the setlocal/endlocal block.

              1 vote
              Sign in
              Check!
              (thinking…)
              Reset
              or sign in with
              • facebook
              • google
                Password icon
                Signed in as (Sign out)

                We’ll send you updates on this idea

                0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
              • UTF-8

                I really really want utf-8, I do not use any legacy console apps from 80-s, so please please please make it happens :)

                746 votes
                Sign in
                Check!
                (thinking…)
                Reset
                or sign in with
                • facebook
                • google
                  Password icon
                  Signed in as (Sign out)

                  We’ll send you updates on this idea

                  21 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                  As Chip said, UTF-16 is rather baked into the stuff we do. The console host does use UTF-16 somewhere in there. :P We just have the matter of dealing with code pages throughout the history of computing existence that causes us heartburn every time we think about how to fix this. :( It’s definitely something that we would like to look into on our backlog.

                  —Michael

                • Allow Windows 8.x Modern apps to be installed remotely on the PC from a Windows Phone device.

                  Allow Windows 8.x apps to be installed remotely on the PC when using a Windows Phone, same as you can do on a Windows Phone from your PC.

                  4 votes
                  Sign in
                  Check!
                  (thinking…)
                  Reset
                  or sign in with
                  • facebook
                  • google
                    Password icon
                    Signed in as (Sign out)

                    We’ll send you updates on this idea

                    0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                  • Make the border thiner

                    make the border thinner, allow for bash like customization, ssh support.

                    2 votes
                    Sign in
                    Check!
                    (thinking…)
                    Reset
                    or sign in with
                    • facebook
                    • google
                      Password icon
                      Signed in as (Sign out)

                      We’ll send you updates on this idea

                      0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                    • Mouse support is BROKEN!

                      FIX THIS! The new command prompt DOES NOT HONOR MOUSE CLICKS. Run the EDIT program that comes with Windows 10 32 bit and then try to pull the menus down with a mouse. It doesn't work!!! There are still apps that run in a Console Mode Window that need mouse support. This needs to be fixed or I'll be recommending to my 800+ customer base to skip Windows 10!

                      3 votes
                      Sign in
                      Check!
                      (thinking…)
                      Reset
                      or sign in with
                      • facebook
                      • google
                        Password icon
                        Signed in as (Sign out)

                        We’ll send you updates on this idea

                        0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                      • Add "sudo" tool/command in cmd/PowerShell

                        On *nix you can run a command from a non-root shell, which is the equivalent of a non-administrator Command Prompt, with administrative privileges, similar to what UAC does when it asks a user if they would like to give an application administrative privileges. To disable a network adapter, for example, you can run "sudo ifconfig eth0 down". The prefixed "sudo" command will run "ifconfig eth0 down" with what is essentially administrator privileges in Windows. Currently you have to do some long-winded (long-typed?) "runas", which requires that a username and password are provided. I don't necessarily need Command Prompt to always…

                        251 votes
                        Sign in
                        Check!
                        (thinking…)
                        Reset
                        or sign in with
                        • facebook
                        • google
                          Password icon
                          Signed in as (Sign out)

                          We’ll send you updates on this idea

                          7 comments  ·  Cmd (classic shell)  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                        • 2 votes
                          Sign in
                          Check!
                          (thinking…)
                          Reset
                          or sign in with
                          • facebook
                          • google
                            Password icon
                            Signed in as (Sign out)

                            We’ll send you updates on this idea

                            1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                          • Make links clickable

                            Parse console output for urls and make it possible to open them with a click (or ctrl+click).

                            319 votes
                            Sign in
                            Check!
                            (thinking…)
                            Reset
                            or sign in with
                            • facebook
                            • google
                              Password icon
                              Signed in as (Sign out)

                              We’ll send you updates on this idea

                              5 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                              Yep, this would be really cool. Not just for URLs, but things like paths too. Script emits a path to an error log? Just ctrl+click it to open!

                              I can see some trickery around the parsing (performance impacts? security? and of course the parsing itself…) and the launching of another app (security again?). But it would be awesome.

                              It’s on our backlog for sure.

                              —Michael

                            • Scrollbar should actually reflect content

                              I'm not sure this counts as a bug because it's always been like this but it certainly looks like one.

                              When cmd or powershell are started up, there is a scrollbar on the side despite there not being anything to scroll to. There's no reason for this to be here and is frustrating when trying to scroll down because it's possible to overshoot. It's also just unsightly and makes the application feel rough around the edges.

                              21 votes
                              Sign in
                              Check!
                              (thinking…)
                              Reset
                              or sign in with
                              • facebook
                              • google
                                Password icon
                                Signed in as (Sign out)

                                We’ll send you updates on this idea

                                3 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                              • Mouse Scroll Wheel or CTRL +/- to zoom text size

                                Another needed step to make the Cmd feel more responsive and dynamic.

                                303 votes
                                Sign in
                                Check!
                                (thinking…)
                                Reset
                                or sign in with
                                • facebook
                                • google
                                  Password icon
                                  Signed in as (Sign out)

                                  We’ll send you updates on this idea

                                  on the backlog  ·  10 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                • window snapping

                                  Not sure if intended. When I open powershell or cmd as administrator, I use the ability to use hotkeys like <window + up> to snap window.

                                  1 vote
                                  Sign in
                                  Check!
                                  (thinking…)
                                  Reset
                                  or sign in with
                                  • facebook
                                  • google
                                    Password icon
                                    Signed in as (Sign out)

                                    We’ll send you updates on this idea

                                    0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                  • Windows needs built-in version of *NIX tools like grep/sed/awk etc.

                                    Lot of them are BSD licensed too, so MS can include as is. Also, inputrc support! I will never look at Linux again I swear

                                    252 votes
                                    Sign in
                                    Check!
                                    (thinking…)
                                    Reset
                                    or sign in with
                                    • facebook
                                    • google
                                      Password icon
                                      Signed in as (Sign out)

                                      We’ll send you updates on this idea

                                      20 comments  ·  Windows Command-Line  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                    • Visually indicate when a console is expecting keyboard input

                                      When executing a long running task, you often switch away from the console window to do something else. Sometimes these tasks prompt you (e.g. to confirm to overwrite a file).

                                      It would be nice if the taskbar button (for example) could change colors indicating that the program in the console window needs keyboard input similar to how Windows highlights the taskbar button when requiring privilege escalation.

                                      15 votes
                                      Sign in
                                      Check!
                                      (thinking…)
                                      Reset
                                      or sign in with
                                      • facebook
                                      • google
                                        Password icon
                                        Signed in as (Sign out)

                                        We’ll send you updates on this idea

                                        0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                      • Error when changing properties of Powershell window

                                        When I make changes to the settings of my default Powershell window, I get the error:

                                        Unable to modify the shortcut:
                                        .
                                        Check to make sure it has not been deleted or renamed

                                        2 votes
                                        Sign in
                                        Check!
                                        (thinking…)
                                        Reset
                                        or sign in with
                                        • facebook
                                        • google
                                          Password icon
                                          Signed in as (Sign out)

                                          We’ll send you updates on this idea

                                          1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                        • Global hotkey to activate/deactivate running console window.

                                          It would be great if there could be a global hotkey to activate and deactivate the console window.

                                          This is also called a "quake style" command line, similar to the console in Quake games.

                                          For example, if I have the console running in the background, but my current focus is Visual Studio and I hit Ctrl+`, it should activate the console window by making it the current focus. Hitting Ctrl + ` again would make Visual Studio the focus.

                                          iTerm2 on the Mac has this and it's my favorite feature.

                                          193 votes
                                          Sign in
                                          Check!
                                          (thinking…)
                                          Reset
                                          or sign in with
                                          • facebook
                                          • google
                                            Password icon
                                            Signed in as (Sign out)

                                            We’ll send you updates on this idea

                                            14 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                                            You will be Rich’s best friend forever. He loves the idea of a Quake console as well and talks about it all the time. :P I know for sure this is in our backlog already.

                                            Some of the suggestions like persistence and multiple sessions and whatnot seem related to the “history between sessions” and tabs/multiplexing ideas. Same technical challenges apply, but sounds possible at some point. :)

                                            —Michael

                                          • Don't see your idea?

                                          Command Prompt / Console / Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

                                          Feedback and Knowledge Base