How do I run two commands in one line in Windows CMD?

I want to run two commands in a Windows CMD console.

In Linux I would do it like this

touch thisfile ; ls -lstrh

How is it done on Windows?


Like this on all Microsoft OSes since 2000, and still good today:

dir & echo foo

If you want the second command to execute only if the first exited successfully:

dir && echo foo

The single ampersand (&) syntax to execute multiple commands on one line goes back to Windows XP, Windows 2000, and some earlier NT versions. (4.0 at least, according to one commenter here.)

There are quite a few other points about this that you'll find scrolling down this page.

Historical data follows, for those who may find it educational.

Prior to that, the && syntax was only a feature of the shell replacement 4DOS before that feature was added to the Microsoft command interpreter.

In Windows 95, 98 and ME, you'd use the pipe character instead:

dir | echo foo

In MS-DOS 5.0 and later, through some earlier Windows and NT versions of the command interpreter, the (undocumented) command separator was character 20 (Ctrl+T) which I'll represent with ^T here.

dir ^T echo foo

A quote from the documentation:

Using multiple commands and conditional processing symbols

You can run multiple commands from a single command line or script using conditional processing symbols. When you run multiple commands with conditional processing symbols, the commands to the right of the conditional processing symbol act based upon the results of the command to the left of the conditional processing symbol.

For example, you might want to run a command only if the previous command fails. Or, you might want to run a command only if the previous command is successful.

You can use the special characters listed in the following table to pass multiple commands.

  • & [...] command1 & command2 Use to separate multiple commands on one command line. Cmd.exe runs the first command, and then the second command.

  • && [...] command1 && command2 Use to run the command following && only if the command preceding the symbol is successful. Cmd.exe runs the first command, and then runs the second command only if the first command completed successfully.

  • || [...] command1 || command2 Use to run the command following || only if the command preceding || fails. Cmd.exe runs the first command, and then runs the second command only if the first command did not complete successfully (receives an error code greater than zero).

  • ( ) [...] (command1 & command2) Use to group or nest multiple commands.

  • ; or , command1 parameter1;parameter2 Use to separate command parameters.

& is the Bash equivalent for ; ( run commands) and && is the Bash equivalent of && (run commands only when the previous has not caused an error).

You can use & to run commands one after another. Example: c:\dir & vim myFile.txt

If you want to create a cmd shortcut (for example on your desktop) add /k parameter (/k means keep, /c will close window):

cmd /k echo hello && cd c:\ && cd Windows

You can use call to overcome the problem of environment variables being evaluated too soon - e.g.

set A=Hello & call echo %A%

So, I was trying to enable the specific task of running RegAsm (register assembly) from a context menu. The issue I had was that the result would flash up and go away before I could read it. So I tried piping to Pause, which does not work when the command fails (as mentioned here Pause command not working in .bat script and here Batch file command PAUSE does not work). So I tried cmd /k but that leaves the window open for more commands (I just want to read the result). So I added a pause followed by exit to the chain, resulting in the following:

cmd /k C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319\regasm.exe "%1" /codebase \"%1\" & pause & exit

This works like a charm -- RegAsm runs on the file and shows its results, then a "Press any key to continue..." prompt is shown, then the command prompt window closes when a key is pressed.

P.S. For others who might be interested, you can use the following .reg file entries to add a dllfile association to .dll files and then a RegAsm command extension to that (notice the escaped quotes and backslashes):

"Content Type"="application/x-msdownload"

@="Application Extension"

@="Register Assembly"

@="cmd /k C:\\Windows\\Microsoft.NET\\Framework\\v4.0.30319\\regasm.exe \"%1\" /codebase \"%1\" & pause & exit"

Now I have a nice right-click menu to register an assembly.

A number of processing symbols can be used when running several commands on the same line, and may lead to processing redirection in some cases, altering output in other case, or just fail. One important case is placing on the same line commands that manipulate variables.

@echo off
setlocal enabledelayedexpansion
set count=0
set "count=1" & echo %count% !count!

0 1

As you see in the above example, when commands using variables are placed on the same line, you must use delayed expansion to update your variable values. If your variable is indexed, use CALL command with %% modifiers to update its value on the same line:

set "i=5" & set "arg!i!=MyFile!i!" & call echo path!i!=%temp%\%%arg!i!%%


cmd /c ipconfig /all & Output.txt

This command execute command and open Output.txt file in a single command

In order to execute two commands at the same time, you must put an & (ampersand) symbol between the two commands. Like so:

color 0a & start chrome.exe


I try to have two pings in the same window, and it is a serial command on the same line. After finishing the first, run the second command.

The solution was to combine with start /b on a Windows 7 command prompt.

Start as usual, without /b, and launch in a separate window.

The command used to launch in the same line is:

start /b command1 parameters & command2 parameters

Any way, if you wish to parse the output, I don't recommend to use this. I noticed the output is scrambled between the output of the commands.

Well, you have two options: Piping, or just &:



tasklist | find "notepad.exe"

Piping (|) is more for taking the output of one command, and putting it into another. And (&) is just saying run this, and that.

No, cd / && tree && echo %time%. The time echoed is at when the first command is executed.

The piping has some issue, but it is not critical as long as people know how it works.

It's simple: just differentiate them with && signs. Example:

echo Hello World && echo GoodBye World

Goodbye World will be printed after Hello World.

One more example: For example, when we use the gulp build system, instead of

gulp - default > build

gulp build - build build-folder

gulp watch - start file-watch

gulp dist - build dist-folder

We can do that with one line:

cd c:\xampp\htdocs\project & gulp & gulp watch

When you try to use or manipulate variables in one line beware of their content! E.g. a variable like the following

PATH=C:\Program Files (x86)\somewhere;"C:\Company\Cool Tool";%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WindowsApps;

may lead to a lot of unhand-able trouble if you use it as %PATH%

  1. The closing parentheses terminate your group statement
  2. The double quotes don't allow you to use %PATH% to handle the parentheses problem
  3. And what will a referenced variable like %USERPROFILE% contain?

Yes there is. It's &.

&& will execute command 2 when command 1 is complete providing it didn't fail.

& will execute regardless.

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