The HELP command in Windows Command Prompt (CMD) provides descriptions and usage information for the supported commands. It serves as a built-in manual, allowing users to quickly learn and understand various CMD commands. This command is especially useful for beginners or those needing a quick reference while working in the command line environment.


The basic syntax for the HELP command is:

HELP [command]
  • [command]: Specify the name of the command you want to receive information about. If no command is specified, HELP will list a brief description of all available commands.


The HELP command does not have specific flags or options other than the ability to specify a command name. When a command name is provided, HELP displays detailed usage information about that particular command.


  1. Viewing General Help:
    To display a list of all commands with basic descriptions:

  2. Getting Help for a Specific Command:
    To find out more about a specific command, such as DIR:


    This provides a detailed explanation of the DIR command, its syntax, and its options.

Common Issues

  • Command Not Recognized:
    If you see an error like 'XYZ' is not recognized as an internal or external command, ensure you’ve specified a valid CMD command. Double-check the spelling and spacing.

  • Overflow of Information:
    Directly using HELP can sometimes yield too much information at once. Focus on the specific command you need help with by using HELP [command].


The HELP command can be effectively combined with other CMD utilities to enhance troubleshooting and learning. For example, you can pipe the output of HELP to more for easier reading:

HELP | more

This is useful when the command output is lengthy and scrolls past the screen view.

  • CMD: Starts a new instance of the Windows command interpreter.
  • DIR: Displays a list of files and folders in a directory.
  • COPY: Copies one or more files from one location to another.
  • DEL: Deletes one or more files.

For further exploration of command-line tools and their detailed usage, you can refer to the official Microsoft documentation or online resources such as websites devoted to Windows CMD usage.