MS-DOS overview

MS-DOS, the acronym for Microsoft Disk Operating System, is an operating system with a command-line interface used on personal computers. As with other operating systems such as OS/2, it translates keyboard input by the user into operations the computer can perform, it also oversees operations such as disk input and output, video support, keyboard control, and many internal functions related to program execution and file maintenance.

You type MS-DOS commands using a command prompt window To end your MS-DOS session, type exit in the command prompt window at the blinking cursor.

The MS-DOS mode is a shell in which the MS-DOS environment is emulated in 32-bit systems, such as Windows. MS-DOS-based programs can run with Windows and might create a program information file (PIF) which appears as a shortcut on your desktop.

Open Command Prompt 


To open command prompt, click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Command Prompt

Creating a program information file (PIF) for an MS-DOS-based program creates a shortcut to the program executable. All the settings saved in the PIF file are contained in the shortcut.

Related Topics

Using PIF files

Display Help for an MS-DOS command

Copy text from a command prompt window

New ways to do familiar tasks

Create or change a PIF

© 2016 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Contact Us |Terms of Use |Trademarks |Privacy & Cookies