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How to Copy and Paste with Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V in Command Prompt (CMD)

Annoyed by Command Prompt's default behavior? We show you how to copy/paste in command prompt via two methods.


Though it's an incredibly useful tool for users, command prompt (CMD) has one serious annoyance. While in cmd, you can't copy and paste as you normally would. Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V will either do nothing or put you onto a new line.

While you can still copy text in CMD via the right-click menu, for many of us that requires ignoring years worth of muscle memory. Instead, we're going to show you how to paste or copy in cmd by enabling those familiar keyboard shortcuts. We'll also reveal how to paste in cmd with the keyboard via an alternate method.

Before we start, however, ensure you're on the latest version of Windows 10. has added several features to the command prompt over the years that may aid in some of its more common annoyances.

How to Copy and Paste in CMD with Ctrl +C / Ctrl + V

Enabling CMD copy/paste is deceptively simple, but it's worth noting that it may come with some side effects. Some command-line applications, particularly if you're using Linux via a VPS, use Ctrl + C as their exit shortcut. As a result, enabling this feature could cause issues in certain scenarios.

  1. Open Command Prompt Properties

    Open Command Prompt and right-click on its title bar to bring up its context menu. At the bottom of the menu, click “Properties”.

  2. Enable CMD copy/paste

    Under Edit Options, tick “Enable Ctrl key shortcuts”. This will turn on not just Ctrl + C and V, but use of Ctrl + arrows to select text and more.

How to Paste in CMD via context menu (Windows 10, 8, 7, or Vista)

If you don't have Windows 10 or don't have it updated, you can still paste in older versions without using the mouse.

  1. Paste in cmd via context menu

    Press Alt+Space on your keyboard to bring up the context menu, then press E, followed by P to paste your text. In most cases, this is still faster.

If you found this tutorial useful, you may also be interested in our guide to changing your computer name in command prompt. You can also use your new-found cmd paste skills to disable a tricky Windows service.

Ryan Maskell
Ryan Maskellhttps://ryanmaskell.co.uk
Ryan has had a passion for gaming and technology since early childhood. Fusing the skills from his Creative Writing and Publishing degree with profound technical knowledge, he enjoys covering news about Microsoft. As an avid writer, he is also working on his debut novel.