How to Create a File Using Command Prompt on Windows (4 Ways)

The Windows Command Prompt provides an accessible way of accomplishing various system tasks simply by entering commands into it. A common use is creating new files without opening separate text editors or programs – with built-in commands like copy con, echo type fsutil you can quickly generate blank text documents batch logs log files as well as any other types of file types needed by using Copy con, echo type, or type in just seconds!

By following this comprehensive guide, you will discover four options to create a file using Command Prompt on Windows. From basic syntax to customizing file names and contents – by the end, you will possess an arsenal of simple commands for automating file creation directly from the command prompt. READ 70+ Common and Helpful Keyboard Shortcuts on Mac.

Key Takeaway

  • Creating a file using Command Prompt on Windows is a simple process that can be done in several ways.
  • The key methods include using the copy con, echo, type, and fsutil commands.
  • Understanding the syntax and options for each command allows you to easily generate new files with custom names, contents, and locations. With just a few keystrokes, you can quickly automate file creation directly from the command line.

How to Create a File Using Command Prompt on Windows

Method 1: Use the Copy Con Command

The copy con command is one of the easiest ways to create a new file using Command Prompt. It works by copying user input into a file until you press Ctrl + Z to save and exit.

Here is the basic syntax:

copy con filename.txt

To use copy con:

  • Open the Command Prompt.
  • Type “copy con” followed by the desired filename and extension. For example:
copy con newdoc.txt
  • Press Enter. This will put you into file input mode.
  • Type the desired contents of the file line by line. Press Enter after each line.
  • When finished, hold Ctrl and press Z. This will save the file and exit input mode.
  • The new file containing your input will be created in the current directory.
  • The copy con command is great for quickly creating simple text files. However, it does have some limitations:
  • You need to manually type the file contents line by line.
  • There is no option for setting a specific file location. The file is always created in the current directory.
  • You can’t use pipe commands or environment variables to customize the output.

Despite these restrictions, copy con provides a fast and straightforward way to generate a new file right from the prompt.

Method 2: Use the Echo Command

The echo command prints text or strings to the command line output. By adding > and a filename, you can redirect that output to a file. This makes Echo useful for basic file creation.

Here is the standard syntax:

echo Text to write > filename.txt 

For example:

echo Hello World! > greetings.txt

This will create a file called greetings.txt containing the text “Hello World!”.

You can add multiple echo commands to build larger files:

echo Line 1 text > newdoc.txt
echo Line 2 text >> newdoc.txt
echo Line 3 text >> newdoc.txt

The >> appends each new line to the end of the file rather than overwriting it.

Some key options for echo include:

  • /n – Adds a newline after the text
  • /p – Prompts for confirmation before creating the file
  • /h – Hides the echoed text on the screen

So echo provides a simple way to generate files. However, it lacks some helpful features like variable substitution and control over file locations.

Method 3: Use the Type Command

The type command prints the contents of a text file. But you can also use it to create files by redirecting command line input.

Here is the basic syntax:

type InputText > NewFileName.txt

For example:

type Hello there. This is a test file. > testfile.txt

This takes the piped input and outputs it to testfile.txt.

The type command offers a few benefits:

You can pipe input from environment variables and other commands

You can use command line redirection and piping to customize the output

Errorlevels allow you to check for and handle errors

For example:

set MyText=File contents go here 
type %MyText% > output.txt

This substitutes the MyText variable in the output file.

So type provides more flexibility than copy con and echo. But it still lacks easy control over file locations.

Method 4: Use the Fsutil Command

Fsutil is a file system utility with a create option that generates blank files. The key advantages of fsutil are:

You can specify the complete file path and name

Errorlevels help catch issues

Simple syntax with few required parameters

Here is the basic syntax:

fsutil file createnew filename length 

For example:

fsutil file createnew C:\Users\Name\Documents\blankfile.txt 5000

This will create a 5KB blank text file at the designated location.

Some key fsutil options include:

  • replace – Overwrites existing files
  • length – Sets file size in bytes (default is 0)
  • queryallocranges – Checks free disk space

So fsutil provides granular control over file creation from the command line. The main limitation is you can only make empty files, not files with preset contents.


How do I create a batch file using Command Prompt?

Simply use one of the above commands and give the file a .bat extension. For example:

echo @echo off > mybatch.bat

Can I create files in different folders with these commands?

Yes, most of the commands allow you to specify a full file path to place the file in any location. Fsutil in particular gives you precise control over the file path.

Do these commands work in PowerShell?

The echo and type commands can be used to create files in PowerShell. But copy con and fsutil are specific to Command Prompt.

Is there a way to create multiple files at once?

There is no direct method, but you can use loops and scripting in a batch file to generate multiple files automatically.

How can I customize the contents of the new files?

Echo provides the most options for text output customization with variables, piping, redirection etc. The type command also supports piping variables and input.


Command Prompt on Windows provides many useful options for quickly creating files from the command line, with copy con providing simple text input while more sophisticated commands like echo, type, and fsutil provide options such as redirecting input, setting locations, or substituting variables – all from one single prompt! Following these techniques will have you automating file creation in no time at all!

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