August 26, 2002
Tab-completion in Windows 2000

I might be the last one in the world to discover this W2K tweak, but just in case others are interested; here's how to get "tab completion" (famous from the unix world and also (I hear) now default in Windows XP command prompts) in Windows 2000:

  1. Hit the "Start" button
  2. Select "Run"
  3. enter "regedit", hit OK
  4. Expand "My computer" (by clicking the little [+] beside it)
  6. Expand SOFTWARE
  7. Expand Microsoft
  8. Expand Command Processor
  9. Double-click "CompletionChar"
  10. Replace the value that's there with 9 (which is the ASCII equivalent of the TAB key)
  11. Click OK

To enjoy, Hit the "Start"-button, then "Run" then type "cmd" and try typing cd Doc then hitting TAB... "Documents and Settings" should autocomplete...

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Hey, much better, do this for someone that is a possible frequent user of 'cmd', and change char(7) with something worse - like a letter or space or such... :)

Posted by: Lars Lorentz Ludvigsen on August 27, 2002 10:41 PM

If you don't have the Administrator privileges, open HKEY_CURRENT_USER instead of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and proceed from there.


Posted by: Dotan Dimet on March 19, 2003 12:13 PM

SHIFT-TAB can also be used to roll back.

Posted by: Fabrice on December 4, 2003 02:46 PM

THANK YOU!!! :) I've been going nuts trapped in a windows world w/o tab completion :)

Posted by: Cheers on December 3, 2004 09:01 PM

Great except the win cmd shell still sucks in so many ways this is a bit irrelevant.

Posted by: Nix man on April 6, 2005 05:17 PM

Oh, man, this has been driving me crazy! ThankyouThankyouThankyou!

Posted by: Brian Pratt on August 19, 2005 01:54 AM

Still tcsh is better...

Posted by: Seymore Arses on August 24, 2005 02:07 PM

Yet another thanks. Just had a whimsical thought this morning that it might be possible, Googled it and hey presto!

Posted by: Clive Flatau on December 16, 2005 10:58 AM

thanks!!!! was thinking maybe there'd be a powertoy or something.. but this is better!

Posted by: kevin on January 21, 2006 07:07 AM
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Richy C's Blog: Autocompletion in Win2k (November 10, 2002 02:16 PM)
"How to do Tab-Autocomplete on Windows 2000"
Richy C's Blog: Autocompletion in Win2k (November 10, 2002 02:16 PM)
"How to do Tab-Autocomplete on Windows 2000"
Richy's Random Ramblings: Techy: Autocompletion in Win2k (March 4, 2004 08:18 PM)
"How to do Tab-Autocomplete on Windows 2000"
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