Updated: April 17, 2012
Applies To: Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8
Displays messages or turns on or off the command echoing feature. If used without parameters, echo displays the current echo setting.
For examples of how to use this command, see Examples.
echo [<Message>] echo [on | off]
[on | off]
Turns on or off the command echoing feature. Command echoing is on by default.
Specifies the text to display on the screen.
Displays help at the command prompt.
The echo Message command is particularly useful when echo is turned off. To display a message that is several lines long without displaying any commands, you can include several echo Message commands after the echo off command in your batch program.
When echo is turned off, the command prompt does not appear in the Command Prompt window. To display the command prompt, type echo on.
If used in a batch file, echo on and echo off do not affect the setting at the command prompt.
To prevent echoing a particular command in a batch file, insert an at sign (@) in front of the command. To prevent echoing all commands in a batch file, include the echo off command at the beginning of the file.
To display a pipe (|) or redirection character (< or >) when you are using echo, use a caret (^) immediately before the pipe or redirection character (for example, ^|, ^>, or ^<). To display a caret, type two carets in succession (^^).
To display the current echo setting, type:
To echo a blank line on the screen, type:
Do not include a space before the period. Otherwise, the period will be displayed instead of a blank line.
To prevent echoing commands at the command prompt, type:
When echo is turned off, the command prompt does not appear in the Command Prompt window. To display the command prompt again, type echo on.
To prevent all commands in a batch file (including the echo off command) from displaying on the screen, on the first line of the batch file type:
You can use the echo command as part of an if statement. For example, to search the current directory for any file with the .rpt file name extension, and to echo a message if such a file is found, type:
if exist *.rpt echo The report has arrived.
The following batch file searches the current directory for files with the .txt file name extension, and displays a message indicating the results of the search:
@echo off if not exist *.txt ( echo This directory contains no text files. ) else ( echo This directory contains the following text files: echo. dir /b *.txt )
If no .txt files are found when the batch file is run, the following message displays:
This directory contains no text files.
If .txt files are found when the batch file is run the following output displays (for this example, assume the files File1.txt, File2.txt, and File3.txt exist):
This directory contains the following text files: File1.txt File2.txt File3.txt