Starts the specified program in the MS-DOS subsystem. This command is necessary only for those MS-DOS programs not recognized as such by Windows XP.


forcedos [/d directory] FileName [parameters]


/d   directory   : Specifies the current directory for the specified program to use.

FileName   : Required. Specifies the program to start. If not in the current directory or path, you must specify the drive letter or directories to the program.

parameters   : Specifies parameters to pass to the program.

/? : Displays help at the command prompt.


  • Windows XP does not use this command. It is accepted only for compatibility with MS-DOS files. 

  • This tool is not available on Windows XP 64-Bit Edition. 

  • Some MS-DOS programs are not recognized by Windows XP as MS-DOS programs. Use forcedos to start these programs.

  • All programs that you start with forcedos are opened as MS-DOS applications.


To start the Myprog program in the \Oldapps directory so that you can use the \Reports directory, type:

forcedos /d reports \oldapps\myprog

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Information that the user must supply


Elements that the user must type exactly as shown

Ellipsis (...)

Parameter that can be repeated several times in a command line

Between brackets ([])

Optional items

Between braces ({}); choices separated by pipe (|). Example: {even|odd}

Set of choices from which the user must choose only one

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Code or program output

Command-line reference A-Z