Switch Between Session Mode and Command Mode

Updated: March 24, 2010

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Vista

There are two modes of operation in the Telnet Client service: Telnet command mode and Telnet session mode.

After you are connected to a Telnet server, Telnet Client automatically enters Telnet session mode. This mode is the most common. In session mode, all of your keystrokes are sent over the network to the Telnet server, where they are processed by whatever program you are running there.

Telnet command mode allows you to issue commands locally to the Telnet Client service itself, such as to open a connection to a remote host, close a connection to a remote host, display operating parameters, set terminal options, print the status, and quit the program.

The Telnet Client Escape character is the key combination that switches from session mode to command mode . This is not the same thing as the ESC key on your keyboard, but is a user-definable key combination. By default, the Telnet Client Escape key combination is CTRL + ]. To change the key combination, see Change the Telnet Client Escape Character.

Any user account can be used to complete this procedure.

You can perform this switch using the following procedures:

  • Press CTRL + ] to enter command mode. This is the default Telnet Client Escape character. If you have changed the Escape character, then press the key combination that you assigned.

    Telnet command mode displays the Microsoft Telnet> command prompt.

  • At the Microsoft Telnet> command prompt, press ENTER.

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