Where command in windows | which command alternatives

In Linux, Which command is used to give location of executable command to console.

In windows, This command does not works and gives an error -‘which’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,operable program or batch file.

C:>which derby ‘which’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,operable program or batch file.

What is windows equivalent command of which command in Unix?

This tutorials covers about which command alternative in windows

  • using where command
  • cygwin tool
  • powersheel command

Where command in windows

Where command is equal to which command in Unix/linux. This will onlyl works from windows 2003 version

where command prints the location of file for a given search pattern, This search given search pattern in environment variable path .

Here is an syntax

where  [options] searchpattern


/R - recursive path for searching files /F - displays the files path in double quotes /T - Displays file path metadata like size,modified date


It contains string or pattern of string using * for multiple, ? for single character

Here is an help documentation for where.exe command
C:\>where /?

Here is an example where command for location of ping command

C:\>where ping

suppose, you want to know the java executable location when there are multiple versions are included

C:\>where java
C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Oracle\Java\javapath\java.exe

if you want to know the location for word that starts with jav, suffix * to it

where jav*

if you used search pattern jav?, It searchs for words jav or and fourth letter might be any single letter or zero.

where jav?

window powershell which alternative

Get-Command in powershell works same as where command, This will works only in powershell command prompt only.

PS C:\> Get-Command java

CommandType     Name                                               Version    Source
-----------     ----                                               -------    ------
Application     java.exe                                           8.0.102... A:\Java\jdk1.8.0\bin\java.xe

cygwin tool

cygwin is runtime tool that supports linux commands in windows.

you can install from here

all the linux commands works in windows, which command also works as expected


To sumup, Where command in DOS of windows and Get-Command in powershell are the alteratives to which command in windows.

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