The Ping Command: How to Use Them and Its Uses in Windows?

The Ping Command: How to Use Them and Its Uses in Windows?

One easy way to see if your computer can communicate with another is to use the ping command, which can be run from the Command Prompt. It’s an easy method of making sure your computer can talk to others on the network.

To work, the ping command sends ICMP Echo Request signals to the remote computer and then watches for a reply. The ping command primarily reports the number of responses and the total time it takes for those responses to return.

If for whatever reason, you are unable to ping a network printer, you may later discover that it is just offline and its cable has to be replaced. Perhaps you’re trying to rule out a router as the source of a networking problem and need to run the ping command to see if your computer can establish a connection with the router.

Ping Command Availability

On Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP, the ping command can be found in the Command Prompt. It is also compatible with Windows 98 and Windows 95, among other earlier Windows versions. This option is also available in Command Prompt’s Advanced Startup Options and System Recovery Options for further troubleshooting and data retrieval.

The Ping Command: How to Use Them and Its Uses in Windows?

Ping Command Syntax

ping [-t] [-a] [-n count] [-l size] [-f] [-i TTL] [-v TOS] [-r count] [-s count] [-w timeout] [-R] [-S srcaddr] [-p] [-4] [-6target [/?]

How to Read Command Syntax

Ping Command Options
Item Explanation
-t Using this option will ping the target until you force it to stop by using Ctrl+C.
-a This ping command option will resolve, if possible, the hostname of an IP address target.
-n count This option sets the number of ICMP Echo Requests to send, from 1 to 4294967295. The ping command will send 4 by default if -n isn’t used.
-l size Use this option to set the size, in bytes, of the echo request packet from 32 to 65,527. The ping command will send a 32-byte echo request if you don’t use the -l option.
-f Use this ping command option to prevent ICMP Echo Requests from being fragmented by routers between you and the target. The -f option is most often used to troubleshoot Path Maximum Transmission Unit (PMTU) issues.
-i TTL This option sets the Time to Live (TTL) value, the maximum of which is 255.
-v TOS This option allows you to set a Type of Service (TOS) value. Beginning in Windows 7, this option no longer functions but still exists for compatibility reasons.
-r count Use this ping command option to specify the number of hops between your computer and the target computer or device that you’d like to be recorded and displayed. The maximum value for count is 9, so use the Tracert command instead if you’re interested in viewing all the hops between two devices.
-s count Use this option to report the time, in Internet Timestamp format, that each echo request is received and echo reply is sent. The maximum value for count is 4, meaning that only the first four hops can be time-stamped.
-w timeout Specifying a timeout value when executing the ping command adjusts the amount of time, in milliseconds, that ping waits for each reply. If you don’t use the -w option, the default timeout value of 4000 is used, which is 4 seconds.
-R This option tells the ping command to trace the round-trip path.
-S srcaddr Use this option to specify the source address.
-p Use this switch to ping a Hyper-V Network Virtualization provider address.
-4 This forces the ping command to use IPv4 only but is only necessary if the target is a hostname and not an IP address.
-6 This forces the ping command to use IPv6 only but as with the -4 option, is only necessary when pinging a hostname.
target This is the destination you wish to ping, either an IP address or a hostname.
/? Use the help switch with the ping command to show detailed help about the command’s several options.
The -f-v-r-s-j, and -k options work when pinging IPv4 addresses only. The -R and -S options only work with IPv6. Other less commonly used switches for the ping command exist including [-j host-list], [-k host-list], and [-c compartment]. Execute ping /? from the Command Prompt for more information on these options.

Ping Command Examples

Many ping-related command examples are shown below.

The Ping Command: How to Use Them and Its Uses in Windows?


For demonstration purposes, we will use the ping command to communicate with the server at By default, the ping program sends only 4 ICMP Echo Requests, but you may increase this to 5 by using the -n option, and you can increase the packet size of each request from 32 bytes to 1500 by using the -l option. The output in the Command Prompt window should look something like this:

Each ICMP Echo Request message I sent to was acknowledged, which is why there was no loss reported for this IP address in the Ping data for This indicates that the connection is capable of interacting normally with Google’s servers.

Ping localhost

The Ping Command: How to Use Them and Its Uses in Windows?

Pinging (also known as the IPv4 localhost IP address or the IPv4 loopback IP address) without any further parameters is demonstrated above. Pinging this IP is a great way to ensure that Windows’ network functions are functioning correctly, but it provides no information about your local network or the quality of your connection to any other device. With IPv6, the same command would be ping::1.

Find Hostname With Ping

So, instead of simply pinging the device at the specified IP address, we’re instructing ping to locate its hostname, which is associated with the network identifier. For example, the command might use the hostname J3RTY22 to be resolved from the IP address, before continuing the ping with the default options.

Ping Router Command

This ping command is used in the same way as the preceding ones to determine whether or not your computer can communicate with your router. In this example, though, rather than using a ping command switch or pinging the local host.

The Ping Command: How to Use Them and Its Uses in Windows?

we’re testing the connection between the computer and the router ( in this case). Obviously, replace with your router’s IP address when running this ping command to see if your router is reachable if you’re having difficulties logging in or going online.

Ping With IPv6

Here, we’re using the -6 argument to make ping utilize IPv6 and the -t option to make it ping SERVER forever. If you want to manually stop the ping, you can do so by using Ctrl+C.

The Ping Command: How to Use Them and Its Uses in Windows?

Commands like Tracert, ipconfig, netstat, and Nslookup, all found in the Command Prompt, are frequently used in conjunction with the ping command.

Other Ping Uses

The preceding data demonstrates that the ping command can also be used to identify an IP address for a given website. If you want to know more about how to accomplish that, click on that link. Ping is also available on Linux machines, and there are third-party ping utilities that expand on the functionality of the built-in ping command.

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