This page covers what a BAT file is, how to execute it, how to alter it, and how to convert it to EXE, MSI, or another format.
What Is a BAT Document?
The.Bat file extension represents a Windows Batch file. It is a plain text file containing numerous commands used for repeated operations or to execute multiple scripts sequentially.
BAT files are utilized by all types of software for numerous functions, including copying or deleting data, launching applications, and terminating processes.
They may also be referred to as batch files, scripts, batch programs, command files, and shell scripts and use the.CMD suffix.
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How to Activate a.BAT File
Although Windows immediately recognizes executable files with the BAT extension, they are still constituted completely of text commands. This means that any text editor, including Notepad in all Windows versions, can open a file for editing.
To open the BAT file in Notepad, right-click the file and select More > Edit from the menu (or just Edit in some Windows versions). While editing a BAT file, it may be beneficial to utilize advanced text editors that include syntax highlighting.
Opening the file in a text editor will display the file’s code. For example, the following text is contained within the one used to empty the clipboard:
cmd /c "echo off | clip"
Here’s another example of a BAT file that utilizes the ping command to see if a computer can communicate with a router using a specific IP address:
How to Use a BAT File
Using a BAT file in Windows requires only a double-click or double-tap. You do not need to download any specialized software or tools.
Using the first example from above, typing this text into a text file with a text editor and saving the file with the.BAT extension will turn it into an executable that you can run to immediately clear the clipboard’s contents.
The second example pings the specified IP address; the pause command keeps the Command Prompt window open so the results can be viewed.
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How to Transform a.BAT File
As seen, a BAT file’s code is not concealed in any manner, making it exceedingly trivial to modify. Because specific instructions in a BAT file (such as the del command) can wreak havoc on your data, it may be prudent to convert it to an application-like format such as EXE.
With a few command-line tools, you can convert BAT to EXE. How to do this can be found on How-To Geek.
- The IExpress utility included with Windows provides an alternative method for creating an EXE file from a BAT file. Launch iexpress.exe from the Run dialog box.
- EXE to MSI Converter Pro may convert the generated EXE file to an MSI (Windows Installer Package) file, albeit the trial version is limited.
- If you wish to launch a BAT file as a Windows Service, you can utilize the free NSSM command-line program.
- PowerShell Scriptomatic can assist you in converting BAT file code to PowerShell script code.
Instead of looking for a BAT to SH (bash shell script) converter to utilize the commands in applications like Bourne Shell and Korn Shell, rewrite the script using the Bash programming language. Different operating systems employ the two file formats, hence their structures are significantly different.
There is a topic on Stack Overflow and this Unix Shell Scripting lesson with information that may assist you in manually translating the instructions.
How to Save a.BAT File in Text Format
Instead of manually changing the file extension from BAT to TXT, you can open the batch file for a modification in Notepad and then save it as a new file with the the.TXT file extension instead of.BAT.
Similarly, when creating a new BAT file with Notepad, you must save the default text document as BAT rather than TXT. In some programs, you may need to save the file in the All Files format and add the.bat extension manually.