By default, each line of the command prompt’s buffer is only 80 characters wide. If a program produces an output line of more than 80 characters, it is split into multiple lines of the buffer, so there’s no point to having a command prompt window more than 80 characters wide.
You can change the size of the buffer on XP by going to the system menu > Properties > Layout tab > Screen Buffer Size. I usually leave mine set at 500×999 because I hate the default line wrapping (I prefer scrolling). A side effect of this is that you can now maximize the window to the full screen size.
You can get around this by wrapping
cmd.exe within Console2.
The reason is that the command prompt is owned by a specific subsystem (csrss.exe) in the windows architecture which is different from the normal Windows subsystem (win32k.sys). Because of this, command prompt windows behave differently then normal windows. You’ll note that amongst other annoying behavior, that setting properties for a prompt will only apply to prompts launched via whatever method that particular prompt was launched with.
Why this is, I have no earthly idea.
In Windows 10, Alt+Enter makes the command prompt go full-screen.
- Open command prompt
- Type “wmic” (without quotes) and enter
- Now you can use [Maximize] button to maximize the command prompt window.
- Type “exit” (without quotes) and enter
You can press Alt + Enter to toggle full screen.
Edit: This applies only to Windows XP and earlier. This information is five years old.
Edit again: This also applies to Windows 10. The previous edit is now five years old. How long can I keep the chain alive?
Here the ALT+ENTER fullscreen has returned in Windows 10. But in Windows Vista and 7 you can’t do that. For that you need display drivers from Windows XP. But if you do that you will lose Aero and stunning GPU effects. That will be a terrible idea so do at your own Risk. BTW I use ConEmu much, it can go fullscreen.
You can try DOSBox to make
cmd.exe go full screen.