How do you send messages to other Windows computers with CMD?


In today’s digital world, there are so many extraordinary ways we can instantly LAN chat with friends, family, and colleagues across cities, states, and even countries. Messaging apps, social media, email, and video calls are endless options for keeping in touch remotely.

But what about when you need to quickly and privately message someone who isn’t far away? Like, say you’re at the office and need to discreetly contact a coworker in another department to set up an impromptu meeting.

Or you’re at home and want to send a secret note to your kid in their bedroom down the hall. If you can’t talk to them in person, is there still a way to communicate?

The answer is yes! You can send instant messages between Windows computers on the same network using the CMD tool. Pretty cool, right?


In this guide, I’ll walk you through how to use CMD to chat with other Windows users nearby secretly. Whether at home, work, school – or wherever – this old-school messaging trick lets you fly under the radar. So let’s dive in!

First things first: to message between devices with CMD, both your computer and the recipient’s computer need to be connected to the same local network.

That means linked to the same router or on the same intranet.

Second, you’ll need access to your Windows machine’s Command Prompt (CMD) utility. CMD has likely been ignored or forgotten by many Windows users over the years. But hidden within this unassuming old-school command line tool are some useful tricks, including the ability to directly send messages between computers without installing additional software. Pretty neat!

So, how does it work exactly? Well, CMD has a built-in function called “Net Send” originally intended to allow messaging between Windows XP machines on a network. However, over time, “Net Send” was disabled due to the potential for abuse.

On newer Windows versions after XP, Microsoft swapped it out for an alternative messaging function called “msg” instead. But there’s a catch – the handy “msg” capability is only included in the “Professional” and “Enterprise” editions of Windows. If you have a basic “Home” edition, you unfortunately can’t use CMD to message other PCs.

Alright, assuming both you and your intended recipient are running Windows Pro or Enterprise connected to the same network, here’s how to go about sending covert messages with CMD:

  1. Open up the Command Prompt interface on your computer. You can access it by right-clicking the Windows Start button and selecting “Command Prompt” from the menu. Or use the keyboard shortcut Windows key + R, then type “cmd” and hit Enter.
  2. In the open CMD window, type the ” msg ” command followed by a space.
  3. After the space, enter the intended recipient for your message. This can be:
  • The specific username of another user on the network
  • The name of a messaging session
  • An asterisk (*) to broadcast your message to all network users
  1. Next, specify the server or workgroup name associated with the recipient.
  2. Choose how long you want your message to display in seconds.
  3. Type your secret message!
  4. Hit Enter to send it covertly across the network.

For example, it would look like this:

“msg @coworker /server: OFFICENET /time:300 Let’s meet in the back conference room in 5 minutes to discuss the project.”

LAN chat with friends

Once you hit Enter, your hidden message will instantly appear on your unsuspecting coworker’s screen! Pretty awesome.

When both you and the recipient have Windows Pro/Enterprise on the same network, CMD gives you a simple way to communicate as needed discretely. Whether you’re a Student in a computer lab, a family member at home, coworker in an office – the possibilities are endless.

No more yelling across the house or interrupting your colleague’s workflow to relay a quick private message. With CMD, you can subtly ping contacts and convey information as needed without making a sound.

It’s a straightforward old-school messaging trick that is still handy today for quick and quiet communication. The nostalgia of secret notes passing is alive and well, just in digital form!

So next time you need to reach someone nearby covertly, give CMD messaging a try. Have fun stealthily sending messages across your network and wowing your friends/family/coworkers with this retro Windows command line trick. Just don’t abuse your newfound messaging power!

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