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Show a popup/message box from a Windows batch file

StackOverflow https://stackoverflow.com/questions/774175


Is there a way to display a message box from a batch file (similar to how xmessage can be used from bash-scripts in Linux)?


I would make a very simple VBScript file and call it using CScript to parse the command line parameters.

Something like the following saved in MessageBox.vbs:

Set objArgs = WScript.Arguments
messageText = objArgs(0)
MsgBox messageText

Which you would call like:

cscript MessageBox.vbs "This will be shown in a popup."

MsgBox reference if you are interested in going this route.


First of all, DOS has nothing to do with it, you probably want a Windows command line solution (again: no DOS, pure Windows, just not a Window, but a Console).

You can either use the VBScript method provided by boflynn or you can mis-use net send or msg. net send works only on older versions of windows:

net send localhost Some message to display

This also depends on the Messenger service to run, though.

For newer versions (XP and onward, apparently):

msg "%username%" Some message to display

It should be noted that a message box sent using msg.exe will only last for 60 seconds. This can however be overridden with the /time:xx switch.

Might display a little flash, but no temp files required. Should work all the way back to somewhere in the (IIRC) IE5 era.

mshta javascript:alert("Message\n\nMultiple\nLines\ntoo!");close();

Don't forget to escape your parentheses if you're using if:

if 1 == 1 (
   mshta javascript:alert^("1 is equal to 1, amazing."^);close^(^);

This will pop-up another Command Prompt window:

START CMD /C "ECHO My Popup Message && PAUSE"

Try :

Msg * "insert your message here" 

If you are using Windows XP's command.com, this will open a message box.

Opening a new cmd window isn't quite what you were asking for, I gather. You could also use VBScript, and use this with your .bat file. You would open it from the bat file with this command:

cd C:\"location of vbscript"

What this does is change the directory command.com will search for files from, then on the next line:

"insert name of your vbscript here".vbs

Then you create a new Notepad document, type in

<script type="text/vbscript">
    MsgBox "your text here"

You would then save this as a .vbs file (by putting ".vbs" at the end of the filename), save as "All Files" in the drop down box below the file name (so it doesn't save as .txt), then click Save!

This way your batch file will create a VBS script and show a popup. After it runs, the batch file will delete that intermediate file.

The advantage of using MSGBOX is that it is really customaziable (change the title, the icon etc) while MSG.exe isn't as much.

echo MSGBOX "YOUR MESSAGE" > %temp%\TEMPmessage.vbs
call %temp%\TEMPmessage.vbs
del %temp%\TEMPmessage.vbs /f /q

Few more ways.

1) The geekiest and hackiest - it uses the IEXPRESS to create small exe that will create a pop-up with a single button (it can create two more types of pop-up messages). Works on EVERY windows from XP and above:

;@echo off

;set ppopup_executable=popupe.exe
;set "message2=click OK to continue"
;del /q /f %tmp%\yes >nul 2>&1
;copy /y "%~f0" "%temp%\popup.sed" >nul 2>&1

;iexpress /n /q /m %temp%\popup.sed
;rem del /q /f %ppopup_executable% >nul 2>&1


;exit /b 0



2) Using MSHTA. Also works on every windows machine from XP and above (despite the OP do not want "external" languages the JavaScript here is minimized). Should be saved as .bat:

@if (true == false) @end /*!
@echo off
mshta "about:<script src='file://%~f0'></script><script>close()</script>" %*
goto :EOF */

alert("Hello, world!");

or in one line:

mshta "about:<script>alert('Hello, world!');close()</script>"


mshta "javascript:alert('message');close()"


mshta.exe vbscript:Execute("msgbox ""message"",0,""title"":close")

3) Here's parameterized .bat/jscript hybrid (should be saved as bat). It again uses JavaScript despite the OP request but as it is a bat it can be called as a bat file without worries. It uses POPUP which allows a little bit more control than the more popular MSGBOX. It uses WSH, but not MSHTA like in the example above.

 @if (@x)==(@y) @end /***** jscript comment ******
     @echo off

     cscript //E:JScript //nologo "%~f0" "%~nx0" %*
     exit /b 0

 @if (@x)==(@y) @end ******  end comment *********/

var wshShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell");
var args=WScript.Arguments;
var title=args.Item(0);

var timeout=-1;
var pressed_message="button pressed";
var timeout_message="timed out";
var message="";

function printHelp() {
    WScript.Echo(title + "[-title Title] [-timeout m] [-tom \"Time-out message\"] [-pbm \"Pressed button message\"]  [-message \"pop-up message\"]");

if (WScript.Arguments.Length==1){

if (args.Item(1).toLowerCase() == "-help" || args.Item(1).toLowerCase() == "-h" ) {

if (WScript.Arguments.Length % 2 == 0 ) {
    WScript.Echo("Illegal arguments ");

for (var arg = 1 ; arg<args.Length;arg=arg+2) {

    if (args.Item(arg).toLowerCase() == "-title") {
        title = args.Item(arg+1);

    if (args.Item(arg).toLowerCase() == "-timeout") {
        timeout = parseInt(args.Item(arg+1));
        if (isNaN(timeout)) {

    if (args.Item(arg).toLowerCase() == "-tom") {
        timeout_message = args.Item(arg+1);

    if (args.Item(arg).toLowerCase() == "-pbm") {
        pressed_message = args.Item(arg+1);

    if (args.Item(arg).toLowerCase() == "-message") {
        message = args.Item(arg+1);

function runPopup(){
    var btn = wshShell.Popup(message, timeout, title, 0x0 + 0x10);

    switch(btn) {
        // button pressed.
        case 1:

        // Timed out.
        case -1:


4) and one jscript.net/.bat hybrid (should be saved as .bat) .This time it uses .NET and compiles a small .exe file that could be deleted:

@if (@X)==(@Y) @end /****** silent jscript comment ******

@echo off
:::       compile the script    ::::

::if exist "%~n0.exe" goto :skip_compilation

:: searching the latest installed .net framework
for /f "tokens=* delims=" %%v in ('dir /b /s /a:d /o:-n "%SystemRoot%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v*"') do (
    if exist "%%v\jsc.exe" (
        rem :: the javascript.net compiler
        set "jsc=%%~dpsnfxv\jsc.exe"
        goto :break_loop
echo jsc.exe not found && exit /b 0

call %jsc% /nologo /out:"%~n0.exe" "%~f0" 
:::       end of compilation    ::::

"%~n0.exe" %*
exit /b 0

****** end of jscript comment ******/

import System;
import System.Windows;
import System.Windows.Forms

var arguments:String[] = Environment.GetCommandLineArgs();

5) and at the end one single call to powershell that creates a pop-up (can be called from command line or from batch if powershell is installed):

powershell [Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName("""System.Windows.Forms""");[Windows.Forms.MessageBox]::show("""Hello World""", """My PopUp Message Box""")

6) And the dbenham's approach seen here

start "" cmd /c "echo(&echo(&echo              Hello world!     &echo(&pause>nul"

7) For a system tray notifications you can try this:

call SystemTrayNotification.bat  -tooltip warning -time 3000 -title "Woow" -text "Boom" -icon question

Here's a PowerShell variant that doesn't require loading assemblies prior to creating the window, however it runs noticeably slower (~+50%) than the PowerShell MessageBox command posted here by @npocmaka:

powershell (New-Object -ComObject Wscript.Shell).Popup("""Operation Completed""",0,"""Done""",0x0)

You can change the last parameter from "0x0" to a value below to display icons in the dialog (see Popup Method for further reference):

        Stop 0x10 Stop
        Question Mark 0x20 Question Mark
        Exclamation Mark 0x30 Exclamation Mark
        Information Mark 0x40 Information Mark

Adapted from the Microsoft TechNet article PowerTip: Use PowerShell to Display Pop-Up Window.

echo X=MsgBox("Message Description",0+16,"Title") >msg.vbs

–you can write any numbers from 0,1,2,3,4 instead of 0 (before the ‘+’ symbol) & here is the meaning of each number:

0 = Ok Button  
1 = Ok/Cancel Button  
2 = Abort/Retry/Ignore button  
3 = Yes/No/Cancel  
4 = Yes/No  

–you can write any numbers from 16,32,48,64 instead of 16 (after the ‘+’ symbol) & here is the meaning of each number:

16 – Critical Icon  
32 – Warning Icon  
48 – Warning Message Icon   
64 – Information Icon  

Msg * "insert your message here"

works fine, just save as a .bat file in notepad or make sure the format is set to "all files"

In order to do this, you need to have a small program that displays a messagebox and run that from your batch file.

You could open a console window that displays a prompt though, but getting a GUI message box using cmd.exe and friends only is not possible, AFAIK.

I use a utility named msgbox.exe from here: http://www.paulsadowski.com/WSH/cmdprogs.htm

You can use Zenity. Zenity allows for the execution of dialog boxes in command-line and shell scripts. More info can also be found on Wikipedia.

It is cross-platform: a Windows installer for Windows can be found here.

msg * /time:0 /w Hello everybody!

This message waits forever until OK is clicked (it lasts only one minute by default) and works fine in Windows 8.1

Following on @Fowl's answer, you can improve it with a timeout to only appear for 10 seconds using the following:

mshta "javascript:var sh=new ActiveXObject( 'WScript.Shell' ); sh.Popup( 'Message!', 10, 'Title!', 64 );close()"

See here for more details.

You can invoke dll function from user32.dll i think Something like

Rundll32.exe user32.dll, MessageBox (0, "text", "titleText", {extra flags for like topmost messagebox e.t.c})

Typing it from my Phone, don't judge me... otherwise i would link the extra flags.

msg * /server: Type your message here

This application can do that, if you convert (wrap) your batch files into executable files.

  1. Simple Messagebox

    %extd% /messagebox Title Text

  1. Error Messagebox

    %extd% /messagebox  Error "Error message" 16
  2. Cancel Try Again Messagebox

    %extd% /messagebox Title "Try again or Cancel" 5

4) "Never ask me again" Messagebox

%extd% /messageboxcheck Title Message 0 {73E8105A-7AD2-4335-B694-94F837A38E79}

A better option

set my_message=Hello world&& start cmd /c "@echo off & mode con cols=15 lines=2 & echo %my_message% & pause>nul"

lines= amount of lines,plus 1
cols= amount of characters in the message, plus 3 (However, minimum must be 15)

Auto-calculated cols version:

set my_message=Hello world&& (echo %my_message%>EMPTY_FILE123 && FOR %? IN (EMPTY_FILE123 ) DO SET strlength=%~z? && del EMPTY_FILE123 ) && start cmd /c "@echo off && mode con lines=2 cols=%strlength% && echo %my_message% && pause>nul"

it needs ONLY to popup when inside a vm, so technically, there should be some code like:

if %machine_type% == virtual_machine then
   echo message box code
   continue normal installation code

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