In this post, I summarize some of the advanced configurations of Cmder.

How to set up the default startup directory for a task?

Open Cmder settings and go to Startup --> Tasks and choose a task (cmd::Cmder or Cmd::Cmder as Admin, etc.). Click Startup dir... on the bottom right of the page and choose the appropriate directory. Restart Cmder and you should be able to see that Cmder start up in the given directory.

But, if you have set up startup directory this, cmder here feature will not any more: Cmder will always open the directory you have set up.

Add custom color scheme to Cmder

There is a project ConEmu-Color-Themes which provides a few color schemes for ConEmu, on which Cmder is based.

First, we need to clone this project to our local machine:

git clone
cd ConEmu-Color-Themes

This project provides a powershell script Install-ConEmuTheme.ps1 to simplify the installation of color themes. To run this script, we need to give it execution permission:

  • Open powershell and run it as administrator
  • Run the following command inside powershell:
Set-ExecutionPolicy -ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned -Force

Next, in order to avoid any errors, export your current Cmder settings to a custom directory.

Then, run the following command in Cmder:

powershell ./Install-ConEmuTheme.ps1 -ConfigPath /path/to/exported/setting/ConEmu.xml -Operation Add -ThemePathOrName themes\moe-dark.xml

It will add the theme moe-dark to the theme list. Be careful with the space in path. If a path has space in it, you will encounter ParameterArgumentValidationError exception. The solution is to enclose the path with single quote.

Finally, open Cmder setting and import the new setting file from the custom directory. You should be able to see the new color schemes.

Creating an alias in Cmder

Sometimes, we need to type a command over and over again. It is better to create a shorter alias for it. A great example is changing to directories on other drives on Windows. Due to histortical reasons, the cd command can only go to directories on the current drive by default. To go to directories on other drives, we need the /d parameters. Having to use cd /d each time is cumbersome.

If you expect cd to go to another directory no matter whether it is on the current drive or another drive, you can create an alias for it. Here is how to do it in Cmder:

  • Go to $CMDER_ROOT/config and open the file user_aliaes.cmd
  • Add the following to the end of the file:
    cd=cd /d $*

Another way is to open cmder settings (Win+ Alt + P), go to Startup --> Environment, and add the following alias for cd:

cd=cd /d $*

Restart Cmder and you should be able to cd to any directory you want! It is a small trick, but it works great and saves your time.