There doesn't seem to be a commonly-accepted tag for question about Windows batch/shell scripts. We see a mix of various tag combinations, any mix of [windows][dos][dos-batch][shell][script] and so on.

They likely account for a fair number of questions when put together, but it's very difficult to gather them all under one tag.

Is this even a problem? *nix script questions have a similar problem, although most are gathered under [bash].

So, SO, what should we be using?

  • And the follow-on question... what do we do about the large number of "mis-tagged" ones?
    – skaffman
    Feb 13, 2011 at 16:35

3 Answers 3


I vote for or which already has 1,384 questions. This is platform neutral (MS-DOS is a really outdated term, but it's not typical Windows functionality either) and makes it immediately clear what syntax is being used (as opposed to PowerShell and other Windows scripting technologies).

  • 1
    Is that specific enough? I thought that [windows-batch-scripting] would be ideal.
    – skaffman
    Feb 13, 2011 at 10:47
  • @skaffman I'm not sure about the windows part. I think batch is the generally accepted term (also because of the .bat extension)
    – Pekka
    Feb 13, 2011 at 10:48
  • +1 It's much better than [ms-dos].
    – nyuszika7h
    Feb 13, 2011 at 11:21
  • 'batch' and 'batch-scripting' are not terms that are specific to Windows. Using those terms as if they were causes confusion.
    – Rob
    Jun 24, 2012 at 11:18

The word "batch" is a general computing term that in the minds of many is not specific to Windows .BAT files.

I agree with the OP that there is a cognitive dissonance in allowing questions about Windows .BAT files to own the tag

In the mind of many of us the term batch has a far wider non-OS specific meaning that implies the execution of a (typically large, long running) non-interactive data processing job that could be initiated manually or via a scheduler.

The batch tag description as it stands describes current usage on the SO site well in that it refers Windows .BAT files and for some reason SQL scripts. (as opposed to UNIX shell scripts or VMS DCL scripts or whatever scripting languages are used on IBM Mainframes or now that I think of any long running non-interactive data processing job irrespective the technology used to produce the running process)

Batch is to Windows .BAT script files as Program is to .c C program source files. It's a general term which on SO is applied to a specific concept.

I would vote to change batch to .BAT if that was possible or anything that made it clear that Windows .BAT files were being tagged for discussion.


I think is the correct tag.

  • Naah. That is the last tag that would come to my mind
    – Pekka
    Feb 13, 2011 at 10:27
  • @Pekka: Agreed. Just because it's the most popular one, doesn't make it right :)
    – skaffman
    Feb 13, 2011 at 10:44

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