File Compare

Microsoft Windows 95 Version 4.00.1111 fc command 492x259.png
The Microsoft Windows 95 fc command
Original author(s)Mani A. Ulloa[1]
Developer(s)Microsoft, IBM, Digital Research, Novell
Initial release1984, 37–38 years ago
Written inMS-DOS: x86 assembly language
FreeDOS: C
Operating systemMS-DOS, PC DOS, OS/2, eComStation, ArcaOS, Windows, DR DOS, FreeDOS
LicenseMS-DOS: MIT
FreeDOS: GPLv2+

In computing, fc (File Compare) is a command-line program in DOS, IBM OS/2 and Microsoft Windows operating systems, that compares multiple files and outputs the differences between them.[2][3] It is similar to the Unix commands comm, cmp and diff.


The fc command has been included in Microsoft operating systems since MS-DOS 2.11 (e.g. on the 1984/85 DEC Rainbow release)[4] and is included in all versions of Microsoft Windows.[5] fc has also been included in IBM OS/2 Version 2.0.[6]

DR DOS 6.0 includes an implementation of the fc command.[7]

The command is also available in FreeDOS. This implementation is licensed under the GPLv2+.[8]


fc can compare text files as well as binary files.[9] The latest versions[which?] can compare ASCII or Unicode text. The result of comparisons are output to the standard output. The output of fc is intended primarily to be human readable and may be difficult to use in other programs.

See also[]


  1. ^ OS/2 Museum
  2. ^ "fc Microsoft Docs". Retrieved 2019-06-20.
  3. ^ "Fasthelp". Retrieved 2016-06-15.
  4. ^ Rainbow MS-DOS Version 2.11 Documentation : Digital Equipment Corporation October 1984
  5. ^ MS-DOS and Windows command line fc command
  6. ^ OS/2 2.0 Redbooks Volume 2 - DOS and Windows Environment (GG24-3731)
  7. ^ DR DOS 6.0 User Guide Optimisation and Configuration Tips
  8. ^
  9. ^ FC - file compare - Windows CMD -

Further reading[]

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