Changes the position of replaceable parameters in a batch file.


How the shift command works

The shift command changes the values of the replaceable parameters %0 through %9, by copying each parameter into the previous one. In other words, the value of %1 is copied to %0, the value of %2 is copied to %1, and so on. This is useful for writing a batch file that performs the same operation on any number of parameters.

Working with more than 10 command-line parameters

You can also use the shift command to create a batch file that can accept more than 10 parameters. If you specify more than 10 parameters on the command line, those that appear after the tenth (%9) will be shifted one at a time into %9.

Shifting parameters back

There is no backward shift command. Once you carry out the shiftcommand, you cannot recover the first parameter (%0) that existed before the shift.


The following batch file, MYCOPY.BAT, shows how to use the shift command with any number of parameters. It copies a list of files to a specific directory. The parameters are the directory name followed by any number of filenames.

@echo off 
rem MYCOPY.BAT copies any number of files 
rem to a directory. 
rem The command uses the following syntax: 
rem mycopy dir file1 file2 ... 
set todir=%1 
if "%1"=="" goto end 
copy %1 %todir% 
goto getfile 
set todir= 
echo All done