Changes the position of batch parameters in a batch file.


shift [/n <N>]


Parameter Description
/n <N> Specifies to start shifting at the Nth argument, where N is any value from 0 to 8. Requires command extensions, which are enabled by default.
/? Displays help at the command prompt.


  • The shift command changes the values of the batch parameters %0 through %9 by copying each parameter into the previous one—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.

  • If command extensions are enabled, the shift command supports the /n command-line option. The /n option specifies to start shifting at the Nth argument, where N is any value from 0 to 8. For example, SHIFT /2 would shift %3 to %2, %4 to %3, and so on, and leave %0 and %1 unaffected. Command extensions are enabled by default.

  • You can use the shift command to create a batch file that can accept more than 10 batch 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.

  • The shift command has no effect on the %* batch parameter.

  • There's no backward shift command. After you implement the shift command, you can't recover the batch parameter (%0) that existed before the shift.


To use a batch file, called Mycopy.bat, to copy a list of files to a specific directory, type:

@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

Additional References