RAS, or how to start a dial-up network connection


There are several ways to start a dialup connection from the command line in Windows:

All Windows versions:

  • Create a shortcut of the Dial-Up connection on your desktop, say, C:\WINDOWS\Desktop\MyISP.lnk
  • Use the following command to start it:

    START C:\WINDOWS\Desktop\MyISP.lnk

    The effect is exactly the same as doubleclicking the shortcut.
    Check the START command’s syntax when using long file names in NT.

Windows 9x:

The following commands can be used to start and open a connection:

START RUNDLL32 RNAUI.DLL,RnaDial exact name of dialer entry
TRACERT -h 1 -w 1

(Credits for these commands: Michael J. Gregg and Tom Lavedas)
The RUNDLL command starts DUN, the TRACERT command will actually start the dialing process, if and only if automatic dialing is enabled.

Windows NT:

Windows NT has some additional, dedicated commands for Dial-Up networking (credits: Simon Sheppard):



RASDIAL.EXE entryname [ username [ password | * ]] [ /DOMAIN:domain ] [ /PHONE:phonenumber ] [ /CALLBACK:callbacknumber ] [ /PHONEBOOK:phonebookfile ] [ /PREFIXSUFFIX ]



RASPHONE.EXE [ -v ] [ -f file ] [[ -e | -c | -d | -h | -r ] entry ]
RASPHONE.EXE [ -v ] [ -f file ] -a [ entry ]
RASPHONE.EXE [ -v ] [ -f file ] -lx link

-a Popup new entry dialogs
-e Popup edit entry dialogs
-c Popup clone entry dialogs
-v Prevent entry rename with a or e
-d Popup dial entry dialogs
-h Quietly hang up the entry
-r Quietly delete the entry
-s Popup status dialogs
-lx Execute command ‘x‘ on dial-up shortcut file
x Any of the commands aevcdh, or r
entry The entry name to which the operation applies
file The full path to the phonebook file
link The full path to the dial-up shortcut file


entry‘ alone selects the entry in the phonebook dialog