A batch file is a type of script that contains a list of commands. These commands are executed in sequence and can be used to automate processes. For example, some programs may include a batch file that executes a number of commands as the program starts up. A user can also create a custom batch file to automate tedious processes such as copying multiple directories or renaming several files at once.
Batch files are run by the COMMAND.COM program, which is part of DOS and Windows. Therefore, batch files can only be run within the Windows operating system. Macintosh and Unix have other scripting tools, such as AppleScript and Unix shell commands, that can be used for similar tasks. Because batch files contain executable commands, it is important not to open unknown batch files on your hard disk or in e-mail attachments.
Updated: October 21, 2006