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Windows 7: Telnet Is Not Recognized As An Internal Or External Command

I needed to test a Exim mail server from my Windows 7 laptop a little while ago and was surprised when I typed telnet I received an error. The error indicated that the telnet client was not installed on my laptop which seemed odd since I have Windows 7 Ultimate. I assume that telnet in general is being phased out of most operating systems in general however it is a great tool for troubleshooting. After a little digging around in the Windows Programs Control Panel I was able to easily install telnet. Follow the directions below to install telnet on your Windows 7 computer.

Error Attempting To Use Telnet On Windows 7:

Telnet Is Not Recognized As An Internal Or External Command

Telnet Error Text:


  1. 'telnet' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

Enable Telnet Client On Windows 7 Computer:

  1. Windows 7 Control Panel: First launch the Windows 7 Control Panel, which is displayed in the example image below, by clicking the Windows Start Menu icon and selecting Control Panel from the pop up navigation.

    Windows 7 Control Panel

  2. Programs And Features: In the Control Panel double click on Programs and Features to launch the W7 Programs and Features Control Panel as displayed in the below example image.

    Windows 7 Programs and Features

  3. Turn Windows Features On or Off: Now in the left navigation bar click on the “Turn Windows Features On or Off” link which will launch the Windows Features configuration window similar to the example displayed below.

    Windows 7: Windows Features Configuration Window

  4. Enable Telnet Client: From the Windows Features configuration window put a check mark next to the Telnet Client application as shown below.

    Windows Features: Enable Telnet Client

    Once you have added the check next to Telnet Client click the OK button from the Windows Features configuration window. Next close the Programs and Features window and wait for the below message to complete while Windows 7 to installs the Telnet Client.

    Wait While Windows Makes Changes To Features

  5. Test Telnet On Windows 7: Once Windows finishes installing the Telnet Client open a Command Prompt window by typing “cmd” in the bottom of the Windows Start Menu within the “Search programs and files” box and then click Enter. Then in the Command Prompt window type telnet which should launch the Telnet Client as shown in the below image.

    Windows 7 Telnet Client

Telnet will now always be enabled on your Windows 7 computer unless you remove it from the Windows Features configuration window.

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