Windows Script Host (WSH) enables scripts to be run
directly in Windows by double-clicking a script file or by typing the name of a
script file at a command prompt. Like Microsoft Internet Explorer, WSH serves
as a controller of ActiveX scripting engines. WSH has very low memory
requirements and is ideal for both interactive and non-interactive scripting
needs (such as logon scripting and administrative scripting).
WSH supports scripts written in Microsoft Visual Basic
scripting host reads and passes the specified script file contents to the
registered script engine. The scripting engine uses file extensions (.vbs for
SCRIPT tag (used in HTML). Because of this, the script writer does not have to
be familiar with the exact programmatic ID (ProgID) of various script engines.
The script host itself maintains a mapping of script extensions to ProgIDs and
uses the Windows association model to start the appropriate engine for a given
There are two versions of WSH: a Windows-based version
(Wscript.exe) that provides Windows-based properties for setting script
properties, and a command prompt-based version (Cscript.exe) that provides
command-line switches for setting script properties. You can run either of
these versions by typing "wscript.exe" or "cscript.exe" at a command prompt.
In earlier versions of Windows, the only native scripting language
supported was the MS-DOS command language. Although MS-DOS is fast and small,
architecture allows users to take advantage of these powerful scripting
languages, while still providing support for MS-DOS command scripts.
To Run Scripts Using the Windows-Based Script Host (Wscript.exe)
- At a command prompt type
wscript.exe, and then press ENTER.
- Set the script host properties you want, and then click OK.
- In Windows Explorer or My Computer, double-click the script
file you want to run.
: If you double-click a script file whose extension has not yet
been associated with Wscript.exe, an Open With
dialog box appears, prompting you for the program that should be
used to open the file. After you choose Windows Based Script Host
, if you select the Always use this program to
open these files
check box, Wscript.exe is registered as the default
program for all files having the same extension as the one you double-clicked.
You can also set properties for an individual script by
right-clicking a script file in My Computer or Windows Explorer, clicking Properties
, and then clicking the Script
To Set Properties for Individual Scripts
- In Windows Explorer or My Computer, right-click the script
file for which you want to specify individual properties, and then click Properties.
- Click the Script tab, set the options you want to use for the script, and then
: The property settings are saved in a file with a .wsh file
extension. For example, if the script file name is Chart.vbs, the settings are
saved in a text file named Chart.wsh.
A .wsh file is a text file that
uses a format similar to that of .ini files. A .wsh file contains a
[ScriptFile] section, which identifies the script file with which the .wsh file
is associated, and an [Options] section, which corresponds to the settings you
selected on the Script
A .wsh file is analogous to the .pif files used to
run earlier 16-bit Windows-based and MS-DOS-based programs. It can be treated
as if it were an executable or batch file. For example, if you have a script
named Myscript.vbs for which you have created a .wsh file named Myscript.wsh,
you can run Myscript.vbs with the options recorded in Myscript.wsh by
double-clicking Myscript.wsh in Windows Explorer, or by passing Myscript.wsh as
a script argument to Cscript.exe or Wscript.exe at a command
For additional information about WSH, please visit the
following Microsoft Web site: