Telnet is a network protocol with terminal interface support, which is implemented for connecting to a remote command line interface. Through this protocol, you can gain access to another user's computer. But sometimes when making requests in the terminal, users encounter the error "Telnet is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program, or batch file".

Command line with error "Telnet is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program, or batch file"

The error message indicates that the client is not installed. You will not be able to use the commands of this software that is not activated on the system.

Enabling Telnet Using Windows Features Utility

By default, telnet is disabled in Windows 10 for security reasons, but you can easily activate it. The easiest way to do this is to use the Windows Features utility.

  1. Open "Search" in the start menu, enter control panel in it and open the found result.
    Windows 10 Start Menu
  2. Switch the display of icons to the "Large" mode, then find the item "Programs and Features" in the list and click on it.
    Windows 10 Control Panel
  3. Click on "Turn Windows features on or off" in the left menu.
    Programs and Features in Windows 10
  4. In the window that will open, find the "Client Telnet" directory in the list and put a check mark next to it.
    Windows 10 features utility
  5. Wait until the installation is complete and restart your computer, then try using telnet.

Enabling Telnet Using Command Prompt (cmd)

If the first option is unavailable for some reason, the Command Line will be an alternative to it.

  1. Run the command line, to do this, hold down the Win + R keys, in the window that opens, enter cmd and click OK.
    Windows Run utility
  2. In the command input interface, write or paste the following command and press Enter:
    dism /online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:TelnetClient
    Windows 10 Command Prompt
  3. Wait until the message "The operation completed successfully" appears, then close the console and restart the system.


I hope this article helped you and you solved your problem. I want to note that Telnet is not secure, since registration data is transmitted in clear text, and anyone can intercept them using Wireshark or other software. Therefore, using SSH as an alternative would be the best choice to ensure a secure connection.