Setting the MS-DOS Errorlevel in a Program

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Article ID: 57658 - View products that this article applies to.
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This article explains how you can set the errorlevel of a program for use by the MS-DOS batch file IF ERRORLEVEL command.


If you are writing a program that is going to be invoked from within an MS-DOS batch file that uses the IF ERRORLEVEL command, you can use Interrupt 21H Function 4CH, "Terminate Process with Return Code" to set the errorlevel in your program. This function terminates the program and returns the errorlevel to the parent process, which in this case is COMMAND.COM running the batch file.

The parameters for Interrupt 21H, Function 4CH are AH = 4CH, AL = errorlevel, followed by a call to Interrupt 21H. The errorlevel can be any value in the range 0 to 255 (0 to FF, hexadecimal).


"Microsoft MS-DOS User's Guide and Reference" for versions 4.x.

"Microsoft MS-DOS Programmer's Reference," version 4.0, Chapter 1, pages 237-238.

"MS-DOS Encyclopedia," Ray Duncan, Microsoft Press, Article 4, pages 115-117, and Section V, pages 1375-1376.

"Advanced MS-DOS Programming," Ray Duncan, Microsoft Press, Section II, pages 443-444.

"The New Peter Norton Programmer's Guide to the IBM PC & PS/2," Peter Norton and Richard Wilton, Microsoft Press, Chapter 17, page 377.


Article ID: 57658 - Last Review: May 12, 2003 - Revision: 2.0
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 3.1
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 3.2 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 3.21 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 3.3 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 3.3a
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 4.01 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 5.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 6.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 6.2 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 6.21 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 6.22 Standard Edition
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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