In this article we will cover Base64 in its entirety: we will learn what Base64 is and what it is used for. We will also learn about the characters of this method, the concepts of encoding and decoding. We’ll even show you the algorithm, not just in theory, but through examples: you’ll be able to encode and decode Base64 manually and in JavaScript.
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Base64 Encoding & Decoding in CMD

This article describes the use of Base64 encoding in the Windows Command Prompt (CMD) for transforming binary data to text format. It shows how to use the certutil command-line utility to conduct encoding and decoding operations.

What is Base64?

Base64 is a binary-to-text encoding scheme that employs an ASCII string to represent binary data. It is frequently used to encode binary data, such as images, files, or binary data, into a text-based format that may be safely communicated via text-based protocols, such as email, or included in URLs without causing difficulties due to special characters. Base64 encodes data by dividing it into 6-bit chunks and representing each piece as a different character from a set of 64. Binary data can thus be conveyed using only printable ASCII characters.

What is Shell?

A shell is a command-line interface (CLI) software that allows users to interact with an operating system. It evaluates user input and forwards it to the operating system for execution. The term “shell” is more broad and can refer to any CLI, whether for Unix-like or Windows-based systems. Shells can have features such as scripting, variables, and the ability to automate activities via command sequences.

What is CMD?

The command-line interpreter application present in Windows operating systems is known as CMD, or Command Prompt. It provides a text-based interface via which users may interact with the system, run applications, and accomplish various tasks. CMD is a rudimentary command-line interface in comparison to more current command-line interfaces, with a limited selection of commands and features.

Base64 Encoding and Decoding in CMD

In CMD, you can use the certutil command-line tool to perform Base64 encoding and decoding. Although certutil is primarily used for managing certificates, it also includes the -encode and -decode operations, which can be used on any file, not just certificates.

Here is the syntax:

certutil <method> <inputFile> <outputFile>

This command is used to encode or decode a file using Base64 encoding or decoding with the certutil command-line tool in Windows. <method> represents either the -encode or -decode parameter, <inputFile> represents the name of the input file, and <outputFile> represents the name of the output file. The result of the encoding or decoding operation will be saved to the file specified by <outputFile>.

For example, if you want to encode a file named input.txt using Base64 encoding, you can use the following command:

certutil -encode input.txt output.b64

This will create an output.b64 file that contains the Base64 encoded contents of the input.txt file.

If you want to decode a Base64 encoded file named input.b64, you can use the following command:

certutil -decode input.b64 output.txt

This will create an output.txt file that contains the decoded contents of the input.b64 file.