HyperTerminal is a communications and terminal emulation program that came with the Windows 98 and Windows XP operating systems.

How it works and where it came from

IT professionals and users can work with HyperTerminal to set up a dial-up connection to another computer through the internal modem using Telnet or to access a bulletin board system in another computer. They can use HyperTerminal to set up a connection for data transfers between two computers, such as a desktop computer and a portable computer, using the serial ports. HyperTerminal can also allow IT to take serial-port control of external devices or systems such as scientific instruments, robots or radio communications stations.

IT professionals can also use HyperTerminal to troubleshoot any issues when setting up and using a modem. IT can send commands through HyperTerminal to make sure the modem is properly connected.

Developed by Hilgraeve from a more comprehensive communications program called HyperAccess, HyperTerminal has features similar to the Linux program, Minicom. In Windows XP, IT can locate HyperTerminal in the Start menu: Start-->Programs-->Accessories-->Communications-->HyperTerminal.

HyperTerminal and Windows 10

Microsoft phased out HyperTerminal, and it has not been included in a Windows OS since Windows XP and is not a part of Windows 10. Organizations working with Windows 10 can download HyperTerminal separately, and it does work with the OS. The download does not come from Microsoft itself, however.

Even though HyperTerminal is not a part of Windows 10, the Windows 10 operating system does provide Telnet support, but it is not enabled by default. IT can enable Telnet support by opening the Control Panel and clicking on Programs, then Turn Windows Features On or Off. Upon doing so, Windows will display a list of OS features. Select the Telnet client checkbox and click OK.

Unlike HyperTerminal, the Windows 10 Telnet utility is command-line only and does not support any of the non-Telnet related features found in HyperTerminal. IT can launch the Telnet client by going to C:\Windows\System32 and running telnet.exe.

This was last updated in July 2017

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