How to Run Powershell

Using a scripting language based on Microsoft’s.NET framework, PowerShell is a command-line shell that can be used to automate task execution and management. PowerShell integrates with scripts and applications through the use of commands known as cmdlets. PowerShell comes pre-installed with Windows and can be accessed via the Run command, whereas Mac and Linux users will need to instal it and access it via the Terminal command line interface (command line). Once PowerShell is up and running, there are some basic cmdlets that you can use to become more familiar with the language.

Method 1 Running PowerShell (Windows)

1. Hit ⊞ Win+R. This will open a Run command window.

If you don’t want to use the Run command, you can search for the word “PowerShell” in the Start menu instead.

PowerShell is included with Windows 7 and later versions of the operating system.

2. Enter “PowerShell” into the text field.

3. Click “OK”. A new PowerShell window will open.

Method 2 Running PowerShell (Mac)

1. Go to in your web browser. This is the official github page for PowerShell.

2. Download and install the .pkg file for Mac. You must be running OSX 10.11 or newer.

3. Open the Launchpad. This is the rocket icon in the bottom dock.

4. Enter “Terminal” into the search field. You can also find the Terminal in “Applications > Utilities”.

5. Launch Terminal. A blank terminal window will appear.

6. Enter the word “powershell” and press the Enter key. A powershell prompt with the letters “PS” displayed will appear. This indicates that powershell is running and that you can enter cmdlets into the Terminal window.

Method 3 Running PowerShell (Ubuntu)

1. Go to in your web browser. This is the official github page for PowerShell.

2. Download the.deb file for the Linux distribution that corresponds to your operating system. PowerShell is available for Ubuntu 14.04 and 16.04 operating systems. They have their own installers, which are listed on the page.

3. Open a Terminal window. You can hit ⊞ Win+Alt+T or click “Home” and search for “Terminal”.

4. Enter “sudo dpkg -i [installer filename]” and hit ↵ Enter. You will be prompted to enter your computer password when using the “sudo” command. You may see a failure with unmet dependencies, but this will be resolved soon.

The installer filename will look like “powershell_6.0.0-alpha.10-1ubuntu1.16.04.1_amd64.deb” or “powershell_6.0.0-alpha.10-1ubuntu1.14.04.1_amd64.deb” depending on which version of Ubuntu you are running.

5. Enter “sudo apt-get install -f” and hit ↵ Enter. This PowerShell configuration will complete.

6. Enter “powershell” and hit ↵ Enter. A powershell prompt will appear and you can run cmdlets in the Terminal.

Method 4 Using Basic PowerShell Commands

1. To locate cmdlets, use the “Get-Command” command. This cmdlet, when used alone, will display all of the other cmdlets. Modifiers allow you to narrow the scope of your search.

For example, the command “Get-Command Name *Disable*” will only display cmdlets that have the word “disable” in their names.

All cmdlets are entered into the PowerShell window by typing them into the text box and pressing the Enter key.

2. If you need more information on a specific cmdlet, type “Get-Help” into the command prompt. This cmdlet will provide you with all of the information you need about another cmdlet, including the syntax for how the target cmdlet should be used.

For example, the command “Get-Help Get-Process” will display all of the information that is relevant to the “Get-Process” cmdlet.

3. If you want to use a process that is currently running on a computer, use the command “Get-Process.” By itself, this will display a complete list of all the processes currently running on your computer. You can distinguish processes that originate from a particular application by using a modifier.

For example, the command “Get-Process winword” will display all of the processes that are currently running in Microsoft Word.

In a similar vein, the command “Start-Process” can be used to start an instance of an application or process.

4. When you want to see the properties or methods of an object, use the “Get-Member” command. In order for this cmdlet to be useful, it requires that an object be “piped” to it. This is accomplished by inserting a pipe symbol (|) between an object and the “Get-Member” cmdlet.

If you type “Get-Process | Get-Member,” for example, the Get-Process cmdlet will be piped to Get-Member, and Get-Member will display a list of all of the properties and methods that can be used when scripting with the Get-Process cmdlet.

5. Use “Where-Object” to select objects based on criteria. The criteria in Where-Object is set by using the following formatting: “{$_[object] [operator] [parameter] }”. Where-Object also needs an object piped to it.

For example: “Get-Process | Where-Object { $ -eq “notepad” }” will run Get-Process with the limitation where the object’s name is equal to “notepad”.

Other operators include: “-lt” (less than), “-gt” (greater than), “-le” (less than or equal to), “-ge” (greater than or equal to), “-ne” (not equal to), or “-like” (pattern matching).

Parameters using strings (words) must be enclosed in quotations marks. This is not necessary for integers (numbers).

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