About Return



Exits the current scope, which can be a function, script, or script block.


The Return keyword exits a function, script, or script block. It can be used to exit a scope at a specific point, to return a value, or to indicate that the end of the scope has been reached.

Users who are familiar with languages like C or C# might want to use the Return keyword to make the logic of leaving a scope explicit.

In Windows PowerShell, the results of each statement are returned as output, even without a statement that contains the Return keyword. Languages like C or C# return only the value or values that are specified by the Return keyword.


The syntax for the Return keyword is as follows:

return [<expression>]

The Return keyword can appear alone, or it can be followed by a value or expression, as follows:

return $a  
return (2 + $a)


The following example uses the Return keyword to exit a function at a specific point if a conditional is met:

function ScreenPassword($instance)  
    if (!($instance.screensaversecure)) {return $instance.name}   
    <additional statements>  

foreach ($a in @(get-wmiobject win32_desktop)) { ScreenPassword($a) }

This script checks each user account. The ScreenPassword function returns the name of any user account that does not have a password-protected screen saver. If the screen saver is password protected, the function completes any other statements to be run, and Windows PowerShell does not return any value.

In Windows PowerShell, values can be returned even if the Return keyword is not used. The results of each statement are returned. For example, the following statements return the value of the $a variable:


The following statement also returns the value of $a:

return $a

The following example includes a statement intended to let the user know that the function is performing a calculation:

function calculation {  
    param ($value)  

    "Please wait. Working on calculation..."  
    $value += 73  
    return $value  

Running this function and assigning the result to a variable has the following effect:

C:\PS> $a = calculation 14  

The "Please wait. Working on calculation..." string is not displayed. Instead, it is assigned to the $a variable, as in the following example:

C:\PS> $a  
Please wait. Working on calculation...  

Both the informational string and the result of the calculation are returned by the function and assigned to the $a variable.


Exit keyword in about_Language_Keywords