Get-Help

Displays information about PowerShell commands and concepts.

Syntax

Get-Help
   [[-Name] <String>]
   [-Path <String>]
   [-Category <String[]>]
   [-Component <String[]>]
   [-Functionality <String[]>]
   [-Role <String[]>]
   [-Full]
   [<CommonParameters>]
Get-Help
   [[-Name] <String>]
   -Detailed
   [-Path <String>]
   [-Category <String[]>]
   [-Component <String[]>]
   [-Functionality <String[]>]
   [-Role <String[]>]
   [<CommonParameters>]
Get-Help
   [[-Name] <String>]
   -Examples
   [-Path <String>]
   [-Category <String[]>]
   [-Component <String[]>]
   [-Functionality <String[]>]
   [-Role <String[]>]
   [<CommonParameters>]
Get-Help
   [[-Name] <String>]
   -Parameter <String>
   [-Path <String>]
   [-Category <String[]>]
   [-Component <String[]>]
   [-Functionality <String[]>]
   [-Role <String[]>]
   [<CommonParameters>]
Get-Help
   [[-Name] <String>]
   -Online
   [-Path <String>]
   [-Category <String[]>]
   [-Component <String[]>]
   [-Functionality <String[]>]
   [-Role <String[]>]
   [<CommonParameters>]
Get-Help
   [[-Name] <String>]
   -ShowWindow
   [-Path <String>]
   [-Category <String[]>]
   [-Component <String[]>]
   [-Functionality <String[]>]
   [-Role <String[]>]
   [<CommonParameters>]

Description

The Get-Help cmdlet displays information about PowerShell concepts and commands, including cmdlets, functions, Common Information Model (CIM) commands, workflows, providers, aliases, and scripts.

To get help for a PowerShell cmdlet, type Get-Help followed by the cmdlet name, such as: Get-Help Get-Process.

Conceptual help articles in PowerShell begin with about_, such as about_Comparison_Operators. To see all about_ articles, type Get-Help about_*. To see a particular article, type Get-Help about_<article-name>, such as Get-Help about_Comparison_Operators.

To get help for a PowerShell provider, type Get-Help followed by the provider name. For example, to get help for the Certificate provider, type Get-Help Certificate.

You can also type help or man, which displays one screen of text at a time. Or, <cmdlet-name> -?, that is identical to Get-Help, but only works for cmdlets.

Get-Help gets the help content that it displays from help files on your computer. Without the help files, Get-Help displays only basic information about cmdlets. Some PowerShell modules include help files. Beginning in PowerShell 3.0, the modules that come with the Windows operating system don't include help files. To download or update the help files for a module in PowerShell 3.0, use the Update-Help cmdlet.

You can also view the PowerShell help documents online in the Microsoft Docs. To get the online version of a help file, use the Online parameter, such as: Get-Help Get-Process -Online. To read all the PowerShell documentation, see the Microsoft Docs PowerShell Documentation.

If you type Get-Help followed by the exact name of a help article, or by a word unique to a help article, Get-Help displays the article's content. If you enter a word or word pattern that appears in several help article titles, Get-Help displays a list of the matching titles. If you enter a word that doesn't appear in any help article titles, Get-Help displays a list of articles that include that word in their contents.

Get-Help can get help articles for all supported languages and locales. Get-Help first looks for help files in the locale set for Windows, then in the parent locale, such as pt for pt-BR, and then in a fallback locale. Beginning in PowerShell 3.0, if Get-Help doesn't find help in the fallback locale, it looks for help articles in English, en-US, before it returns an error message or displaying autogenerated help.

For information about the symbols that Get-Help displays in the command syntax diagram, see about_Command_Syntax. For information about parameter attributes, such as Required and Position, see about_Parameters.

Note

In PowerShell 3.0 and PowerShell 4.0, Get-Help can't find About articles in modules unless the module is imported into the current session. This is a known issue. To get About articles in a module, import the module, either by using the Import-Module cmdlet or by running a cmdlet that's included in the module.

Examples

Example 1: Display basic help information about a cmdlet

These examples display basic help information about the Format-Table cmdlet.

Get-Help Format-Table
Get-Help -Name Format-Table
Format-Table -?

Get-Help <cmdlet-name> is the simplest and default syntax of Get-Help cmdlet. You can omit the Name parameter.

The syntax <cmdlet-name> -? works only for cmdlets.

Example 2: Display basic information one page at a time

These examples display basic help information about the Format-Table cmdlet one page at a time.

help Format-Table
man Format-Table
Get-Help Format-Table | Out-Host -Paging

help is a function that runs Get-Help cmdlet internally and displays the result one page at a time.

man is an alias for the help function.

Get-Help Format-Table sends the object down the pipeline. Out-Host -Paging receives the output from the pipeline and displays it one page at a time. For more information, see Out-Host.

Example 3: Display more information for a cmdlet

These examples display more detailed help information about the Format-Table cmdlet.

Get-Help Format-Table -Detailed
Get-Help Format-Table -Full

The Detailed parameter displays the help article's detailed view that includes parameter descriptions and examples.

The Full parameter displays the help article's full view that includes parameter descriptions, examples, input and output object types, and additional notes.

The Detailed and Full parameters are effective only for the commands that have help files installed on the computer. The parameters aren't effective for the conceptual (about_) help articles.

Example 4: Display selected parts of a cmdlet by using parameters

These examples display selected portions of the Format-Table cmdlet help.

Get-Help Format-Table -Examples
Get-Help Format-Table -Parameter *
Get-Help Format-Table -Parameter GroupBy

The Examples parameter displays the help file's NAME and SYNOPSIS sections, and all the Examples. You can't specify an Example number because the Examples parameter is a switch parameter.

The Parameter parameter displays only the descriptions of the specified parameters. If you specify only the asterisk (*) wildcard character, it displays the descriptions of all parameters. When Parameter specifies a parameter name such as GroupBy, information about that parameter is shown.

These parameters aren't effective for the conceptual (about_) help articles.

Example 5: Display online version of help

This example displays the online version of the help article for the Format-Table cmdlet in your default web browser.

Get-Help Format-Table -Online

Example 6: Display help about the help system

The Get-Help cmdlet without parameters displays information about the PowerShell help system.

Get-Help

Example 7: Display available help articles

This example displays a list of all help articles available on your computer.

Get-Help *

Example 8: Display a list of conceptual articles

This example displays a list of the conceptual articles included in PowerShell help. All these articles begin with the characters about_. To display a particular help file, type Get-Help \<about_article-name\>, for example, Get-Help about_Signing.

Only the conceptual articles that have help files installed on your computer are displayed. For information about downloading and installing help files in PowerShell 3.0, see Update-Help.

Get-Help about_*

Example 9: Search for a word in cmdlet help

This example shows how to search for a word in a cmdlet help article.

Get-Help Add-Member -Full | Out-String -Stream | Select-String -Pattern Clixml

the Export-Clixml cmdlet to save the instance of the object, including the additional members...
can use the Import-Clixml cmdlet to re-create the instance of the object from the information...
Export-Clixml
Import-Clixml

Get-Help uses the Full parameter to get help information for Add-Member. The MamlCommandHelpInfo object is sent down the pipeline. Out-String uses the Stream parameter to convert the object into a string. Select-String uses the Pattern parameter to search the string for Clixml.

Example 10: Display a list of articles that include a word

This example displays a list of articles that include the word remoting.

When you enter a word that doesn't appear in any article title, Get-Help displays a list of articles that include that word.

Get-Help -Name remoting

Name                              Category  Module                    Synopsis
----                              --------  ------                    --------
Install-PowerShellRemoting.ps1    External                            Install-PowerShellRemoting.ps1
Disable-PSRemoting                Cmdlet    Microsoft.PowerShell.Core Prevents remote users...
Enable-PSRemoting                 Cmdlet    Microsoft.PowerShell.Core Configures the computer...

Example 11: Display provider-specific help

This example shows two ways of getting the provider-specific help for Get-Item. These commands get help that explains how to use the Get-Item cmdlet in the PowerShell SQL Server provider's DataCollection node.

The first example uses the Get-Help Path parameter to specify the SQL Server provider's path. Because the provider's path is specified, you can run the command from any path location.

The second example uses Set-Location to navigate to the SQL Server provider's path. From that location, the Path parameter isn't needed for Get-Help to get the provider-specific help.

Get-Help Get-Item -Path SQLSERVER:\DataCollection

NAME

    Get-Item

SYNOPSIS

    Gets a collection of Server objects for the local computer and any computers

    to which you have made a SQL Server PowerShell connection.
    ...

Set-Location SQLSERVER:\DataCollection
SQLSERVER:\DataCollection> Get-Help Get-Item

NAME

    Get-Item

SYNOPSIS

    Gets a collection of Server objects for the local computer and any computers

    to which you have made a SQL Server PowerShell connection.
    ...

Example 12: Display help for a script

This example gets help for the MyScript.ps1 script. For information about how to write help for your functions and scripts, see about_Comment_Based_Help.

Get-Help -Name C:\PS-Test\MyScript.ps1

Parameters

-Category

Displays help only for items in the specified category and their aliases. Conceptual articles are in the HelpFile category.

The acceptable values for this parameter are as follows:

  • Alias
  • Cmdlet
  • Provider
  • General
  • FAQ
  • Glossary
  • HelpFile
  • ScriptCommand
  • Function
  • Filter
  • ExternalScript
  • All
  • DefaultHelp
  • Workflow
  • DscResource
  • Class
  • Configuration
Type:String[]
Accepted values:Alias, Cmdlet, Provider, General, FAQ, Glossary, HelpFile, ScriptCommand, Function, Filter, ExternalScript, All, DefaultHelp, Workflow, DscResource, Class, Configuration
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Component

Displays commands with the specified component value, such as Exchange. Enter a component name. Wildcard characters are permitted. This parameter has no effect on displays of conceptual (About_) help.

Type:String[]
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:True
-Detailed

Adds parameter descriptions and examples to the basic help display. This parameter is effective only when the help files are installed on the computer. It has no effect on displays of conceptual (About_) help.

Type:SwitchParameter
Position:Named
Default value:False
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Examples

Displays only the name, synopsis, and examples. To display only the examples, type (Get-Help \<cmdlet-name\>).Examples.

This parameter is effective only when the help files are installed on the computer. It has no effect on displays of conceptual (About_) help.

Type:SwitchParameter
Position:Named
Default value:False
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Full

Displays the entire help article for a cmdlet. Full includes parameter descriptions and attributes, examples, input and output object types, and additional notes.

This parameter is effective only when the help files are installed on the computer. It has no effect on displays of conceptual (About_) help.

Type:SwitchParameter
Position:Named
Default value:False
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Functionality

Displays help for items with the specified functionality. Enter the functionality. Wildcard characters are permitted. This parameter has no effect on displays of conceptual (About_) help.

Type:String[]
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:True
-Name

Gets help about the specified command or concept. Enter the name of a cmdlet, function, provider, script, or workflow, such as Get-Member, a conceptual article name, such as about_Objects, or an alias, such as ls. Wildcard characters are permitted in cmdlet and provider names, but you can't use wildcard characters to find the names of function help and script help articles.

To get help for a script that isn't located in a path that's listed in the $env:Path environment variable, type the script's path and file name.

If you enter the exact name of a help article, Get-Help displays the article contents.

If you enter a word or word pattern that appears in several help article titles, Get-Help displays a list of the matching titles.

If you enter a word that doesn't match any help article titles, Get-Help displays a list of articles that include that word in their contents.

The names of conceptual articles, such as about_Objects, must be entered in English, even in non-English versions of PowerShell.

Type:String
Position:0
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:True (ByPropertyName)
Accept wildcard characters:True
-Online

Displays the online version of a help article in the default browser. This parameter is valid only for cmdlet, function, workflow, and script help articles. You can't use the Online parameter with Get-Help in a remote session.

For information about supporting this feature in help articles that you write, see about_Comment_Based_Help, and Supporting Online Help, and Writing Help for PowerShell Cmdlets.

Type:SwitchParameter
Position:Named
Default value:False
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Parameter

Displays only the detailed descriptions of the specified parameters. Wildcards are permitted. This parameter has no effect on displays of conceptual (About_) help.

Type:String
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:True
-Path

Gets help that explains how the cmdlet works in the specified provider path. Enter a PowerShell provider path.

This parameter gets a customized version of a cmdlet help article that explains how the cmdlet works in the specified PowerShell provider path. This parameter is effective only for help about a provider cmdlet and only when the provider includes a custom version of the provider cmdlet help article in its help file. To use this parameter, install the help file for the module that includes the provider.

To see the custom cmdlet help for a provider path, go to the provider path location and enter a Get-Help command or, from any path location, use the Path parameter of Get-Help to specify the provider path. You can also find custom cmdlet help online in the provider help section of the help articles.

For more information about PowerShell providers, see about_Providers.

Type:String
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:True
-Role

Displays help customized for the specified user role. Enter a role. Wildcard characters are permitted.

Enter the role that the user plays in an organization. Some cmdlets display different text in their help files based on the value of this parameter. This parameter has no effect on help for the core cmdlets.

Type:String[]
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:True
-ShowWindow

Displays the help topic in a window for easier reading. The window includes a Find search feature and a Settings box that lets you set options for the display, including options to display only selected sections of a help topic.

The ShowWindow parameter supports help topics for commands (cmdlets, functions, CIM commands, workflows, scripts) and conceptual About articles. It does not support provider help.

This parameter was introduced in PowerShell 3.0.

Type:SwitchParameter
Position:Named
Default value:False
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False

Inputs

None

You can't send objects down the pipeline to Get-Help.

Outputs

ExtendedCmdletHelpInfo

If you run Get-Help on a command that doesn't have a help file, Get-Help returns an ExtendedCmdletHelpInfo object that represents autogenerated help.

System.String

If you get a conceptual help article, Get-Help returns it as a string.

MamlCommandHelpInfo

If you get a command that has a help file, Get-Help returns a MamlCommandHelpInfo object.

Notes

PowerShell 3.0 doesn't include help files. To download and install the help files that Get-Help reads, use the Update-Help cmdlet. You can use the Update-Help cmdlet to download and install help files for the core commands that come with PowerShell and for any modules that you install. You can also use it to update the help files so that the help on your computer is never outdated.

You can also read the help articles about the commands that come with PowerShell online starting at Getting Started with Windows PowerShell.

Get-Help displays help in the locale set for the Windows operating system or in the fallback language for that locale. If you don't have help files for the primary or fallback locale, Get-Help behaves as if there are no help files on the computer. To get help for a different locale, use Region and Language in Control Panel to change the settings. On Windows 10, Settings, Time & Language.

The full view of help includes a table of information about the parameters. The table includes the following fields:

  • Required. Indicates whether the parameter is required (true) or optional (false).

  • Position. Indicates whether the parameter is named or positional (numeric). Positional parameters must appear in a specified place in the command.

  • Named indicates that the parameter name is required, but that the parameter can appear anywhere in the command.

  • Numeric indicates that the parameter name is optional, but when the name is omitted, the parameter must be in the place specified by the number. For example, 2 indicates that when the parameter name is omitted, the parameter must be the second or only unnamed parameter in the command. When the parameter name is used, the parameter can appear anywhere in the command.

  • Default value. The parameter value or default behavior that PowerShell uses if you don't include the parameter in the command.

  • Accepts pipeline input. Indicates whether you can (true) or can't (false) send objects to the parameter through a pipeline. By Property Name means that the pipelined object must have a property that has the same name as the parameter name.

  • Accepts wildcard characters. Indicates whether the value of a parameter can include wildcard characters, such as an asterisk (*) or question mark (?).