Get-Help

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

Description

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

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

Conceptual help topics in PowerShell begin with "about_", such as "about_Comparison_Operators". To see all "about_" topics, type Get-Help about_*. To see a particular topic, type Get-Help about_<topic-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.

In addition to "Get-Help", you can also type help or man, which displays one screen of text at a time, or <cmdlet-name> -?, which is identical to Get-Help but works only for commands.

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 commands. Some PowerShell modules come with help files. However, beginning in Windows PowerShell 3.0, the modules that come with Windows do not include help files. To download or update the help files for a module in Windows PowerShell 3.0, use the Update-Help cmdlet.

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

If you type "Get-Help" followed by the exact name of a help topic, or by a word unique to a help topic, Get-Help displays the topic contents. If you enter a word or word pattern that appears in several help topic titles, Get-Help displays a list of the matching titles. If you enter a word that does not appear in any help topic titles, Get-Help displays a list of topics that include that word in their contents.

Get-Help can get help topics 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 Windows PowerShell 3.0, if Get-Help does not find help in the fallback locale, it looks for help topics in English ("en-US") before returning an error message or displaying auto-generated 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.

TROUBLESHOOTING NOTE: In Windows PowerShell 3.0 and 4.0, Get-Help cannot find About topics in modules unless the module is imported into the current session. This is a known issue. To get About topics in a module, import the module, either by using the Import-Module cmdlet or by running a cmdlet in the module.

Examples

Example 1

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

These commands display basic information about the Format-Table cmdlet.

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

<command-name> -? works only for commands.

Example 2

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

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

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

The man is an alias for the help function.

The Out-Host -Paging receives the outputs of Get-Help Format-Table from pipeline and displays them one page at a time. For more information, see Out-Host.

Example 3

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

These commands display more information about the Format-Table cmdlet than usual.

The Detailed parameter displays the detailed view of the help topic, which includes parameter descriptions and examples.

The Full parameter displays the full view of the help topic, which includes parameter descriptions, examples, input and output object types, and additional notes.

The Detailed and Full parameters are effective only for the commands whose help files are installed on the computer. They are not effective for the conceptual ("about_") help topics.

Example 4

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

These commands display selected parts of the Format-Table cmdlet help.

The Examples parameter displays only the NAME, SYNOPSIS, and all Examples. You can not 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 wildcard character (*), it displays the descriptions of all parameters.

These parameters are not effective for the conceptual ("about_") help topics.

Example 5

Get-Help Format-Table -Online

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

Example 6

Get-Help

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

Example 7

Get-Help *

This command displays a list of all help topics available on your system.

Example 8

PS C:\> Get-Help about_*

This command displays a list of the conceptual topics included in Windows PowerShell help. All of these topics begin with the characters "about_". To display a particular help file, type "get-help <topic-name>, for example, "Get-Help about_Signing".

This command displays the conceptual topics only when the help files for those topics are installed on the computer. For information about downloading and installing help files in Windows PowerShell 3.0, see Update-Help.

Example 9

PS C:\> Get-Help Add-Member -Full | Out-String -Stream | Select-String -Pattern Clixml

This example shows how to search for a word in particular cmdlet help topic. This command searches for the word "Clixml" in the full version of the help topic for the Add-Member cmdlet.

Because the Get-Help cmdlet generates a MamlCommandHelpInfo object, not a string, you need to use a cmdlet that transforms the help topic content into a string, such as Out-String or Out-File.

Example 10

PS C:\> Get-Help remoting

This command displays a list of topics that include the word "remoting."

When you enter a word that does not appear in any topic title, Get-Help displays a list of topics that include that word.

Example 11

The first command uses the **Path** parameter of **Get-Help** to specify the provider path. This command can be entered at any path location.
PS C:\> 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.

    ...

The second command uses the Set-Location cmdlet (alias = "cd") to navigate to the provider path. From that location, even without the **Path** parameter, the **Get-Help** command gets the provider-specific help for the **Get-Item** cmdlet.
PS C:\> cd 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.

    ...


The third command shows that a **Get-Help** command in a file system path, and without the **Path** parameter, gets the standard help for the **Get-Item** cmdlet.
PS C:\> Get-Item

NAME

    Get-Item


SYNOPSIS

    Gets the item at the specified location.
    ...

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

You can also get provider-specific help for cmdlets online in the section that describes the provider. For example, for provider-specific online help for the New-Item cmdlet in each WSMan provider path, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=158676http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=158676.

Example 12

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

This command gets help for the MyScript.ps1 script. For information about writing help for your functions and scripts, see about_Comment_Based_Help.

Required Parameters

-Detailed

Adds parameter descriptions and examples to the basic help display.

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

Type:SwitchParameter
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Online

Displays the online version of a help topic in the default Internet browser. This parameter is valid only for cmdlet, function, workflow and script help topics. You cannot use the Online parameter in Get-Help commands in a remote session.

For information about supporting this feature in help topics that you write, see about_Comment_Based_Help, and Supporting Online Help, and How to Write Cmdlet Help in the Microsoft Docs.

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:All parameters
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-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" topics. It does not support provider help.

This parameter is introduced in Windows PowerShell 3.0.

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

Optional Parameters

-Category

Displays help only for items in the specified category and their aliases. Valid values are Alias, Cmdlet, Function, Provider, Workflow, and HelpFile. Conceptual topics are in the HelpFile category.

Type:String[]
Accepted values:Alias, Cmdlet, Provider, General, FAQ, Glossary, HelpFile, ScriptCommand, Function, Filter, ExternalScript, All, DefaultHelp, Workflow
Position:Named
Default value:All categories
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Component

Displays commands with the specified component value, such as "Exchange." Enter a component name. Wildcards are permitted.

This parameter has no effect on displays of conceptual ("About_") help.

Type:String[]
Position:Named
Default value:All components
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Full

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

This parameter is effective only when help files are for the command 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. Wildcards are permitted.

This parameter has no effect on displays of conceptual ("About_") help.

Type:String[]
Position:Named
Default value:All functionality values
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-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 topic name, such as "about_Objects", or an alias, such as "ls". Wildcards are permitted in cmdlet and provider names, but you cannot use wildcards to find the names of function help and script help topics.

To get help for a script that is not located in a path that is listed in the Path environment variable, type the path and file name of the script .

If you enter the exact name of a help topic, Get-Help displays the topic contents. If you enter a word or word pattern that appears in several help topic titles, Get-Help displays a list of the matching titles. If you enter a word that does not match any help topic titles, Get-Help displays a list of topics that include that word in their contents.

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

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

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

This parameter gets a customized version of a cmdlet help topic that explains how the cmdlet works in the specified Windows 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 topic 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 topics. For example, you can find help for the New-Item cmdlet in the Wsman:*\ClientCertificate path (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=158676).

For more information about Windows PowerShell providers, see about_Providers.

Type:String
Position:Named
Default value:All paths
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Role

Displays help customized for the specified user role. Enter a role. Wildcards 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:All roles
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False

Inputs

None

You cannot pipe objects to this cmdlet.

Outputs

ExtendedCmdletHelpInfo

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

System.String

If you get a conceptual help topic, 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

  • Windows PowerShell 3.0 does not come with 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 Windows 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 topics about the commands that come with Windows PowerShell online beginning at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=107116.

  • Get-Help displays help in the locale set for Windows or in the fallback language for that locale. If you do not have help files for the primary or fallback locale, Get-Help behaves as though 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 for Windows.

  • The full view of help (-Full) 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 (numbered). 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.

    • <Number> 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 (2) 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 that Windows PowerShell uses if you do not include the parameter in the command.

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

    • Accepts wildcard characters: Indicates whether the value of a parameter can include wildcard characters, such as * and ?.