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>]

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, starting in Windows PowerShell 3.0, the modules that come with the Windows operating system 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 it returns 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 Windows PowerShell 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: Display basic information about a command

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: Display basic information one page at a time

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: Display more information for a cmdlet

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: Display selected parts of a cmdlet by using parameters

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: Display online version of help

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: Display help about the help system

Get-Help

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

Example 7: Display available help topics

Get-Help *

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

Example 8: Display a list of conceptual topics

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: Search for a word in cmdlet help

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 have to use a cmdlet that transforms the help topic content into a string, such as Out-String or Out-File.

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

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: Display provider specific help

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 PowerShellSQL 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 New-Item for ClientCertificatehttp://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=158676 in the TechNet library.

Example 12: Display help for a script

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

This command gets help for the MyScript.ps1 script. For information about how to write 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:None
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 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=144309), and Supporting Online Help (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=242132), and How to Write Cmdlet Help in the MSDN library.

Type:SwitchParameter
Position:Named
Default value:None
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:False

Optional Parameters

-Category

Displays help only for items in the specified category and their aliases. The acceptable values for this parameter are:

  • Alias
  • Cmdlet
  • Provider
  • General
  • FAQ
  • Glossary
  • HelpFile
  • ScriptCommand
  • Function
  • Filter
  • ExternalScript
  • All
  • DefaultHelp
  • Workflow
  • DscResource
  • Class
  • Configuration

Conceptual topics are in the HelpFile category.

Type:String[]
Parameter Sets: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:False
-Full

Displays the whole help topic for a cmdlet. This includes 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:None
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: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. Wildcard characters are permitted in cmdlet and provider names, but you cannot use wildcard characters 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:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-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: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.

Outputs

System.String

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

Outputs

MamlCommandHelpInfo

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

Notes

  • Windows PowerShell 3.0 does not 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 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 starting at Scripting with Windows PowerShellhttp://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=107116 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=107116).

  • Get-Help displays help in the locale set for the Windows operating system 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 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.

  • 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 (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 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 * and ?.