Starting Windows PowerShell

Windows PowerShell is a scripting engine .DLL that's embedded into multiple hosts. The most common hosts you'll start are the interactive command-line powershell.exe and the Interactive Scripting Environment powershell_ise.exe.

To start Windows PowerShell® on Windows Server® 2012 R2, Windows® 8.1, Windows Server 2012, and Windows 8, see Common Management Tasks and Navigation in Windows.

PowerShell Core has renamed binary

PowerShell Core, referred to as PowerShell, is version 6 and higher that's open source and uses .NET Core. Supported versions are available on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Beginning in PowerShell 6, the PowerShell binary was renamed pwsh.exe for Windows and pwsh for macOS and Linux. You can start PowerShell preview versions using pwsh-preview. For more information, see What's New in PowerShell Core 6.0 and About pwsh.

To find cmdlet reference and installation documentation for PowerShell 7, use the following links:

Document Link
Cmdlet reference PowerShell Module Browser
Windows installation Installing PowerShell Core on Windows
macOS installation Installing PowerShell Core on macOS
Linux installation Installing PowerShell Core on Linux

To view content for other PowerShell versions, see How to use the PowerShell documentation.

How to Start Windows PowerShell on Earlier Versions of Windows

This section explains how to start Windows PowerShell and Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE) on Windows® 7, Windows Server® 2008 R2, and Windows Server® 2008. It also explains how to enable the optional feature for Windows PowerShell ISE in Windows PowerShell 2.0 on Windows Server® 2008 R2 and Windows Server® 2008.

Use any of the following methods to start the installed version of Windows PowerShell 3.0, or Windows PowerShell 4.0, where applicable.

From the Start Menu

  • Click Start, type PowerShell, and then click Windows PowerShell.
  • From the Start menu, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, click the Windows PowerShell folder, and then click Windows PowerShell.

At the Command Prompt

In cmd.exe, Windows PowerShell, or Windows PowerShell ISE, to start Windows PowerShell, type:

PowerShell

You can also use the parameters of the powershell.exe program to customize the session. For more information, see PowerShell.exe Command-Line Help.

With Administrative privileges (Run as administrator)

Click Start, type PowerShell, right-click Windows PowerShell, and then click Run as administrator.

How to Start Windows PowerShell ISE on Earlier Releases of Windows

Use any of the following methods to start Windows PowerShell ISE.

From the Start Menu

  • Click Start, type ISE, and then click Windows PowerShell ISE.
  • From the Start menu, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, click the Windows PowerShell folder, and then click Windows PowerShell ISE.

At the Command Prompt

In cmd.exe, Windows PowerShell, or Windows PowerShell ISE, to start Windows PowerShell, type:

PowerShell_ISE

or

ISE

With Administrative privileges (Run as administrator)

Click Start, type ISE, right-click Windows PowerShell ISE, and then click Run as administrator.

How to Enable Windows PowerShell ISE on Earlier Releases of Windows

In Windows PowerShell 4.0 and Windows PowerShell 3.0, Windows PowerShell ISE is enabled by default on all versions of Windows. If it isn't already enabled, Windows Management Framework 4.0 or Windows Management Framework 3.0 enables it.

In Windows PowerShell 2.0, Windows PowerShell ISE is enabled by default on Windows 7. However, on Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008, it's an optional feature.

To enable Windows PowerShell ISE in Windows PowerShell 2.0 on Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008, use the following procedure.

To enable Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE)

  1. Start Server Manager.
  2. Click Features and then click Add Features.
  3. In Select Features, click Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE).

Starting the 32-Bit Version of Windows PowerShell

When you install Windows PowerShell on a 64-bit computer, Windows PowerShell (x86), a 32-bit version of Windows PowerShell is installed in addition to the 64-bit version. When you run Windows PowerShell, the 64-bit version runs by default.

However, you might occasionally need to run Windows PowerShell (x86), such as when you're using a module that requires the 32-bit version or when you're connecting remotely to a 32-bit computer.

To start a 32-bit version of Windows PowerShell, use any of the following procedures.

In Windows Server® 2012 R2

  • On the Start screen, type Windows PowerShell (x86). Click the Windows PowerShell x86 tile.
  • In Server Manager, from the Tools menu, select Windows PowerShell (x86).
  • On the desktop, move the cursor to the upper right corner, click Search, type PowerShell x86 and then click Windows PowerShell (x86).
  • Via command line, enter: %SystemRoot%\SysWOW64\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe

In Windows Server® 2012

  • On the Start screen, type PowerShell and then click Windows PowerShell (x86).
  • In Server Manager, from the Tools menu, select Windows PowerShell (x86).
  • On the desktop, move the cursor to the upper right corner, click Search, type PowerShell and then click Windows PowerShell (x86).
  • Via command line, enter: %SystemRoot%\SysWOW64\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe

In Windows® 8.1

  • On the Start screen, type Windows PowerShell (x86). Click the Windows PowerShell x86 tile.
  • If you're running Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 8.1, you can also open Windows PowerShell x86 from the Server ManagerTools menu. Select Windows PowerShell (x86).
  • On the desktop, move the cursor to the upper right corner, click Search, type PowerShell x86 and then click Windows PowerShell (x86).
  • Via command line, enter: %SystemRoot%\SysWOW64\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe

In Windows® 8

  • On the Start screen, move the cursor to the upper right corner, click Settings, click Tiles, and then move the Show Administrative Tools slider to Yes. Then, type PowerShell and click Windows PowerShell (x86).
  • If you're running Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 8, you can also open Windows PowerShell x86 from the Server ManagerTools menu. Select Windows PowerShell (x86).
  • On the Start screen or the desktop, type PowerShell (x86) and then click Windows PowerShell (x86).
  • Via command line, enter: %SystemRoot%\SysWOW64\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe