Installing PowerShell on Windows

There are multiple ways to install PowerShell in Windows.

Prerequisites

The latest release of PowerShell is supported on Windows 7 SP1, Server 2008 R2, and later versions.

To enable PowerShell remoting over WSMan, the following prerequisites need to be met:

  • Install the Universal C Runtime on Windows versions predating Windows 10. It's available via direct download or Windows Update. Fully patched systems already have this package installed.
  • Install the Windows Management Framework (WMF) 4.0 or newer on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. For more information about WMF, see WMF Overview.

Download the installer package

To install PowerShell on Windows, download the latest install package from GitHub. You can also find the latest preview version on the releases page. Scroll down to the Assets section of the Release page. The Assets section may be collapsed, so you may need to click to expand it.

Installing the MSI package

The MSI file looks like PowerShell-<version>-win-<os-arch>.msi. For example:

  • PowerShell-7.1.0-win-x64.msi
  • PowerShell-7.1.0-win-x86.msi

Once downloaded, double-click the installer and follow the prompts.

The installer creates a shortcut in the Windows Start Menu.

  • By default the package is installed to $env:ProgramFiles\PowerShell\<version>
  • You can launch PowerShell via the Start Menu or $env:ProgramFiles\PowerShell\<version>\pwsh.exe

Note

PowerShell 7.1 installs to a new directory and runs side-by-side with Windows PowerShell 5.1. PowerShell 7.1 is an in-place upgrade that replaces PowerShell 6.x. or PowerShell 7.0.

  • PowerShell 7.1 is installed to $env:ProgramFiles\PowerShell\7
  • The $env:ProgramFiles\PowerShell\7 folder is added to $env:PATH
  • The $env:ProgramFiles\PowerShell\6 folder is deleted

If you need to run PowerShell 7.1 side-by-side with other versions, use the ZIP install method to install the other version to a different folder.

Administrative install from the command line

MSI packages can be installed from the command line allowing administrators to deploy packages without user interaction. The MSI package includes the following properties to control the installation options:

  • ADD_EXPLORER_CONTEXT_MENU_OPENPOWERSHELL - This property controls the option for adding the Open PowerShell item to the context menu in Windows Explorer.
  • ENABLE_PSREMOTING - This property controls the option for enabling PowerShell remoting during installation.
  • REGISTER_MANIFEST - This property controls the option for registering the Windows Event Logging manifest.

The following example shows how to silently install PowerShell with all the install options enabled.

msiexec.exe /package PowerShell-7.1.0-win-x64.msi /quiet ADD_EXPLORER_CONTEXT_MENU_OPENPOWERSHELL=1 ENABLE_PSREMOTING=1 REGISTER_MANIFEST=1

For a full list of command-line options for Msiexec.exe, see Command line options.

Registry keys created during installation

Beginning in PowerShell 7.1, the MSI package creates registry keys that store the installation location and version of PowerShell. These values are located in HKLM\Software\Microsoft\PowerShellCore\InstalledVersions\<GUID>. The value of <GUID> is unique for each build type (release or preview), major version, and architecture.

Release Architecture Registry Key
7.1.x Release x86 HKLM\Software\Microsoft\PowerShellCore\InstalledVersions\1d00683b-0f84-4db8-a64f-2f98ad42fe06
7.1.x Release x64 HKLM\Software\Microsoft\PowerShellCore\InstalledVersions\31ab5147-9a97-4452-8443-d9709f0516e1
7.1.x Preview x86 HKLM\Software\Microsoft\PowerShellCore\InstalledVersions\86abcfbd-1ccc-4a88-b8b2-0facfde29094
7.1.x Preview x64 HKLM\Software\Microsoft\PowerShellCore\InstalledVersions\39243d76-adaf-42b1-94fb-16ecf83237c8

This can be used by administrators and developers to find the path to PowerShell. The <GUID> values will be the same for all preview and minor version releases. The <GUID> values are changed for each major release.

Installing the ZIP package

PowerShell binary ZIP archives are provided to enable advanced deployment scenarios. Download one of the following ZIP archives from the releases page.

  • PowerShell-7.1.0-win-x64.zip
  • PowerShell-7.1.0-win-x86.zip
  • PowerShell-7.1.0-win-arm64.zip
  • PowerShell-7.1.0-win-arm32.zip

Depending on how you download the file you may need to unblock the file using the Unblock-File cmdlet. Unzip the contents to the location of your choice and run pwsh.exe from there. Unlike installing the MSI packages, installing the ZIP archive doesn't check for prerequisites. For remoting over WSMan to work properly, ensure that you've met the prerequisites.

Use this method to install the ARM-based version of PowerShell on computers like the Microsoft Surface Pro X. For best results, install PowerShell to the to $env:ProgramFiles\PowerShell\7 folder.

Deploying on Windows 10 IoT Enterprise

Windows 10 IoT Enterprise comes with Windows PowerShell, which we can use to deploy PowerShell 7.

  1. Create PSSession to target device

    Set-Item -Path WSMan:\localhost\Client\TrustedHosts <deviceip>
    $S = New-PSSession -ComputerName <deviceIp> -Credential Administrator
    
  2. Copy the ZIP package to the device

    # change the destination to however you had partitioned it with sufficient
    # space for the zip and the unzipped contents
    # the path should be local to the device
    Copy-Item .\PowerShell-<version>-win-<os-arch>.zip -Destination u:\users\administrator\Downloads -ToSession $s
    
  3. Connect to the device and expand the archive

    Enter-PSSession $s
    Set-Location u:\users\administrator\downloads
    Expand-Archive .\PowerShell-<version>-win-<os-arch>.zip
    
  4. Set up remoting to PowerShell 7

    Set-Location .\PowerShell-<version>-win-<os-arch>
    # Be sure to use the -PowerShellHome parameter otherwise it'll try to create a new
    # endpoint with Windows PowerShell 5.1
    .\Install-PowerShellRemoting.ps1 -PowerShellHome .
    # You'll get an error message and will be disconnected from the device because
    # it has to restart WinRM
    
  5. Connect to PowerShell 7 endpoint on device

    # Be sure to use the -Configuration parameter. If you omit it, you will connect to Windows PowerShell 5.1
    Enter-PSSession -ComputerName <deviceIp> -Credential Administrator -Configuration powershell.<version>
    

Deploying on Windows 10 IoT Core

Windows 10 IoT Core adds Windows PowerShell when you include IOT_POWERSHELL feature, which we can use to deploy PowerShell 7. The steps defined above for Windows 10 IoT Enterprise can be followed for IoT Core as well.

For adding the latest PowerShell in the shipping image, use Import-PSCoreRelease command to include the package in the workarea and add OPENSRC_POWERSHELL feature to your image.

Note

For ARM64 architecture, Windows PowerShell is not added when you include IOT_POWERSHELL. So the zip based install will not work. You will need to use Import-PSCoreRelease command to add it in the image.

Deploying on Nano Server

These instructions assume that the Nano Server is a "headless" OS that has a version of PowerShell is already running on it. For more information, see the Nano Server Image Builder documentation.

PowerShell binaries can be deployed using two different methods.

  1. Offline - Mount the Nano Server VHD and unzip the contents of the zip file to your chosen location within the mounted image.
  2. Online - Transfer the zip file over a PowerShell Session and unzip it in your chosen location.

In both cases, you need the Windows 10 x64 ZIP release package. Run the commands within an "Administrator" instance of PowerShell.

Offline Deployment of PowerShell

  1. Use your favorite zip utility to unzip the package to a directory within the mounted Nano Server image.
  2. Unmount the image and boot it.
  3. Connect to the built-in instance of Windows PowerShell.
  4. Follow the instructions to create a remoting endpoint using the "another instance technique".

Online Deployment of PowerShell

Deploy PowerShell to Nano Server using the following steps.

  • Connect to the built-in instance of Windows PowerShell

    $session = New-PSSession -ComputerName <Nano Server IP address> -Credential <An Administrator account on the system>
    
  • Copy the file to the Nano Server instance

    Copy-Item <local PS Core download location>\powershell-<version>-win-x64.zip c:\ -ToSession $session
    
  • Enter the session

    Enter-PSSession $session
    
  • Extract the ZIP file

    # Insert the appropriate version.
    Expand-Archive -Path C:\powershell-<version>-win-x64.zip -DestinationPath "C:\PowerShell_<version>"
    
  • If you want WSMan-based remoting, follow the instructions to create a remoting endpoint using the "another instance technique".

Install as a .NET Global tool

If you already have the .NET Core SDK installed, it's easy to install PowerShell as a .NET Global tool.

dotnet tool install --global PowerShell

The dotnet tool installer adds $env:USERPROFILE\dotnet\tools to your $env:PATH environment variable. However, the currently running shell doesn't have the updated $env:PATH. You can start PowerShell from a new shell by typing pwsh.

Install PowerShell via Winget

The winget command-line tool enables developers to discover, install, upgrade, remove, and configure applications on Windows 10 computers. This tool is the client interface to the Windows Package Manager service.

Note

The winget tool is currently a preview. Not all planned functionality is available at this time. You should not use this method in a production deployment scenario. See the winget documentation for a list of system requirements and install instructions.

The following commands can be used to install PowerShell using the published winget packages:

  1. Search for the latest version of PowerShell

    winget search Microsoft.PowerShell
    
    Name               Id                           Version
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    PowerShell         Microsoft.PowerShell         7.1.0
    PowerShell-Preview Microsoft.PowerShell-Preview 7.1.0-preview.5
    
  2. Install a version of PowerShell using the --exact parameter

    winget install --name PowerShell --exact
    winget install --name PowerShell-Preview --exact
    

Installing from the Microsoft Store

PowerShell 7.1 has been published to the Microsoft Store. You can find the PowerShell release on the Microsoft Store website or in the Store application in Windows.

Benefits of the Microsoft Store package:

  • Automatic updates built right into Windows 10
  • Integrates with other software distribution mechanisms like Intune and SCCM

Limitations:

MSIX packages run in an application sandbox that virtualizes access to some filesystem and registry locations.

  • All registry changes under HKEY_CURRENT_USER are copied on write to a private, per-user, per-app location. Therefore, those values are not available to other applications.
  • Any system-level configuration settings stored in $PSHOME cannot be modified. This includes the WSMAN configuration. This prevents remote sessions from connecting to Store-based installs of PowerShell. User-level configurations and SSH remoting are supported.

For more information, see Understanding how packaged desktop apps run on Windows.

Using the MSIX package

Note

The preview builds of PowerShell include an MSIX package. The MSIX package is not officially supported. The package is built for testing purposes during the preview period.

To manually install the MSIX package on a Windows 10 client, download the MSIX package from our GitHub releases page. Scroll down to the Assets section of the Release you want to install. The Assets section may be collapsed, so you may need to click to expand it.

The MSIX file looks like this - PowerShell-<version>-win-<os-arch>.msix

To install the package, you must use the Add-AppxPackage cmdlet.

Add-AppxPackage PowerShell-<version>-win-<os-arch>.msix

How to create a remoting endpoint

PowerShell supports the PowerShell Remoting Protocol (PSRP) over both WSMan and SSH. For more information, see:

Upgrading an existing installation

For best results when upgrading, you should use the same install method you used when you first installed PowerShell. Each installation method installs PowerShell in a different location. If you are not sure how PowerShell was installed, you can compare the installed location with the package information in this article. If you installed via the MSI package, that information appears in the Programs and Features Control Panel.

Installation support

Microsoft supports the installation methods in this document. There may be other methods of installation available from other sources. While those tools and methods may work, Microsoft cannot support those methods.