Installing Windows PowerShell

Windows PowerShell comes installed by default in every Windows, starting with Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.

If you are interested in PowerShell 6 and later, you need to install PowerShell Core instead of Windows PowerShell. For that, see Installing PowerShell Core on Windows.

Finding PowerShell in Windows 10, 8.1, 8.0, and 7

Sometimes locating PowerShell console or ISE (Integrated Scripting Environment) in Windows can be difficult, as it's location moves from one version of Windows to the next.

The following tables should help you find PowerShell in your Windows version. All versions listed here are the original version, as released, with no updates.

For Console

Version Location
Windows 10 Click left lower corner Windows icon, start typing PowerShell
Windows 8.1, 8.0 On the start screen, start typing PowerShell.
If on desktop, click left lower corner Windows icon, start typing PowerShell
Windows 7 SP1 Click left lower corner Windows icon, on the search box start typing PowerShell

For ISE

Version Location
Windows 10 Click left lower corner Windows icon, start typing ISE
Windows 8.1, 8.0 On the start screen, type PowerShell ISE.
If on desktop, click left lower corner Windows icon, type PowerShell ISE
Windows 7 SP1 Click left lower corner Windows icon, on the search box start typing PowerShell

Finding PowerShell in Windows Server versions

Starting with Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows operating system can be installed without the graphical user interface (GUI). Editions of Windows Server without GUI are named Core editions, and editions with the GUI are named Desktop.

Windows Server Core editions

In all Core editions, when you log to the server you get a Windows command prompt window.

Type powershell and press ENTER to start PowerShell inside the command prompt session. Type exit to terminate the PowerShell session and return to command prompt.

Windows Server Desktop editions

In all desktop editions, click the left lower corner Windows icon, start typing PowerShell. You get both console and ISE options.

The only exception to the above rule is the ISE in Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1; in this case, click the left lower corner Windows icon, type PowerShell ISE.

How to check the version of PowerShell

To find which version of PowerShell you have installed, start a PowerShell console (or the ISE) and type $PSVersionTable and press ENTER. Look for the PSVersion value.

Upgrading existing Windows PowerShell

The installation package for PowerShell comes inside a WMF installer. The version of the WMF installer matches the version of PowerShell; there's no stand alone installer for Windows PowerShell.

If you need to update your existing version of PowerShell, in Windows, use the following table to locate the installer for the version of PowerShell you want to update to.

Windows PS 3.0 PS 4.0 PS 5.0 PS 5.1
Windows 10 (see Note1)
Windows Server 2016
- - - installed
Windows 8.1
Windows Server 2012 R2
- installed WMF 5.0 WMF 5.1
Windows 8
Windows Server 2012
installed WMF 4.0 WMF 5.0 WMF 5.1
Windows 7 SP1
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
WMF 3.0 WMF 4.0 WMF 5.0 WMF 5.1

Note

On the initial release of Windows 10, with automatic updates enabled, PowerShell gets updated from version 5.0 to 5.1.

If the original version of Windows 10 is not updated through Windows Updates, the version of PowerShell is 5.0.

Need Azure PowerShell

If you're looking for Azure PowerShell, you could start with Overview of Azure PowerShell.

Otherwise, what you might need is Install and configure Azure PowerShell

See Also

Windows PowerShell System Requirements

Starting Windows PowerShell