Updated: August 9, 2012
Applies To: Windows PowerShell 2.0, Windows PowerShell 3.0
A cmdlet is a simple, single-function command-line tool. You use cmdlets just as you would use traditional command-line commands and utilities. Begin by typing the name of the cmdlet at the Windows PowerShell command prompt. Windows PowerShell commands are not case-sensitive, so you can type in any case.
For example, try the Get-Date cmdlet:
PS C:\> Get-Date Thursday, November 10, 2005 4:43:50 PM
To find the cmdlets (and other types of commands) that are available to you, use the Get-Command cmdlet.
PS C:\> Get-Command Capability Name ModuleName ---------- ---- ---------- Cmdlet Add-AppxProvisionedPackage Dism Cmdlet Add-BitsFile BitsTransfer Cmdlet Add-Computer Microsoft.PowerShell.Managemen Cmdlet Add-Content Microsoft.PowerShell.Managemen Cmdlet Add-EnrollmentPolicyServer PKI Cmdlet Add-History Microsoft.PowerShell.Core Cmdlet Add-JobTrigger PSScheduledJob Cmdlet Add-KdsRootKey Kds ...
You can also use the Get-Command cmdlet to search for the cmdlets you need. For example, to find cmdlets that manage firewall rules, use a command like the following one. Because cmdlet names are usually singular, not plural, the command searches for cmdlets with names that include "FirewallRule".
Capability Name ModuleName ---------- ---- ---------- CIM Copy-NetFirewallRule NetSecurity CIM Disable-NetFirewallRule NetSecurity CIM Enable-NetFirewallRule NetSecurity CIM Get-NetFirewallRule NetSecurity CIM New-NetFirewallRule NetSecurity CIM Remove-NetFirewallRule NetSecurity CIM Rename-NetFirewallRule NetSecurity CIM Set-NetFirewallRule NetSecurity CIM Show-NetFirewallRule NetSecurity
The Get-Command cmdlet also gets commands other than cmdlets, including aliases (command nicknames), functions, scripts, CIM commands, workflows, and executable files that are available in Windows PowerShell.
Try some of the other cmdlets, like Get-Process, Get-Service, Get-EventLog, and Get-Alias.
When you feel comfortable with the simple "Get-" cmdlets, try Get-WmiObject. This cmdlet enables you to view and change the components of remote computers. For example, the following command gets information about the BIOS on the Server01 remote computer:
Get-Wmi-Object Win32_Bios -ComputerName Server01
If you need help with any cmdlet, type:
Get-Help <cmdlet-name> -Detailed
Get-Help Get-Alias -Detailed