Set-StrictMode

Establishes and enforces coding rules in expressions, scripts, and script blocks.

Syntax

Set-StrictMode
   -Version <Version>
   [<CommonParameters>]
Set-StrictMode
   [-Off]
   [<CommonParameters>]

Description

The Set-StrictMode cmdlet configures strict mode for the current scope and all child scopes, and turns it on and off. When strict mode is on, PowerShell generates a terminating error when the content of an expression, script, or script block violates basic best-practice coding rules.

Use the Version parameter to determine which coding rules are enforced.

Set-PSDebug -Strict cmdlet turns on strict mode for the global scope. Set-StrictMode affects only the current scope and its child scopes. Therefore, you can use it in a script or function to override the setting inherited from the global scope.

When Set-StrictMode is off, PowerShell has the following behaviors:

  • Uninitialized variables are assumed to have a value of 0 (zero) or $Null, depending on type
  • References to non-existent properties return $Null
  • Results of improper function syntax vary with the error conditions
  • Attempting to retrieve a value using an invalid index in an array returns $Null

Examples

Example 1: Turn on strict mode as version 1.0

# Strict mode is off by default.
$a -gt 5

False

Set-StrictMode -Version 1.0
$a -gt 5

The variable $a cannot be retrieved because it has not been set yet.

At line:1 char:3
+ $a <<<<  -gt 5
+ CategoryInfo          : InvalidOperation: (a:Token) [], RuntimeException
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : VariableIsUndefined

With strict mode set to version 1.0, attempts to reference variables that are not initialized fail.

Example 2: Turn on strict mode as version 2.0

# Strict mode is off by default.
function add ($a, $b) {
    '$a = ' + $a
    '$b = ' + $b
    '$a+$b = ' + ($a + $b)
}
add 3 4

$a = 3
$b = 4
$a+$b = 7

add(3,4)

$a = 3 4
$b =
$a+$b = 3 4

Set-StrictMode -Version 2.0
add(3,4)

The function or command was called like a method. Parameters should be separated by spaces,
as described in 'Get-Help about_Parameter.'
At line:1 char:4
+ add <<<< (3,4)
+ CategoryInfo          : InvalidOperation: (:) [], RuntimeException
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : StrictModeFunctionCallWithParens

Set-StrictMode -Off
$string = "This is a string."
$string.Month -eq $null

True

Set-StrictMode -Version 2.0
$string = "This is a string."
$string.Month -eq $null

Property 'Month' cannot be found on this object; make sure it exists.
At line:1 char:9
+ $string. <<<< month
+ CategoryInfo          : InvalidOperation: (.:OperatorToken) [], RuntimeException
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : PropertyNotFoundStrict

This command turns strict mode on and sets it to version 2.0. As a result, PowerShell returns an error if you use method syntax, which uses parentheses and commas, for a function call or reference uninitialized variables or non-existent properties.

The sample output shows the effect of version 2.0 strict mode.

Without version 2.0 strict mode, the "(3,4)" value is interpreted as a single array object to which nothing is added. By using version 2.0 strict mode, it is correctly interpreted as faulty syntax for submitting two values.

Without version 2.0, the reference to the non-existent Month property of a string returns only $Null. By using version 2.0, it is interpreted correctly as a reference error.

Example 3: Turn on strict mode as version 3.0

With strict mode set to Off, invalid or out of bounds indexes result return null values.

# Strict mode is off by default.
$a = @(1)
$a[2] -eq $null
$a['abc'] -eq $null

True
True

Set-StrictMode -Version 3
$a = @(1)
$a[2] -eq $null
$a['abc'] -eq $null

Index was outside the bounds of the array.
At line:1 char:1
+ $a[2] -eq $null
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo          : OperationStopped: (:) [], IndexOutOfRangeException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : System.IndexOutOfRangeException

Cannot convert value "abc" to type "System.Int32". Error: "Input string was not in a correct format."
At line:1 char:1
+ $a['abc'] -eq $null
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidArgument: (:) [], RuntimeException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : InvalidCastFromStringToInteger

With strict mode set to version 3 or higher, invalid or out of bounds indexes result in errors.

Parameters

-Off

Indicates that this cmdlet turns strict mode off for the current scope and all child scopes.

Type:SwitchParameter
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Version

Specifies the conditions that cause an error in strict mode. This parameter accepts any valid PowerShell version number. Any number higher than 3 is treated as Latest.

The effective values for this parameter are:

  • 1.0
    • Prohibits references to uninitialized variables, except for uninitialized variables in strings.
  • 2.0
    • Prohibits references to uninitialized variables. This includes uninitialized variables in strings.
    • Prohibits references to non-existent properties of an object.
    • Prohibits function calls that use the syntax for calling methods.
  • 3.0
    • Prohibits references to uninitialized variables. This includes uninitialized variables in strings.
    • Prohibits references to non-existent properties of an object.
    • Prohibits function calls that use the syntax for calling methods.
    • Prohibit out of bounds or unresolvable array indexes.
  • Latest
    • Selects the latest version available. The latest version is the most strict. Use this value to make sure that scripts use the strictest available version, even when new versions are added to PowerShell.
Type:Version
Aliases:v
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False

Inputs

None

You cannot pipe input to this cmdlet.

Outputs

None

This cmdlet does not return any output.

Notes

Set-StrictMode is effective only in the scope in which it is set and in its child scopes. For more information about scopes in PowerShell, see about_Scopes.