Updated: April 17, 2012
Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2003 with SP2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, Windows XP
Windows PowerShell™ is a task-based command-line shell and scripting language designed especially for system administration. Built on the .NET Framework, Windows PowerShell helps IT professionals and power users control and automate the administration of the Windows operating system and applications that run on Windows.
The PowerShell.exe command-line tool starts a Windows PowerShell session in a Command Prompt window. When you use PowerShell.exe, you can use its optional parameters to customize the session. For example, you can start a session that uses a particular execution policy or one that excludes a Windows PowerShell profile. Otherwise, the session is the same as any session that is started in the Windows PowerShell console.
You can use PowerShell.exe to start and end a Windows PowerShell session in a Command Prompt window.
To start a Windows PowerShell session in a Command Prompt window, type
powershell. A PS prefix is added to the command prompt to indicate that you are in a Windows PowerShell session.
To end a Windows PowerShell session in a Command Prompt window, type
exit. The typical command prompt returns.
For a list of the PowerShell.exe command-line parameters, see PowerShell.exe Console Help.
Other Ways to Start Windows PowerShell
For information about other ways to start Windows PowerShell, see Starting Windows PowerShell.
Windows PowerShell 2.0 runs on the Server Core installation option of the Windows Server 2008 operating system. However, features that require a user interface, such as the Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE) and the Out-GridView cmdlet, do not run on Server Core installations.
For more information about PowerShell 2.0, see Scripting with Windows PowerShell on TechNet Script Center.