Basics of PowerShell

Basics of PowerShell

What is PowerShell?

PowerShell is Microsoft new Command Line Interface for Windows systems, it provides access to:

  • Existing Windows Command Line tools.
  • PowerShell Cmdlets (PowerShell own Commands)
  • PowerShell Functions
  • Access to the .Net Framework API
  • Access to WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation
  • Access to Windows COM (Component Object Model)
  • Access to function in Windows DLL (Dynamic Linked Libraries)
  • Access to different third party APIs like VMWare, Citrix, Microsoft Exchange, Office 365 and many more.

 Checking the PowerShell Version:

Just open the Powershell console and type Get-Host or $PSVersionTable This will display the PowerShell version installed on the system.

Basics of PowerShell 1

Getting Help in PowerShell: We have built in help in PowerShell. We also can update help using PowerShell commands.

Just type Get-Help in the console.

get help 1

Press Y to update.


The Get-Help cmdlet displays help at the command line from content in help files on your computer. Without help files, Get-Help displays basic help about cmdlets and functions. You can also use Get-Help to display online help for cmdlets and functions.

To get help for a cmdlet, type: Get-Help


To download and install help files on your computer:
* Start Windows PowerShell with the "Run as administrator" option.
* Type: Update-Help

After the help files are installed, you can use the Get-Help cmdlet to display the help topics. You can also use the Update-Help cmdlet to download updated help files so that your local help files are always up-to-date.


You can find help for Windows PowerShell online in the TechNet Library beginning at

To open online help for any cmdlet or function, type: Get-Help -Online

Running PowerShell Commands:

To get the list of commands, type Get-Command

get command


Get-Alias command will display all the cmdlet aliases. Get-Alias will display the cmdlet Name.

PS C:\> Get-Alias gwmi

CommandType     Name                                               Version    Source
-----------     ----                                               -------    ------
Alias           gwmi -> Get-WmiObject

PS C:\> Get-Alias dir

CommandType     Name                                               Version    Source
-----------     ----                                               -------    ------
Alias           dir -> Get-ChildItem

Configuring PowerShell Console:

We can configure PowerShell console as we may want. Changing the colors, changing back ground color, font and other settings. There are many ways of doing this.

One is a graphical way: Just right click on title bar and a settings window will be opened.

Windows PowerShell Properties

Just navigate to different tabs and change the settings as required.

Other way is through PowerShell commands.

Here are some examples:

$console = $host.UI.RawUI
$console.ForegroundColor = "black"
$console.BackgroundColor = "white"