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"

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