Explains how to install, import, and use Windows PowerShell modules.
A module is a package that contains Windows PowerShell commands, such as
cmdlets, providers, functions, variables, and aliases.
People who write commands can use modules to organize their commands and
share them with others. People who receive modules can add the commands
in the modules to their Windows PowerShell sessions and use them just like
the built-in commands.
This topic explains how to use Windows PowerShell modules. For information
about how to write Windows PowerShell modules, see "Writing a Windows
PowerShell Module" in the MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) library
HOW TO USE A MODULE
To use a module, perform the following tasks:
1. Install the module. (This is often done for you.)
2. Import the module into your Windows PowerShell session.
3. Find the commands that the module added.
4. Use the commands that the module added.
This topic explains how to perform these tasks. It also includes
other useful information about managing modules.
HOW TO INSTALL A MODULE
If you receive a module as a folder with files in it, you need
to install it on your computer before you can import it into Windows
Most modules are installed for you. Windows PowerShell comes with
several pre-installed modules. In Windows Server 2008 R2, the
Add Features Wizard in Server Manager automatically installs the
feature modules that you select. Many other modules come in an
installer or Setup program that installs the module.
To install a module folder:
1. Create a Modules directory for the current user if one does
To create a Modules directory, type:
new-item -type directory -path $home\Documents\WindowsPowerShell\Modules
2. Copy the entire module folder into the Modules directory.
You can use any method to copy the folder, including Windows
Explorer and Cmd.exe, as well as Windows PowerShell.
In Windows PowerShell use the Copy-Item cmdlet. For example, to copy the
MyModule folder from C:\ps-test\MyModule to the Modules directory, type:
copy-item -path c:\ps-test\MyModule -dest $home\Documents\WindowsPowerShell\Modules
You can install a module in any location, but installing your modules in a
default module location makes them easier to manage. For more information about
the default module locations, see the "Module Locations and PSModulePath" section.
HOW TO FIND INSTALLED MODULES
When a module is installed, you can import it into your Windows
To find modules that are installed in a default module location,
at the Windows PowerShell prompt, type:
To find the modules that have already been imported into your session,
at the Windows PowerShell prompt, type:
For more information about the Get-Module cmdlet, see Get-Module.
HOW TO IMPORT A MODULE
To use the commands in a module, import the module into a
Windows PowerShell session.
To import modules from a default module location into the
current session, use the following command format.
For example, the following command imports the BitsTransfer module
into the current session.
To import a module that is not in a default module location, use
the fully qualified path to the module folder in the command.
For example, to add the TestCmdlets module in the C:\ps-test directory
to your session, type:
For more information about adding modules to your session, see
HOW TO IMPORT ALL MODULES INTO YOUR WINDOWS POWERSHELL SESSION
In Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, the "Import all modules"
task opens a Windows PowerShell session that includes all the
available Windows PowerShell modules and snap-ins.
To start a Windows PowerShell session with all the available Windows
PowerShell modules and snap-ins, use the following procedure.
-- Right-click the Windows PowerShell icon in the taskbar, and then click
"Import all modules".
Note: In Windows Server 2008 R2, the Windows PowerShell icon is pinned to
the taskbar by default. However, you must start Windows PowerShell
one time to make the "Import all modules" task appear.
In other versions of Windows, to import all the available modules into your
session, at the Windows PowerShell prompt, type:
get-module -listAvailable | import-module
HOW TO FIND THE COMMANDS IN A MODULE
After you import a module into your Windows PowerShell session, you can
use the commands in the module.
To find the commands that a module added, at the Windows PowerShell prompt,
get-command -module <module-name>
For example, to find the commands that the BitsTransfer module adds, type:
get-command -module BitsTransfer
For more information about the Get-Command cmdlet, see Get-Command.
HOW TO FIND HELP FOR THE COMMANDS IN A MODULE
If the module contains Help topics for the commands that it exports,
the Get-Help cmdlet will display the Help topics. Use the same command
format that you would use for any Help topic in Windows PowerShell.
To find the Help topic for the commands in a module, at the Windows
PowerShell prompt, type:
For more detailed Help, type:
get-help <command-name> -detailed
For example, to find detailed Help for the Start-BitsTransfer cmdlet,
get-help Start-BitsTransfer -detailed
For more information about the Get-Help module, see Get-Help.
HOW TO REMOVE A MODULE
When you remove a module, the commands that the module added are deleted
from the session.
To remove a module from your session, use the following command
For example, the following command removes the BitsTransfer module
from the current session.
Removing a module reverses the operation of importing a module. Removing
a module does not uninstall the module. For more information about the
Remove-Module cmdlet, see Remove-Module.
HOW TO IMPORT A MODULE INTO EVERY SESSION
The Import-Module command imports modules into your current Windows
PowerShell session. This command affects only the current session.
To import a module into every Windows PowerShell session that you
start, add the Import-Module command to your Windows PowerShell
For more information about profiles, see about_Profiles.
MODULE LOCATIONS AND PSMODULEPATH
There are two default locations for Windows PowerShell modules, one for
the system and one for the current user.
Current user: $home\Documents\WindowsPowerShell\Modules
- or -
Note: In Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, and later versions of
Windows, to add or change files in the %Windir%\System32 directory,
start Windows PowerShell with the "Run as administrator" option.
You can change the default module locations on your system by changing the
value of the PSModulePath environment variable ($env:psmodulepath). The
PSModulePath environment variable is modeled on the Path environment variable
and has the same format.
To view the default module locations, type:
To add a default module location, use the following command format.
$env:psmodulepath = $env:psmodulepath + ";<path>"
The semi-colon (;) in the command separates the new path from the
path that precedes it in the list.
For example, to add the "C:\ps-test\Modules" directory, type:
$env:psmodulepath + ";c:\ps-test\Modules"
When you add a path to PSModulePath, Get-Module and Import-Module
commands include modules in that path.
The value that you set affects only the current session. To make the
change persistent, add the command to your Windows PowerShell profile
or use the System item in Control Panel to change the value of the
PSModulePath environment variable in the registry.
For more information about the PSModulePath variable, see
MODULES AND NAME CONFLICTS
Name conflicts occur when more than one command in the session
has the same name. Importing a module causes a name conflict when
commands in the module have the same names as commands or items
in the session.
Name conflicts can result in commands being hidden or replaced.
-- Hidden. A command is hidden when it is not the command
that runs when you type the command name, but you can run it
by using another method, such as by qualifying the command
name with the name of the module or snap-in in which it
-- Replaced. A command is replaced when you cannot run it because
it has been overwritten by a command with the same name. Even
when you remove the module that caused the conflict, you cannot
run a replaced command unless you restart the session.
Import-Module might add commands that hide and replace commands in the
current session. Also, commands in your session can hide commands that
the module added.
To prevent name conflicts, use the Prefix parameter of Import-Command
to create unique names for the imported commands.
You can also use the Alias, Cmdlet, Function, and Variable parameters
of Import-Module to select only the commands that you want to import,
and you can exclude commands that cause name conflicts in your session.
Even if a command is hidden, you can run it by qualifying the command
name with the name of the module or snap-in in which it originated.
The Windows PowerShell command precedence rules determine which command
runs when the session includes commands with the same name.
For example, when a session includes a function and a cmdlet with the same
name, Windows PowerShell runs the function by default. When the session
includes commands of the same type with the same name, such as two cmdlets
with the same name, by default, it runs the most recently added command.
For more information, including an explanation of the precedence rules and
instructions for running hidden commands, see about_Command_Precedence.
MODULES AND SNAP-INS
You can add commands to your session from modules and snap-ins. Modules
can add all types of commands, including cmdlets, providers, and functions,
and items, such as variables, aliases, and Windows PowerShell drives.
Snap-ins can add only cmdlets and providers.
In fact, although you can add functions, aliases, variables, and drives
to your session by typing them or running a script that adds them, all
the cmdlets and providers in your session come from a module or a snap-in.
Before removing a module or snap-in from your session, use the following
commands to determine which commands will be removed.
To find the source of a cmdlet in your session, use the following command
get-command <cmdlet-name> | format-list -property verb, noun, pssnapin, module
For example, to find the source of the Get-Date cmdlet, type:
get-command get-date | format-list -property verb, noun, pssnapin, module
For more information about Windows PowerShell snap-ins, see about_PSSnapins.
MODULE-RELATED WARNINGS AND ERRORS
The commands that a module exports should follow the Windows PowerShell
command naming rules. If the module that you import exports cmdlets or
functions that have unapproved verbs in their names, the Import-Module
cmdlet displays the following warning message.
WARNING: Some imported command names include unapproved verbs
which might make them less discoverable. Use the Verbose parameter
for more detail or type Get-Verb to see the list of approved verbs.
This message is only a warning. The complete module is still imported,
including the non-conforming commands. Although the message is displayed
to module users, the naming problem should be fixed by the module author.
To suppress the warning message, use the DisableNameChecking parameter
of the Import-Module cmdlet.