Starting Windows PowerShell

You can start Windows PowerShell from the Start menu, from the Taskbar, from the Search or Run box, from a Command Prompt window, or even from another Windows PowerShell window.

And you can start multiple instances of Windows PowerShell (or Windows PowerShell ISE) on a single computer.

How to Start Windows PowerShell

On Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, and later versions of Windows, to start Windows PowerShell from the Start menu, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, click the Windows PowerShell folder, and then click the Windows PowerShell item.

On Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, to start Windows PowerShell from the Start menu, click Start, click Programs, click Accessories, click the Windows PowerShell folder, and then click the Windows PowerShell item.

How to Start Windows PowerShell ISE

Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE) is a new host application that lets you run commands, and write, test, and debug scripts in a friendly, syntax-colored, environment.

In Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, and later versions of Windows, to start Windows PowerShell ISE, from the Start menu, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, click the Windows PowerShell folder, and then click the Windows PowerShell ISE item.

In Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, to start Windows PowerShell from the Start menu, click Start, click Programs, click Accessories, click the Windows PowerShell folder, and then click the Windows PowerShell ISE item.

How to Start Windows PowerShell with All Modules

In Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, you can use a task to start a Windows PowerShell window that includes all the commands that are available to you from optional modules and snap-ins, including those that would not otherwise be added by default. The window also has the privileges of your Administrator account.

For more information about Windows PowerShell modules and snap-ins, see Using Modules and Snap-Ins, How to Import a Module, and about_Modules.

To start Windows PowerShell with all modules, use either of the following procedures.

  • In the taskbar, right-click the Windows PowerShell icon, and then click Import All Modules.

Click Start, click Administrative Tools and then click Windows PowerShell 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 all supported versions of Windows, you can add all available modules to a Windows PowerShell session. Start Windows PowerShell and, at the Windows PowerShell prompt, type:

get-module -listAvailable | import-module

How to Start Windows PowerShell with Administrator Privileges

In Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, you can use a task to start a Windows PowerShell window with all the privileges of the your Administrator account. Typically, this is not necessary, but there are a few commands that require these privileges.

In the Windows taskbar, right-click the Windows PowerShell icon, and then click Run Windows PowerShell as admin.

To start Windows PowerShell (or Windows PowerShell ISE) with Administrator privileges in all supported versions of Windows, use the following procedure.

  1. Click Start, click Programs, click Accessories, and click the Windows PowerShell folder.

  2. Right-click the Windows PowerShell item (or the Windows PowerShell ISE item), and then click Run as administrator.

How to Start Windows PowerShell with Other Options

Windows PowerShell has numerous options that let you start a customized Windows PowerShell session, including options that use a particular console file, run with a particular execution policy, exclude your Windows PowerShell profile, run a particular command or script, or use a single-threaded apartment, among many others.

To view these options, in a Command Prompt (Cmd.exe) window, or in an existing Windows PowerShell window, type:

powershell -?

To start Windows PowerShell with a particular option, use the parameter for the option. For example, to start Windows PowerShell with the RemoteSigned execution policy, type:

powershell -executionPolicy RemoteSigned