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What is Windows PowerShell and how to start it

Windows PowerShell and how to start it

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Windows PowerShell is an integrated tool for automating user scripts for the Microsoft Windows operating system, built on the basis of the command-line interface. It is intended primarily for system administrators, as well as for all advanced users.

The history of the emergence of PowerShell in the family of Windows operating systems is as follows. It is necessary to say that the console utility, which allows interacting with a computer by entering commands, was present there initially (in fact, it was through such a utility that it was supposed to interact with the system, starting with MS-DOS of the very first versions).

At first, there was a rather limited set of corresponding commands. Being implemented as part of the corresponding OS subsystem (using the aforementioned utility), they were the so-called command-line interpreter. Any other tasks could be invoked from this shell as separate programs, also designed as console applications. Already at that time, there were some task automation tools implemented using a scripting language (you can get acquainted with examples of it by opening any .BAT file in a text editor).

Very quickly, however, it became clear that to fully automate the tools of an existing interpreter was not enough, especially after the widespread use of Windows. True, even then many actions were more convenient to automate using applications that take full advantage of the graphical interface, but there was still (and still exists) the need for a command line that allows you to create various batch jobs with a sufficient level of skill. Unfortunately, the then scripting language was still too weak to implement any complex algorithms.

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The situation changed somewhat with the advent of Windows 98, as part of which a tool such as WSH (Windows Script Host, or Windows Script Host) first appeared. It already allowed scripts to be run using scripting languages ​​such as JScript and VBScript (and other optional language modules installed). Unfortunately, Windows Script Host does not have integration with the existing command shell, as well as built-in documentation (even now, not all Windows users are aware of the existence of such a tool). Therefore, in 2003, Microsoft began to develop a new advanced command shell, designed to automate the entire spectrum of administrative tasks, which later became known as PowerShell.

Commands that are executed inside PowerShell can now be not only standard operations for working with the system, as before, or the names of executable files, but also the whole specialized classes of the .NET application execution environment – the so-called cmdlets. A new improved scripting language has appeared, including the implementation of dynamic types, based on the same .NET. Having mastered it, advanced users could now create their automation scripts without resorting to full-fledged programming environments and languages ​​such as C # or VB.NET.

How to run PowerShell on Windows?

There are multiple methods to launch PowerShell. Note that it can be run both on behalf of a normal user, and on behalf of the administrator.

Opening Powershell before Windows 8

  • Method 1: Go to Start menu -> Programs and Accessories -> Powershell
  • Method 2: Open the Search button above the Start menu. Search for Integrated Scripting Environment or Powershell inside search window, right-click on Windows Powershell, select Run as administrator
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Opening Powershell from Windows 8 and Windows 10

  • Method 1: Press Windows Key + X or Right-click on the Start menu. From the new menu that popped up, select Windows Powershell or Windows Powershell (Administrator)
  • Method 2: Click Start menu. Scroll down to Windows Powershell listed in alphabetical order. Expand the menu and select Windows Power Shell or Windows Power Shell ISE.
  • Method 3: Open Run window using Windows Key + R. Type cmd inside the Run window(Windows Key + R). Inside the command screen, use the command
    start powershell or start powershell_ise
opening windows powershell from command prompt
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