About Help

Choose a topic from the list on the left or search for a specific topic. Choose a topic from the list or search for a specific topic.
Cmdlets  Providers  Aliases  Modules





    Describes how to run and write scripts in Windows PowerShell. 


    A script is a plain text file that contains one or more Windows PowerShell 
    commands. Windows PowerShell scripts have a .ps1 file name extension.  
    Running a script is a lot like running cmdlet. You type the path and file  
    name of the script and use parameters to submit data and set options. You 
    can run scripts on your computer or in a remote session on a different 
    Writing a script saves a command for later use and makes it easy to share 
    with others. Most importantly, it lets you run the commands simply by typing 
    the script path and the file name. Scripts can be as simple as a single  
    command in a file or as extensive as a complex program. 
    Scripts have additional features, such as the #Requires special comment, 
    the use of parameters, support for data sections, and digital signing for 
    security. You can also write Help topics for scripts and for any functions 
    in the script.  


    Before you can run a script, you need to change the default Windows 
    PowerShell execution policy. The default execution policy, "Restricted", 
    prevents all scripts from running, including scripts that you write on the 
    local computer. For more information, see about_Execution_Policies. 
    The execution policy is saved in the registry, so you need to change it 
    only once on each computer. 
    To change the execution policy, use the following procedure. 
        1.  Start Windows PowerShell with the "Run  as administrator"  
        2.  At the command prompt, type: 
            Set-ExecutionPolicy AllSigned 
            Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned 
     The change is effective immediately 
    To run a script, type the full name and the full path to the script 
    For example, to run the Get-ServiceLog.ps1 script in the C:\Scripts  
    directory, type: 
    To run a script in the current directory, type the path to the 
    current directory, or use a dot to represent the current directory, 
    followed by a path backslash (.\). 
    For example, to run the ServicesLog.ps1 script in the local 
    directory, type: 
    If the script has parameters, type the parameters and parameter 
    values after the script file name. 
    For example, the following command uses the ServiceName parameter of 
    the Get-ServiceLog script to request a log of WinRM service activity. 
        .\Get-ServiceLog.ps1 -ServiceName WinRM 
    As a security feature, Windows PowerShell does not run scripts when you 
    double-click the script icon in File Explorer or when you type the  
    script name without a full path, even when the script is in the current  
    directory. For more information about running commands and scripts in 
    Windows PowerShell, see about_Command_Precedence. 


    Beginning in Windows PowerShell 3.0, you can run scripts from File 
    Explorer (or Windows Explorer, in earlier versions of Windows).  
    To use the "Run with PowerShell" feature: 
        In File Explorer (or Windows Explorer), right-click the  
        script file name and then select "Run with PowerShell". 
    The "Run with PowerShell" feature is designed to run scripts  
    that do not have required parameters and do not return output  
    to the command prompt.  
    For more information, see about_Run_With_PowerShell 


    To run a script on one or more remote computers, use the FilePath 
    parameter of the Invoke-Command cmdlet. 
    Enter the path and file name of the script as the value of the FilePath  
    parameter. The script must reside on the local computer or in a directory 
    that the local computer can access.  
    The following command runs the Get-ServiceLog.ps1 script on the Server01 
    and Server02 remote computers. 
        Invoke-Command -ComputerName Server01, Server02 -FilePath C:\Scripts\Get-ServiceLog.ps1  


    The Get-Help cmdlet gets the help topics for scripts as well as for  
    cmdlets and other types of commands. To get the help topic for a script,  
    type "Get-Help" followed by the path and file name of the script. If the 
    script path is in your Path environment variable, you can omit the path. 
    For example, to get help for the ServicesLog.ps1 script, type: 
        get-help C:\admin\scripts\ServicesLog.ps1 


    A script can contain any valid Windows PowerShell commands, including single 
    commands, commands that use the pipeline, functions, and control structures 
    such as If statements and For loops. 
    To write a script, start a text editor (such as Notepad) or a script editor 
    (such as the Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment [ISE]). Type  
    the commands and save them in a file with a valid file name and the .ps1 file 
    name extension.  
    The following example is a simple script that gets the services that are 
    running on the current system and saves them to a log file. The log file name 
    is created from the current date. 
        $date = (get-date).dayofyear 
        get-service | out-file "$date.log" 
    To create this script, open a text editor or a script editor, type these 
    commands, and then save them in a file named ServiceLog.ps1.  


    To define parameters in a script, use a Param statement. The Param statement 
    must be the first statement in a script, except for comments and any  
    #Requires statements. 
    Script parameters work like function parameters. The parameter values are 
    available to all of the commands in the script. All of the features of 
    function parameters, including the Parameter attribute and its named 
    arguments, are also valid in scripts. 
    When running the script, script users type the parameters after the script 
    The following example shows a Test-Remote.ps1 script that has a ComputerName 
    parameter. Both of the script functions can access the ComputerName 
    parameter value. 
        param ($ComputerName = $(throw "ComputerName parameter is required.")) 
        function CanPing { 
           $tmp = test-connection $computername -erroraction SilentlyContinue 
           if (!$?)  
               {write-host "Ping failed: $ComputerName."; return $false} 
               {write-host "Ping succeeded: $ComputerName"; return $true} 
        function CanRemote { 
            $s = new-pssession $computername -erroraction SilentlyContinue 
            if ($s -is [System.Management.Automation.Runspaces.PSSession]) 
                {write-host "Remote test succeeded: $ComputerName."} 
                {write-host "Remote test failed: $ComputerName."} 
        if (CanPing $computername) {CanRemote $computername} 
    To run this script, type the parameter name after the script name.   
    For example: 
C:\PS> .\test-remote.ps1 -computername Server01 
Ping succeeded: Server01 
Remote test failed: Server01 
    For more information about the Param statement and the function parameters, 
    see about_Functions and about_Functions_Advanced_Parameters. 


    You can write a help topic for a script by using either of the two following methods: 
    --  Comment-Based Help for Scripts 
        Create a Help topic by using special keywords in the comments. To create 
        comment-based Help for a script, the comments must be placed at the 
        beginning or end of the script file. For more information about 
        comment-based Help, see about_Comment_Based_Help. 
    --  XML-Based Help  for Scripts 
        Create an XML-based Help topic, such as the type that is typically 
        created for cmdlets. XML-based Help is required if you are translating 
        Help topics into multiple languages.   
        To associate the script with the XML-based Help topic, use the 
        .ExternalHelp Help comment keyword. For more information about the 
        ExternalHelp keyword, see about_Comment_Based_Help. For more information 
        about XML-based help, see "How to Write Cmdlet Help" in the MSDN 
        (Microsoft Developer Network) library at  


    Each script runs in its own scope. The functions, variables, aliases, and 
    drives that are created in the script exist only in the script scope. You 
    cannot access these items or their values in the scope in which the 
    script runs. 
    To run a script in a different scope, you can specify a scope, such as 
    Global or Local, or you can dot source the script. 
    The dot sourcing feature lets you run a script in the current scope instead 
    of in the script scope. When you run a script that is dot sourced, the  
    commands in the script run as though you had typed them at the command  
    prompt. The functions, variables, aliases, and drives that the script  
    creates are created in the scope in which you are working. After the script 
    runs, you can use the created items and access their values in your session. 
    To dot source a script, type a dot (.) and a space before the script path. 
    For example: 
        . C:\scripts\UtilityFunctions.ps1 
        . .\UtilityFunctions.ps1 
    After the UtilityFunctions script runs, the functions and variables that the 
    script creates are added to the current scope.  
    For example, the UtilityFunctions.ps1 script creates the New-Profile 
    function and the $ProfileName variable. 
        #In UtilityFunctions.ps1 
        function New-Profile 
            Write-Host "Running New-Profile function" 
            $profileName = split-path $profile -leaf 
            if (test-path $profile) 
               {write-error "There is already a $profileName profile on this computer."} 
       {new-item -type file -path $profile -force } 
    If you run the UtilityFunctions.ps1 script in its own script scope, the 
    New-Profile function and the $ProfileName variable exist only while the 
    script is running. When the script exits, the function and variable are 
    removed, as shown in the following example. 
        C:\PS> .\UtilityFunctions.ps1 
        C:\PS> New-Profile 
        The term 'new-profile' is not recognized as a cmdlet, function, operable 
        program, or script file. Verify the term and try again. 
        At line:1 char:12 
        + new-profile <<<<  
           + CategoryInfo          : ObjectNotFound: (new-profile:String) [],  
           + FullyQualifiedErrorId : CommandNotFoundException 
        C:\PS> $profileName 
    When you dot source the script and run it, the script creates the 
    New-Profile function and the $ProfileName variable in your session in your 
    scope. After the script runs, you can use the New-Profile function in your 
    session, as shown in the following example. 
        C:\PS> . .\UtilityFunctions.ps1 
        C:\PS> New-Profile 
            Directory: C:\Users\juneb\Documents\WindowsPowerShell 
            Mode    LastWriteTime     Length Name                                                                    
            ----    -------------     ------ ----                                                                    
            -a---   1/14/2009 3:08 PM      0 Microsoft.PowerShellISE_profile.ps1                                     
        C:\PS> $profileName 
    For more information about scope, see about_Scopes. 


    A module is a set of related Windows PowerShell resources that can be 
    distributed as a unit. You can use modules to organize your scripts, 
    functions, and other resources. You can also use modules to distribute your 
    code to others, and to get code from trusted sources. 
    You can include scripts in your modules, or you can create a script module, 
    which is a module that consists entirely or primarily of a script and  
    supporting resources. A script module is just a script with a .psm1 file 
    name extension. 
    For more information about modules, see about_Modules. 


    Windows PowerShell has many useful features that you can use in scripts. 
        You can use a #Requires statement to prevent a script from running 
        without specified modules or snap-ins and a specified version of 
        Windows PowerShell. For more information, see about_Requires. 
       Contains the full path and name of the script that is being run. 
       This parameter is valid in all scripts. This automatic variable is 
       introduced in Windows PowerShell 3.0. 
       Contains the directory from which a script is being run. In 
       Windows PowerShell 2.0, this variable is valid only in script modules 
       (.psm1). Beginning in Windows PowerShell 3.0, it is valid in all scripts. 
        The $MyInvocation automatic variable contains information about the 
        current script, including information about how it was started or  
        "invoked." You can use this variable and its properties to get 
        information about the script while it is  running. For example, the 
        $MyInvocation.MyCommand.Path variable contains the path and file name 
        of the script. $MyInvocation.Line contains the command that started 
        the script, including all parameters and values.         
        Beginning in Windows PowerShell 3.0, $MyInvocation has two new properties 
        that provide information about the script that called or invoked the 
        current script. The values of these properties are populated only when 
        the invoker or caller is a script. 
        -- PSCommandPath contains the full path and name of the script that called 
           or invoked the current script.  
        -- PSScriptRoot contains the directory of the script that called or invoked 
           the current script.  
        Unlike the $PSCommandPath and $PSScriptRoot automatic variables, which 
        contain information about the current script, the PSCommandPath and 
        PSScriptRoot properties of the $MyInvocation variable contain information 
        about the script that called or invoke the current script. 
    Data sections 
        You can use the Data keyword to separate data from logic in scripts. 
        Data sections can also make localization easier. For more information, 
        see about_Data_Sections and about_Script_Localization. 
    Script Signing 
        You can add a digital signature to a script. Depending on the execution 
        policy, you can use digital signatures to restrict the running of scripts 
        that could include unsafe commands. For more information, see 
        about_Execution_Policies and about_Signing.