How to Start Windows PowerShell – 12 Ways

Now we will see how to run PowerShell on different versions of the Windows operating system. When performing work on setting up the Windows operating system or installed applications, in some cases, users need to use Windows PowerShell – an advanced analogue of the command line with advanced features.

PowerShell is a tool wrapper with a command line interface and scripting language. In addition to native scripting, PowerShell executes regular command-line commands and performs other administrative tasks.

Starting with Windows PowerShell 2.0, the shell is included in the Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019 operating systems.

PowerShell can be installed on Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008 as part of the Windows Management Framework. Microsoft Windows PowerShell supports Linux and macOS operating systems.

In the process of solving some problems, users have a question about how to run Windows PowerShell on a computer on different operating systems.

In this guide, we will look at several ways to run PowerShell on a computer in specific versions of the operating system: Windows 10, Windows 8.1 (Windows 8), Windows 7, as well as instructions on other methods that apply to any version of the OS.

How to open PowerShell Windows 10 – 1 way

In modern versions of Windows 10, PowerShell has replaced the command line in the operating system interface. The command line itself has not disappeared, just the OS suggests using PowerShell by default.

To launch a shell in Windows 10, you can use the context menu of the Start button:

  1. Right-click on the Start menu, or press the Win + X keys.
  2. The context menu will open “Windows PowerShell” and “Windows PowerShell (Admin)”.

You can run Windows PowerShell as an administrator or in normal mode as the current user of the computer.

If the command prompt is displayed on your computer instead of PowerShell, then this means that changes were made to the Windows 10 settings earlier. You can return Windows PowerShell to its place in the following way:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Open Personalization.
  3. Enter the “Taskbar” section.
  4. In the “Replace command prompt with Windows PowerShell in the menu that appears when you right-click the Start button or press the Windows + X keys” option, move the toggle switch to the “On” position.

After that, instead of the command line, the context menu of the Start button will display items for launching PowerShell.

How to run PowerShell in Windows 10 – method 2

Another way to open Windows PowerShell in the Windows 10 operating system is from the Start menu.

Take the necessary steps:

  1. Left click on the start menu.
  2. In the list of installed programs, find the “Windows PowerShell” folder, from which you can run PowerShell in various modes:
  • Windows PowerShell – Launches a normal shell.
  • Windows PowerShell (x86) – Run a shell on a 32-bit OS.
  • Windows PowerShell ISE – Launches the Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment.
  • Windows PowerShell ISE (x86) – Runs an ISE for 32-bit systems or objects.

Windows PowerShell ISE is an advanced PowerShell shell.

If necessary, the user can run PowerShell as a Windows 10 administrator. Running as a Windows 10 administrator proceeds as follows:

  1. You need to right-click on the Windows PowerShell icon.
  2. In the “Tasks” context menu, click on the “Run as administrator” item.
  3. A Windows PowerShell window opens on the desktop of your computer.

How to open PowerShell in Windows 7

Users on the Windows 7 operating system can launch PowerShell from the Start button menu. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Left click on the start menu button.
  2. In the All Programs list, open the Accessories folder.
  3. Locate the “Windows PowerShell” folder, which contains the icons to launch the application.

To run PowerShell as an administrator, right-click on the application shortcut, and select “Run as administrator” from the context menu that opens.

Starting Windows PowerShell Windows 8.1 (Windows 8)

On Windows 8.1 or Windows 8 operating systems, PowerShell can be opened from the Installed Applications window.

Go through the steps:

  1. On the home screen, click on the “Apps” button.
  2. In the Applications window, locate the System folder where the Windows PowerShell application is located.

To run PowerShell as an administrator in Windows 8.1 or Windows 8, you need to right-click the application icon and select Run as administrator from the context menu.

Opening PowerShell from the Run window

In different versions of Windows, starting PowerShell is identical by executing a command from the Run dialog box.

You will need to perform the following manipulations:

  1. Press the “Win” + “R” keys.
  2. In the Run dialog box, type “powershell” (without quotes).
  3. Click on the “OK” button.

To launch a shell with administrative rights in Windows 10, use this method: after typing the command, hold down the “Ctrl” + “Shift” keys, and then press the “Enter” key or the “OK” button in the dialog box.

How to run PowerShell from the command line

If desired, the user can run PowerShell from CMD.exe (Windows Command Prompt) on different versions of the operating system. This system tool will help you open a similar application on your computer.

Starting PowerShell from the command line is done like this:

  1. You need to run command prompt as administrator or just open command prompt as user.
  2. In the command line interpreter window, type the command “powershell” (without quotes), and then press the “Enter” key.
  3. The PowerShell shell will be launched in the Windows CLI.

In PowerShell, running as administrator depends on what privileges you run the command prompt with.

How to open Windows PowerShell from search

PowerShell can be launched from Windows Search on any modern OS version.

You need to do the following:

  1. In the search bar, you must enter the expression “powershell” (without quotes).
  2. The results with the best match will appear in a pop-up window.
  3. On Windows 10, run PowerShell as an administrator or with normal privileges. In Windows 8 or Windows 7, right-click an application to launch an elevated shell by selecting the appropriate context menu item.

Launching PowerShell from Task Manager

To start the shell, you can use the system tool – Task Manager.

Do the following:

  1. Launch Task Manager on PC.
  2. Enter the “File” menu, click on the “Run a new task” item.
  3. In the “Create Task” window, in the “Open:” field, type “powershell” (without quotes). If you need administrator rights, check the “Create a task with administrator rights” checkbox.
  4. Click on the “OK” button.

How to run PowerShell as administrator from File Explorer – 1 way

A quick way to open PowerShell is to launch the application directly from the system tool – Windows Explorer.

You must use the following method:

  1. Launch File Explorer.
  2. Type “powershell” (without the quotes) into the Explorer address bar.
  3. Press the “Enter” key.
  4. A PowerShell window will open on the PC screen.

Opening PowerShell from Explorer Folder – Method 2

Another option to launch a PowerShell shell from the current folder in File Explorer:

  1. Enter Windows Explorer, open the desired folder.
  2. Click on the “File” menu, select the appropriate launch option: “Run Windows PowerShell” or “Run Windows PowerShell as administrator”.

Opening Windows PowerShell from the System Folder

There are options to run PowerShell directly from the “Windows” folder where the operating system resides. This is a universal way that works in different versions of Windows.

Go through the following steps:

  1. Open Windows Explorer.
  2. Follow the path:
C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0
  1. The “v0” folder contains application files that can be run on a PC. Double click the left mouse button on the “powershell.exe” file.

How to run elevated Windows PowerShell in this case? Right-click on the file, and in the context menu, click on the “Run as administrator” item.

Launching PowerShell from the Taskbar

You can pin the PowerShell icon to the Windows taskbar to easily launch the desired tool without any fuss. Do it with the following method:

  1. Follow the path to the file “powershell.exe” in the system folder “Windows” along the path:
C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0
  1. Right click on the “powershell.exe” file.
  2. Select “Pin to taskbar” from the context menu.

You can now run Windows PowerShell with different privileges by right-clicking on the application icon.

Article Conclusions

The Windows operating system has a built-in PowerShell shell – an advanced analogue of the command line. In some situations, users may need to use Windows PowerShell on a computer to make various settings on the operating system. You can launch PowerShell in many ways: from the Start button menu, from the Run window, from the command line, from search, from Explorer, from the Windows system folder, from the Taskbar.

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