How to run Windows PowerShell

Many of the instructions on this site suggest running PowerShell, usually as an administrator, as one of the first steps. Sometimes there is a question in the comments of novice users on how to do this.

This guide details the ways to open PowerShell, including as an administrator, in Windows 10, 8, and Windows 7, as well as a video tutorial that shows all of these ways visually. Also useful: Ways to open the command line as administrator.

Running Windows PowerShell using search

My first recommendation on the subject of running any Windows utility that you do not know how to run is to use search, it will help you almost always.

There is a search button on the Windows 10 taskbar, in Windows 8 and 8.1 you can open the search box with the Win + S keys, and in Windows 7 it is located in the Start menu. The steps (using the 10 key as an example) would be as follows.

  1. In the search, start typing PowerShell until the desired result appears.
  2. If you want to run as administrator, right-click Windows PowerShell and select the appropriate context menu option.

As you can see, very simple and suitable for any of the latest versions of Windows.

How to open PowerShell via the Start button context menu in Windows 10

If you have Windows 10 installed on your computer, perhaps an even faster way to open PowerShell is to right-click the Start button and select the desired menu item (there are two items present at the same time: for the simple start and as administrator). The same menu can also be accessed by pressing Win + X on the keyboard.

Note: if you have the command line displayed in this menu instead of Windows PowerShell, you can replace it with PowerShell, if you wish, in Settings - Personalization - Taskbar by activating the option «Replace command line with Windows Powershell» (in the recent versions of Windows 10 the option is enabled by default).

Start PowerShell using the Run dialog

Another easy way to start PowerShell is to use the Run dialog:

  1. Press Win + R on your keyboard.
  2. I went into powershell and press Enter or OK.

In Windows 7, you can check the box to run as administrator, and in the latest version of Windows 10, if you hold down the Ctrl + Shift keys while pressing Enter or Ok, the utility will also run as administrator.

Video Tutorial

Other ways to open PowerShell

The above are not all the ways to open Windows PowerShell, but they are sure to suffice. If not then:

  • You can find PowerShell in the start menu. Use the context menu to run it as administrator.
  • You can run the exe file in the folder C: / WindowsSystem32NWindowsPowerShell. For administrator rights, likewise, use the right-click menu.
  • If you enter powershell On the command line, the desired tool will also run (but on the command line interface). If the command line was run as administrator, then powershell will run as administrator as well.

Also, sometimes people ask what is PowerShell ISE and PowerShell x86, found for example when using the first method. The answer is, PowerShell ISE is "PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment". Basically, you can use it to run all the same cmdlets, but in addition, it provides additional features that simplify your work with PowerShell scripts (help, debugging tools, color-coding, additional hotkeys, etc.). The x86 versions are required if you are working with 32-bit objects or a remote x86 system.