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Essential PowerShell Commands

 Essential PowerShell Commands

Using aliases will only get you so far on PowerShell, so it’s important to commit to learning everything you can about PowerShell’s native commands. We touched on some of these above, but we’re going to break down the main ones in much more detail below.

Get-Help

This command should be at the very top of any new user’s list when it comes to PowerShell. The Get-Help command can be used to literally get help with any other PowerShell command. For example, if you know the name of a command, but you don’t know what it does or how to use it, the Get-Help command provides the full command syntax.

For example, if you wanted to see how Get-Process works, you would type:

PS C:\> Get-Help -Name Get-Process
PS C:\> Set-ExecutionPolicy

As touched on earlier in this guide, Microsoft has a restricted execution policy that prevents scripting on PowerShell unless you change it. When setting the execution policy, you have four options to choose from:

  • Restricted – The default execution policy that stops scripts from running.
  • All Signed – Will run scripts if they are signed by a trusted publisher
  • Remote Signed – Allows scripts to run which have been created locally
  • Unrestricted – A policy with no restrictions on running scripts
PS C:\> Get-ExecutionPolicy

If you’re using PowerShell, you may not always work on a server that you’re familiar with. Running the command Get-Execution Policy will allow you to see which policy is active on the server before running a new script. If you then see the server in question operating under a restricted policy, you can then implement the Set-ExecutionPolicy command to change it.